The New York Times has broken an account of a hairbrained idea hatched by the Obama administration to deal with the 9/11 accused held at Guantanimo - simply let them plead guilty and then execute them. It's being touted as something of a "win/win" situation. Memo to Barack - this is one game where win/win doesn't work.
The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom.
Just imagine how this will go down with already radicalized Islamists. They'll know you allowed the detainees to go quietly to their executions, guilt unproven, as martyrs BECAUSE you didn't want the world to find out what you had done to them while in captivity. It makes the detainees total martyrs, immortalizing them among Islamic extremists, AND makes the United States seem afraid of being exposed.
Can it be that these five detainees have been so ill-treated, so abused that no Western notion of justice would allow them to be convicted on the strength of their confessions? Could it be that the detainees have been treated so inhumanely that execution might now be out of the question?
The problem is that, if Obama doesn't put the 9/11 conspirators on trial, he puts America itself on trial.