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Justice Deserves Better Than Holder

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, will finally face a military tribunal under rules set up by the Bush administration.  If convicted, Mohammed could face the death penalty.

Holder, who has opposed using a military tribunal for the trial, made the announcement with the kind of wild partisanship that we’ve come to expect from the top justice official for the administration.

It’s not that justice isn’t blind with Holder, it’s just that he’s kind of selective about what he turns a blind eye to.  

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You got the feeling that Holder, an opponent of the death penalty, knew he couldn’t just announce he had insufficient evidence to prosecute the 9-11 case, as he did in the Black Panther voter intimidation case, as much as he might want to.

But the press conference was certainly squirm-worthy for Holder, who is now stuck with a case he doesn’t want, in a venue he objects to.       

If they weren’t so wrong on issue after issue, I’d almost feel sorry for the Obama administration. But instead, I feel nothing but contempt for the most arrogant, self-centered and self-aggrandizing set of elitists to ever administer our country. 

The Khalid Sheikh Mohammed saga is yet another administration debacle that can best be explained by words that go roughly like these: “The Obama administration ended a year of indecision with a major reversal…”

It’s getting to the point that ending indecision with major reversal of policy is one of the acts that Obama is best at.  

If not a third term, the Bush administration policies on issues of war and peace are at suddenly enjoying something of a renaissance in the Obama White House.

In the terror case it does a great justice in our country, even if Holder and the administration can take credit for delivering that justice with the poorest of all possible grace. If you thought the administration acted like poor winners over the last two years, they’ve also shown that they are poor losers too.   

In making the announcement, Holder acknowledged what a bipartisan coalition, united in the desire for justice, realized long ago- that Americans don’t care about the politics of the trial, they just want a trial that ensures justice in an environment that won’t make it circus.   

Even so, Holder acted with the bad grace that we’ve come to expect from him, chastising the rest of us on points of law, shaking his finger at the victims who have shown patience for ten years, calling out Congress for being nincompoops.  Not content to enforce laws, Holder had to be the giver of law too.

Ten years after 9-11, American families are still waiting for the most politically driven Attorney General in the history of the country to prosecute those responsible for a politically-motivated act of war that led to the deaths of 3,000 men, women and children.

To make things perfectly clear, Holder let the world know that the decision to have the 9-11 perpetrators face a tribunal was distasteful to him, that he would rather not be forced to make this choice.

The victims deserved better than that Mr. Holder; the families deserved better; and so did justice itself.           

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