“If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Is Acquitted, President Obama, Will You Release Him?”

Posted: Nov 13, 2009 10:45 PM
This type of question is one ABC News' Jake Tapper has asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs before.  This is obviously an important question to address now that the Obama Justice Department has officially declared the trials of 9/11 conspirators will take place here in the States. 

Tapper asked the administration about its policy back in June and, in true Gibbs fashion, the question was just dodged altogether.  Props to Tapper and Fox News' Major Garrett for their willingness to press the White House on this issue:

TAPPER: Two questions about developments today. One regarding the Ghailani trial — him being flown to the United States — if any of the detainees who are brought to trial through the U.S. criminal courts, or even through military commissions — if any of them are found not guilty, will the administration let them free?

GIBBS: Well, I’m not going to get into hypotheticals about…

TAPPER: Forget the military commissions.

GIBBS: I’m not going to get into hypotheticals about the court cases either.

TAPPER: Well, this is an important part of — you’re talking about a credible justice system; bringing these people to justice. You’ve spoken at great length about this — the president has. If they are found not guilty, will they be found…

GIBBS: Well, let’s discuss that if it ever comes to fruition.

TAPPER: But isn’t that what is underlying a credible justice system? The idea that if you’re found not guilty, you’ll be free?

[# More #]

GIBBS: Sure.


GIBBS: But I’m not going to get into hypotheticals about how certain cases may or may not play out.

TAPPER: So you’re not willing to commit to freeing people if they’re found not guilty?

GIBBS: I’m not willing to get into playing hypothetical games.

TAPPER: It’s not a game, Robert. It’s a question about the credibility of a justice system.

MAJOR GARRETT, FOX NEWS: Just the principle of it.

GIBBS: No, it’s — I’m not debating legal principles. I’m just not getting into the hypothetical back and forth of what happens on a case.

TAPPER: OK. So the Obama administration is refusing to say that if someone is found not guilty, they will be set free?

GIBBS: Jake, I am not going to get into the hypotheticals about specific outcomes of cases.

TAPPER: I’m not asking you to talk about a specific case. I’m talking about in general.

GARRETT: For all the detainees brought to the system — into this system of justice, which this administration said can and has in the past handled adequately — more than adequately, according to your talking points this morning, the terrorism cases brought before it in whatever venue — if that justice system, which the administration says should be trusted, renders a verdict of not guilty, is that person released?

GIBBS: We will talk about what happens about a verdict when a verdict comes.

TAPPER: Well, then how is the world supposed to have any confidence that this new system of justice that you guys are ensuring is going to be the case with detainees, is actually credible?

GIBBS: We think the Southern District of New York has a very good record, as it relates to trying and convicting terror suspects.

TAPPER: I believe what your — the facts sheet said this morning — was that it has a 90 percent success rate.

GIBBS: I think 90 is pretty good.

TAPPER: I’m not questioning whether 90’s pretty good. I’m asking you about the 10 percent.

GIBBS: And I’m, in this specific case, not going to get into those hypotheticals.

H/T: Allahpundit