The ACLU is trying to push President Obama to maintain the decision that he (not Attorney General Holder) made to try the 9/11 defendants in ordinary criminal court in New York City. Its method is a full-page ad printed in the New York Times. The ad contains several major statements which can best be described as deliberate lies.
Some of the facts for this article, but none of the legal conclusions, come from an ad that the ACLU published in the New York Times on 7 March, 2010. The point of the ad is that President Obama is morphing into President Bush because he is reconsidering Attorney General Holder's alleged decision to try the KSM 9/11 planners, in an ordinary criminal court, in New York City.
The ad says that Obama is "considering reversing his attorney general's decision." The ACLU does not explain what authority any Attorney General has over the American military. He has none. This is Obama's decision which he is now thinking of reversing.
The ad says [# More #] that Obama can "keep us safe without violating the Constitution." The ACLU has apparently not read the leading Supreme Court decision on trials for terrorists seeking to blow up buildings and kill Americans. The case was Ex Parte Quirin, 1942, concerning eight German saboteurs who sneaked into the US from two German submarines. All eight were convicted in a military tribunal including the one who said he was American since he was born in Chicago. The Court held, unanimously, that this process was constitutional.
The ACLU is chock full of lawyers. Presumably, most of them can read. One must conclude therefore that the ACLU is deliberately lying to the American people by publishing this ad which ignores the operative law.
The ad continues that Obama should "keep his promise to restore our Constitution and due process." This statement contains another lie. As the Supreme Court clearly explains in the Quirin case, due process concerning the Law of War is met by a military tribunals which convicted and executed Colonel Nathan Hale (the American spy) and Major John Andre (the British spy). This article has labeled those two men who were convicted and executed as illegal combatants, for the benefit of the ACLU whose ignorance apparently extends to the history of the American Revolution.