Meghan Hughes (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), the leader of the Senate effort to move the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammad (KSM) and the other 9/11 conspirators from federal district court to military commission, made this statement today.
"I appreciate the decision by Attorney General Holder to move the trial of KSM and the 9/11 conspirators from federal district court in New York to military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Those responsible for planning and executing the attacks on 9/11 present a danger to our nation, and it is inexcusable that they have not been brought to trial. I'm hopeful the trial will proceed as soon as possible so justice can finally be rendered.
"KSM, the mastermind of 9/11, is the epitome of an enemy combatant, and his crimes against the American people were a violation of the law of war. I'm glad he and the other 9/11 co-conspirators will be held accountable within the military commission system that I helped create through legislation and which received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.
"Military commissions have been used in wars throughout our history, and they should be used in this war. The commission trials will be transparent, conducted by the same judges and jurors who administer justice to our own troops, and subject to civilian review. In addition, the military commissions system balances the interest of the accused with the safety of our nation as a whole in this time of war.
"Providing KSM and the other co-conspirators of 9/11 the same rights as American citizens in civilian courts would have criminalized this war. Since 9/11 we have been in an undeclared state of war with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The military commissions system is the appropriate venue for this trial. I am very proud of and have confidence in our military justice system."