A Republican member of the House Armed Services and Judiciary Committees said Wednesday that that "some liberal judge" could potentially acquit 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed of terrorism charges.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) made the suggestion in an attempt to portray KSM's trial as dangerous because of the myriad variables that could forestall a criminal conviction in court.
Franks added that the trial offers Mohammed "far greater opportunities to gain the system" by grandstanding or forcing federal prosecutors to reveal sensitive intelligence on al-Qaeda.
The fourth-term Republican added that the that the administration's position could show terrorists that they will get off easier by attacking civilian targets than if they challenge the U.S. military directly because they could be granted a civilian trial.
"This sends a message to our enemy that if you kill civilians on American soil, you will have greater protections than if you attack our military on the battlefield," he said. "[It] creates an incentive to attack civilian targets."
Since announcing the trial would take place, Attorney General Eric Holder has vowed that the federal government would secure a conviction. He also has maintained that federal law prevents classified intelligence from being revealed in criminal court.
The congressman charged that the Obama administration's decision to
bring Mohammed to trial in New York was the result of its propensity to "charge
headlong" into decisions "based on an ideological
bent." Franks said he believes President Barack Obama wants to show America is not afraid of terrorists like Mohammed by bringing them before civilian courts.
"Well that sounds like a lot of bravado," when asked about the administration's position on the trial. "Why don't we just invite them into teach our children in the nursery. That would show them that we're not afraid of them."