After much delay, five terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks will finally face charges of "terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war." If convicted, the five defendants, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, all face the death penalty (CNN). .
The charges were initially filed against Mohammed in 2008, but President Barak Obama's efforts to shut down the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay interfered. Once those efforts proved to be fruitless, Obama moved the case to a federal court in New York a year later. However, complaints of cost and security quickly ended that idea. Now the case is being moved back to Guantanamo Bay, where a military judge will hear the case within 30 days of service of the referred charges upon them (CNN). However, the American Civil Liberties Union publicly opposed the move back to Guantanamo Bay, citing that the trials "are sure to be subject to continuous legal challenges and delays, and their outcomes will not be seen as legitimate. That is not justice" (CNN).
The ACLU Executive Director, Anthony D. Romero accused Obama of making a "terrible mistake by prosecuting the most important terrorism trials of our time in a second-tier system of justice" (CNN). "Whatever verdict comes out of the Guantanamo military commissions will be tainted by an unfair process and politics that wrongly pulled these cases from federal courts, which have safely and successfully handled hundreds of terrorism trials," Romero continued. "The military commissions were set up to achieve easy convictions and hide the reality of torture, not to provide a fair trial. Although the rules have been improved, the military commissions continue to violate due process by allowing the use of hearsay and coerced or secret evidence" (CNN).