As the Obama administration continues to deliberate over a final decision regarding trials for the 9/11 suspects, a group of 9/11 victims’ family members urged President Obama to try Guantánamo detainees in federal criminal courts rather than military commissions.
The September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a national organization of relatives of victims of the 9/11 attacks, released a video appeal to President Obama, urging him to try Guantánamo detainees in federal criminal courts rather than military commissions.
The video features Donna Marsh O’Connor, a mother who lost her pregnant daughter, Vanessa Lang Langer, who worked in the World Trade Center. In the video, Ms. O’Connor voices her concern that family members who have already lost loved ones now “fear that we may lose something else. I fear we may lose our nations’ historic commitment to justice and the rule of law; basic values that underpin our democracy and have made our country a great example to the rest of the world.” In her appeal, Ms. O’Connor also states, “People whom we loved dearly were killed, and we want accountability, not politics as usual.”
As we’ve stated time and time again, since 9/11, there have been hundreds of successfully completed terrorism-related trials in federal criminal courts. The military commissions have completed only three terrorism-related cases, with two of the three convicted defendants having served relatively short sentences they have already completed. The military commission system is plagued with problems that are sure to result in questionable outcomes and legal challenges, causing even further delays