(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told CNSNews.com that the Obama administration’s decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in a civilian court instead of a military tribunal is a “bow” from President Obama – “literally” and “figuratively” – toward other countries for their approval.
The Obama administration recently announced that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, unlike Mohammad, would be tried in a military tribunal for his role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, in which 17 American soldiers died.
CNSNews.com asked Gohmert, “If Nashiri, the alleged attacker for the U.S.S. Cole bombings – if he can get a fair trial in a military commission, why do you think the Obama administration chose otherwise for Khalid Sheikh Mohammad?”
“All I can figure is that we’ve seen him [President Obama] bow literally. I think this is figuratively a bow toward other countries to say, ‘See, we are more interested in your approval than we are the protection of our citizens,’ and I just think that’s a big mistake,” Gohmert said.
In response to the same question, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he supports the decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammad in civilian court.
“I think that probably would be possible,” Hoyer told CNSNews.com on Tuesday. “Again, let me reference – with which I happen to agree – Barr, Norquist, and Keene, very conservative observers who believe in this case, Holder has made the right decision.”
Bob Barr is a former Libertarian Party presidential candidate. Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform, and David Keene is chairman of the American Conservative Union.
“I don’t disagree with his [Holder’s] decision in the other [Nashiri] case,” said Hoyer. “I think the military commission, particularly as it has been changed and revised by the Obama administration, can in fact in that case act appropriately.”
Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, was appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry as an appeals court judge for the 12th Circuit, where he served from 2002 to 2003 before his election to Congress.