The Biden administration said Wednesday it would not guarantee several plea deal conditions proposed by the alleged perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
A new court document, currently undergoing a security review, revealed that the administration will leave it to military prosecutors and defendants to organize possible pre-trial agreements.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of being the chief architect of the attacks that killed 2,996 people, and his co-defendants have been working to sort out the agreements for over a year.
The defendants have assumed they held leverage in the talks due to reports of the CIA’s advanced interrogation tactics at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp where they have been held for years.
With that perceived leverage, they put together a set of demands for potential negotiations that included avoiding the death penalty and solitary confinement, as well as the ability to pray with other prisoners and receive health treatment.
But a White House National Security Council spokesperson said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin agreed to not guarantee a deal under the current set of demands, according to ABC News.
“The president does not believe that accepting the joint policy principles as a basis for a pre-trial agreement would be appropriate in these circumstances,” the spokesperson stated.
“The administration is committed to ensuring that the military commissions process is fair and delivers justice to the victims, survivors, families, and those accused of crimes.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who co-wrote a letter in late August condemning the potential plea deals alongside Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., said he was happy for the families of 9/11 victims regarding the news.
However, he believes the Biden administration still has further to go to ensure that other hypothetical deals do not go through.
“I pressed the Department of Defense and urged the administration to support the death penalty for these monsters,” Cruz told Newsmax. “Today, the Biden administration took a step in the right direction by rejecting the defendants’ plea deal.”
Luca Cacciatore ✉
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
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