Did Holder and Obama make some serious mistakes....
They look like rank amateurs....
Remarks by the US president and Eric Holder, the Attorney General, forecasting a conviction for the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed could create unnecessary delays in the trial, analysts said.
Defence lawyers were sure to apply to have the charges dismissed after Mr Obama made an overarching effort to reassure Americans that the decision to put Mohammed on trial at a federal court in New York was sound.
"I don't think it will be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him," the president said in an NBC interview on his tour of Asia, which ended late on Thursday.
Seeming to realise the potential for trouble in his answer, the president - a lawyer and former law professor - added: "What I said was, people will not be offended if that's the outcome. I'm not pre-judging, I'm not going to be in that courtroom, that's the job of prosecutors, the judge and the jury."
Testifying before Congress, Mr Holder said "failure was not an option" for prosecutors. "These are cases that have to be won," he said. Mohammed will be put on trial with four alleged co-conspirators in the suicide plane hijackings that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
Charles Stimson, a lawyer and former Pentagon official who used to oversee detainee policy at Guantanamo Bay, told The Daily Telegraph: "The defence will file a pre-trial motion seeking to have the charges dismissed. It will say 'what juror is not going to want to now fulfill the president's and the attorney general's desire?' " Lawyers were also likely to use the comments in questions to jurors and to demand a wider jury pool, slowing the trial, and would repeatedly return to the president's and Mr Holder's comments in a bid to sway jurors.
"You are looking for that one juror, that lone wolf, who won't convict," he said. Federal courts require a unanimous verdict to convict any offence.
Calling Mr Holder "careless", he added: "This was braggadocio and puffery to convince the American people they know what they are doing, but it will create all sorts of legal issues that the defence will rightly try to exploit."
Jonathan Turley, a constitutional scholar, told MSNBC that the president knew his words were problematic.
"The great irony is that in defending this noble decision of his to give a fair trial to these men, he then crossed the line," he said.