Parties split on N.Y. trials of 9/11 suspects
(AP) - Bringing those accused in the Sept. 11 attacksto New York for trial would increase the security threat to thecity and give radical Islamists a platform to propagate theirideology, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Sunday.
Giuliani's view that the Obama administration is erring intrying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others near the site of thedestroyed World Trade Center was echoed by other Republicans on theSunday television news programs.
Democrats defended the decision of Attorney General Eric Holderto try the five in New York where more than 2,000 civilians werekilled on Sept. 11. If someone murders Americans in this country,they should be tried in the U.S., said Sen. Patrick Leahy ofVermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republicans argued that the five are war criminals and should betried in the military tribunals where some other Guantanamo Bay,Cuba, detainees will be judged. They disputed administrationarguments that these five were conspirators to a crime committed onAmerican soil.
"What the Obama administration is telling us loud and clear isthat both in substance and reality the war on terror from theirpoint of view is over," Giuliani said. Moving the case to acivilian court, he said, "seems to be an overconcern with therights of terrorists and a lack of concern for the rights of thepublic."
Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, top Republican on the Houseintelligence committee, said the trial could expose the people ofNew York to years of propaganda from the defendants.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former senator from NewYork, said she had no problem with Holder's decision to tryMohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and theothers in the city. She said it was important to note that New YorkMayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials believe that holdingthe trials in the city is appropriate.