Obama Hasn’t Ruled Out NYC Trial For 9/11 Planner


9-11-never-forgetPresident Barack Obama said yesterday that he has not ruled out a New York federal court trial for Sept. 11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but he was taking into account the objections of the city’s mayor and police commissioner.

The Obama administration has come under withering attack, mainly from Republicans, for a decision by his Justice Department to try the terrorist mastermind in a U.S. court near Ground Zero, site of the attack that destroyed New York’s World Trade Center.

Obama said using the traditional judicial method was a “virtue of our system” in which Americans should take pride.

He also defended his decision, noting again that the administration of former President George W. Bush had handled terror suspects arrested in the United States in the same way.

“They prosecuted 190 folks in these Article III courts, got convictions and those folks are in maximum security prisons right now. And there have been no escapes,” Obama said. “And it is a virtue of our system we should be proud of.”

Later Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., responded: “Based on the security, logistical and cost concerns raised by the mayor and the police commissioner, it is not feasible to have the trials in New York. The administration should realize that and move on.”

In an interview with CBS’ Katie Couric, Obama also said that passing health care reform remained the key to bringing down America’s skyrocketing budget deficit. He said he was calling Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to a meeting later this month to thoroughly air the issue.

“The biggest thing, the most important thing we can do on deficits … is to get a health reform package passed,” Obama said.

Obama is reaching out again to Republicans on health care reform, despite their unanimous opposition and the election of a new GOP senator who gives the party the necessary votes to block a Senate vote on the overhaul package.

He also said negotiations in Congress that gave special concessions to Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska in return for their health care votes “did not help. They frustrate me.”

“I would have loved nothing better than to have come up with some very elegant, academically approved approach to health care and didn’t have any legislative fingerprints on it,” he said. “But hey, that’s the way democracy works.”

No alternative venue for the trial has been chosen, but civic leaders have proposed several sites at prisons and military bases. Community Board 1, a quasi-governmental body that oversees lower Manhattan, asked the Justice Department last week to consider the feasibility of sites including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y.

“We proactively offered a solution to the problem,” community board President Julie Menin said Sunday. “We’re going to keep pressing this idea of having federal court jurisdiction but in a military installation.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, White House aide David Axelrod said, “The president believes that we need to take into consideration what the local authorities are saying. But he also believes … that we ought to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and all others who are involved in terrorist acts to justice swift and sure.”

Newburgh’s mayor said he wants the trials in his city because of the economic boost they could bring, but he would want the federal government to pick up the costs.

{WCBS-TV/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Impeach this inexperienced ultra-Liberal

    His policies are inimical to America.
    How dare he even consider granting a jury-trial
    to the enemy combattants from Guantanamo.

    Americans don’t want these war criminals
    on US soil. If Obama is so worried about these
    war criminals, why, he can go down to Gitmo
    to keep an eye on them. In fact, he can take
    Schumer and Holder with him and they can stay
    there as long as they want.


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