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Thread: Key 9/11 Suspect To Be Tried In New York

  1. #81
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    Bloomberg: try 9/11 mastermind somewhere else
    Urges feds to boot 9/11 prosecution as $1B cost looms

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/m...m0FihEHooEqUdN

    By TOM TOPOUSIS and DAVID SEIFMAN
    Last Updated: 7:31 AM, January 28, 2010

    Responding to growing pressure from downtown residents and business leaders, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday said the trial for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his fellow terrorists should be moved out of the city.

    "It would be great if the federal government could find a site that didn't cost $1 billion, which using downtown will, and it will also impact traffic and commerce and people's lifestyles," Bloomberg said.

    "And it would be great if we didn't do it."

    Bloomberg agrees with a resolution from Community Board 1 this week calling on US Attorney General Eric Holder to move the trial out of the city.

    The board suggested another federal site, possibly West Point, an Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport, the federal prison in upstate Otisville, or White Plains federal court.

    "The suggestion of a military base is probably a reasonably good one, relatively easy to provide the security," Bloomberg said. "They tend to be outside of cities, so they don't disrupt other people."

    The mayor said it's up to the feds to decide the trial site.

    "But if they were to move it elsewheres, I'd be very happy with that," the mayor said.

    Bloomberg had previously called the decision to try the terrorists near the World Trade Center "fitting," and last week blasted a CB 1 push to move the trial to Governors Island as "one of the dumbest ideas" he's ever heard.

    Sen. Charles Schumer yesterday also joined the growing list of lawmakers hoping to move the trial out of the city.

    "Senator Schumer is following the guidance of the mayor and the police commissioner, shares their concerns and is certainly open to alternatives," said spokesman Josh Vlasto.

    Schumer had previously insisted on getting federal funding to pay for the city's massive security costs during a trial in lower Manhattan. But, like Bloomberg, he had not called for moving the trial outside the city.

    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly previously estimated the cost of security in lower Manhattan for the trial at more than $200 million a year.

    Proposed security measures, including steel barriers throughout the neighborhood, rooftop snipers and street closures, have infuriated local residents and business owners fearful of the economic and emotional impact.

    Julie Menin, chairwoman of CB 1, has been pushing to move the trial, citing the impact on a community that is still recovering from 9/11. "Someone has to stand up and say this is unacceptable," she said. "Why on earth would we hold this trial in the financial capital of the nation when we're struggling to dig out of a recession?"

    Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said a terror trial would have a devastating impact on tourism, retail and residential development in a neighborhood that has already suffered from the terror attacks.

    "The dramatic economic impact to the city of New York and lower Manhattan will be enormous," he said.

    Menin said she has been reaching out to lawmakers and members of New York's congressional delegation to build support for a new trial location.

    House Republican leader John Boehner (Ohio) vowed yesterday to keep the trials out of downtown Manhattan.

    "There is not going to be a trial in New York," he said. "I guarantee it. There is no appetite for the trials in Congress."

    Boehner insisted that the White House can't shift the trials without congressional approval.

    Asked for a comment yesterday, a spokesman for the Department of Justice referred back to a statement last week, insisting the trial could be held safely in lower Manhattan federal court.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Experts say 9/11 terror trial must take place where crime was committed, leaving locations limited

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...shut_case.html

    BY Greg B. Smith
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Saturday, January 30th 2010, 4:00 AM

    There are limits to where the U.S. can try the self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind outside of New York City - especially if murder is in the mix, experts say.

    Bowing to critics who want the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed out of Foley Square, the Department of Justice Friday appeared close to abandoning plans to bring the case in lower Manhattan.

    If the attacks had taken place outside the U.S., prosecutors could bring the case in any federal court in America.

    Because the crime occurred in the U.S., the trial has to happen where at least one part of the conspiracy took place.

    "The trial has to occur in the venue where the crime was committed," said James Benjamin Jr., a former Manhattan federal prosecutor who handled the appeal of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef.

    Complicating matters is that prosecutors would likely want to bring murder charges against Mohammed and his four co-defendants for the deaths of 3,000-plus.

    That, experts said, would restrict the location to the three places where blood was shed: the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of Virginia or the Western District of Pennsylvania.

    Pennsylvania has no experience with such cases, while Southern District New York has handled the most terrorist defendants - 52 - since Sept. 11, with Virginia close behind at 34.

    Just because Manhattan may be out doesn't mean the whole Southern District is - its borders include the Bronx and several upstate counties.

    If prosecutors choose to bring a broader terror conspiracy charge, the case could land in any district where part of the plot happened, including "the planning, the implementation or the coverup," Benjamin said.

    That means prosecutors could bring the case in Florida, where some hijackers learned to fly, or Boston or Newark, where they boarded jets that later crashed into the twin towers.

    "Wherever conspiratorial activity occurred, you can charge a conspiracy," said attorney Joshua Dratel, who defended Embassy bomber Wadih el-Hage and Gitmo detainee David Hicks.

    Critics have suggested other locales: Governors Island, the federal prison in Otisville upstate, Stewart Air Base outside Newburgh, and West Point military academy.

    Dratel and Benjamin agreed that some of those spots might be intimidating to jurors and prejudicial to defendants.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    White House asks Justice Department to look for other places to hold 9/11 terror trial

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_c...911_terro.html

    BY Kenneth R. Bazinet, Adam Lisberg and Samuel Goldsmith
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
    Thursday, January 28th 2010, 8:04 PM

    The White House ordered the Justice Department Thursday night to consider other places to try the 9/11 terror suspects after a wave of opposition to holding the trial in lower Manhattan.

    The dramatic turnabout came hours after Mayor Bloomberg said he would "prefer that they did it elsewhere" and then spoke to Attorney General Eric Holder.

    "It would be an inconvenience at the least, and probably that's too mild a word for people that live in the neighborhood and businesses in the neighborhood," Bloomberg told reporters.

    "There are places that would be less expensive for the taxpayers and less disruptive for New York City."

    State and city leaders have increasingly railed against a plan to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Manhattan federal court since Holder proposed it last month.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer said he was "pleased" that the administration is reconsidering the location of the trial.

    Earlier in the day, Schumer spoke "with high-level members of the administration and urged them to find alternatives," said the senator's spokesman, Josh Vlasto.

    The order to consider new venues does not change the White House's position that Mohammed should be tried in civilian court.

    "President Obama is still committed to trying Mohammed and four other terrorist detainees in federal court," spokesman Bill Burton said Thursday.

    "He agrees with the attorney general's opinion that . . . he and others can be litigated successfully and securely in the United States of America, just like others have," Burton said.

    Burton referred questions about the location debate to the Justice Department. While not commenting publicly, a department official disputed the characterization that the White House ordered the possible move.

    But another insider told the Daily News that Justice officials have been caught off guard by the fiery opposition in New York.

    "They're in a tizzy at Justice over Bloomberg," a federal law enforcement official said. "It's like a half-baked soufflé - the plan is collapsing."

    Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1 who helped rally opposition to the plan, called the shift "a step in the right direction."

    "I'm thrilled the White House is reconsidering," Menin said. "The trial has to be moved out of New York City."

    Meanwhile, a source told The News that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was the driving force behind the push by Manhattan business leaders to change the mayor's mind on the trial.

    Kelly made an "extremely powerful" speech to a roomful of 150 prominent business leaders about how disruptive and costly the trial would be for lower Manhattan at an annual police charity event on Jan. 13, the source said.

    "What turned this around was when Ray made a presentation to the Police Foundation," the source said. "Everyone went from thinking, 'Justice will be served' to thinking 'We are screwed.' "

    What followed was a barrage of complaints to the mayor from some of New York's most powerful tycoons - part of a tide of pressure that led Bloomberg to turn against hosting the trial.

    Estimates put the cost of a multiyear terror trial in lower Manhattan at about $200 million a year. Leaders have suggested other venues for the trial, such as the Military Academy at West Point or Stewart Air National Guard Base in upstate Newburgh.

    The federal government has said they would reimburse the city for the costs, most of which cover overtime for increased security, but they won't reimburse business owners for lost revenue during the chaos, said Steven Spinola, president of the heavyweight business group Real Estate Board of New York.

    "Is the federal government going to give the city $1 billion plus the cost of propping up businesses? I don't think so," Spinola said.

    "The mayor clearly has been thinking about this. The tide is turning," he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Gibbs: Accused 9/11 plotter likely to be executed
    Still no decision on where Mohammed will be tried

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35168785..._news-security

    msnbc.com news services
    updated 5:59 p.m. ET, Sun., Jan. 31, 2010

    WASHINGTON - The Obama administration said Sunday it would consider local opposition when deciding where to hold Sept. 11 terror trials and pledged to seek swift justice for the professed mastermind of the attacks.

    "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to meet justice and he's going to meet his maker," said President Barack Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs. "He will be brought to justice and he's likely to be executed for the heinous crimes that he committed in killing and masterminding the killing of 3,000 Americans. That you can be sure of."

    Objections from New York City officials and residents have intensified since the Justice Department announced late last year it planned to put Mohammed and other accused Sept. 11 conspirators on trial in federal court in lower Manhattan. In its new budget, the Obama administration is proposing a $200 million fund to help pay for security costs in cities hosting terrorist trials.

    White House aide David Axelrod said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials have changed their minds after initially supporting the decision for trials in the city, citing logistics and costs.

    "The president believes that we need to take into consideration what the local authorities are saying," Axelrod said. "But he also believes ... that we ought to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and all others who are involved in terrorist acts to justice swift and sure."

    Safety and cost have been issues in the debate, but some officials also have questioned the administration's legal strategy for using civilian courts for the suspects instead of military tribunals.

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, said the administration should shift the trials to military courts, which he said have been reviewed by Congress to ensure fairness. He and other Republicans have criticized officials for charging Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in civilian court in the Christmas airliner plot instead of turning him over to military authorities.

    "We have to make a distinction between a kid who breaks into a sandwich shop in Detroit and a Nigerian terrorist who wants to blow up an airplane flying into Detroit," Alexander said.

    Sen. Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, indicated he didn't support the request for $200 million for civilian trials, saying he favored trying terrorism suspects safely, quickly and inexpensively.

    "If there's somewhere we can try them without spending that money, why spend the money? We've got a lot of other fiscal problems," Bayh said.

    Gibbs spoke on CNN's "State of the Union" while Axelrod appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press." Alexander and Bayh spoke on "Fox News Sunday."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Senators push for 9/11 trials in military court

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUST...e=politicsNews

    2/2/2010

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of nine U.S. senators on Tuesday offered legislation to force special military trials for the accused September 11, 2001, conspirators, further complicating President Barack Obama's bid to try them in a civilian court.

    The Obama administration has been caught off guard by mounting bipartisan opposition to trying the self-professed mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four others in a federal criminal court in lower Manhattan.

    The nine senators argued against prosecuting the five men in a criminal court because they would receive full U.S. constitutional rights, and they could use the civilian trials to espouse their anti-American views.

    They were also upset at the price tag, pegged at $200 million a year. Their legislation would bar funding for civilian trials.

    "Civilian trials are unnecessarily dangerous, messy, confusing and expensive," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters.

    He argued that the five men, who are being held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison, are war criminals who should face military trials that would also ensure that no classified information would spill out.

    The Justice Department declined to comment on the bill.

    The Obama administration has maintained that most foreign terrorism suspects have been successfully prosecuted in federal criminal courts, but has agreed to reconsider holding the trials in Manhattan amid the security and cost concerns.

    'PRETTY OBVIOUS'
    "I think it's pretty obvious they're not going to do it in New York but they have not signed off on it," said Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York. A Justice Department official said on Monday Manhattan was still a possibility.

    The legislation is sponsored by six Republicans, along with Democrats Jim Webb and Blanche Lincoln and independent Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who often votes with Democrats.

    Lincoln is facing a tough re-election bid in her home state of Arkansas. Other terrorism-related trials may be held in Webb's home state of Virginia.

    Graham did not detail how the bill's sponsors would pursue the measure in Congress. The Senate and House of Representatives are controlled by Obama's fellow Democrats, but Graham noted that some Democrats are backing the bill.

    Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to prosecute the five accused September 11 conspirators in a civilian court has turned into a political hot potato for the Obama administration. It has forced the White House and Justice Department to spend time and political capital to try to ensure that funding for the criminal trials is not blocked.

    "I believe strongly in letting the Justice Department make prosecutorial decisions, and I support this administration's decision to try detainees in federal courts when appropriate," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, said in a statement.

    Obama on Monday described the opposition to the criminal trial as "rank politics" because most prosecutions of foreign terrorism suspects during his Republican predecessor George W. Bush's administration were held in criminal courts.

    "I hope and pray that the president will understand that as commander-in-chief he is pursuing a strategy that will weaken our national security. I do not question his motives, I question his judgment," Graham said, denying a political motive.

    "It's really cost, I think it's also security and I think it's appropriateness, it's exactly what I hear from my constituency," Lincoln said. "These are criminals, they're war criminals and they need to be tried in the military courts."

    Republican U.S. Representative Frank Wolf plans to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Similar efforts to force the trials into military court failed last year.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Republicans unite to halt trials of alleged 9/11 plotters

    http://rawstory.com/2010/02/republic...-911-plotters/

    By Agence France-Presse
    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 -- 7:32 pm

    US lawmakers Tuesday unveiled plans to block public funding for US-based trials involving Guantanamo detainees who are accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    Republican lawmakers Frank Wolf and Lindsey Graham joined forces to introduce legislation which "would explicitly block this dangerous and wasteful trial from any domestic civilian court," Wolf said.

    They also won support from Democrats Jim Webb and Blanche Lincoln, as well as independent senator Joe Lieberman.

    If approved, the legislation would stop the Justice Department from using public funds to try the alleged mastermind of the 2001 attacks, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, and his four co-accused, in domestic US courts.

    President Barack Obama's administration has announced plans to prosecute the men in New York, just steps from Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center once stood. The attacks killed almost 3,000 people.

    But the plan has been met with howls of protest from lawmakers and New York residents.

    "The whole venue of New York would be a circus. When you criminalize the war you make a huge mistake," Senator Graham said.

    And he told a press conference that using a "civilian trial with the 9/11 conspirators could be dangerous."

    "The law enforcement model being used by the Obama administration should be rejected. We're not fighting a crime, we're fighting a war. And to criminalize this war puts our nation at risk."

    He insisted the system of special military commissions, set up to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the best venue to try the alleged September 11 plotters.

    Such trials could be held "quickly, securely and with very little additional cost," he said.

    The White House said Sunday it was still hoping to bring Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged plotters of the September 11 attacks to trial in New York, despite reservations including from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    "We are talking with the authorities in New York," spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "We understand their logistical concerns and their security concerns that are involved. We have been discussing that with them."

    A civilian trial in New York could cost around 200 million dollars a year, racking up a billion-dollar price tag if it extended over five years as a complex case could, according to figures cited by lawmakers on Tuesday.

    Graham, who plans to meet with the White House to discuss the legislation, said he was "confident" the measure had the support to pass a vote.

    Democratic Senator Jim Webb threw his backing behind the bill saying the attacks should not be prosecuted in a US civilian court.

    "This is not an appropriate type of crime to be tried in an American criminal court," he said.

    He also warned that Attorney General Eric Holder had yet to give "a very clear answer" on what would happen to the accused plotters of the attacks if they were acquitted by a US court.

    Meanwhile, the second most senior Democrat in the House of Representatives told reporters that the White House was reassessing a decision to transfer some prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the Thomson prison facility in Illinois.

    "I think the administration realizes that this is a difficult issue," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

    "And I think that they are assessing where they are and where they think we ought to be. I think that's appropriate. And I'm looking forward to discussing it with them."

    On Monday, Obama requested 237 million dollars in his 2011 budget for the purchase and retrofitting of the Thomson facility, where his administration has said they plan to hold some former Guantanamo detainees.

    Thomson would be upgraded to a high-security facility with space for federal prisoners and a wing under Pentagon administration for former Guantanamo prisoners.

    Obama's administration has pledged to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay, located on US naval base on Cuba's southern tip. There are 192 detainees still being held at the prison.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Attorney General Eric Holder: Rudy Giuliani is playing politics on 9/11 terror trial move

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...error_tri.html

    BY Bill Hutchinson
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Friday, February 5th 2010, 4:00 AM

    An unapologetic U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasted ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a published report for turning his decision to try terrorists in civilian courts into a "partisan issue."

    Holder told the New Yorker that it was "exceedingly strange" to hear the one-time zealous prosecutor publicly express a lack of faith in the U.S. justice system.

    "If Giuliani was still the U.S. Attorney in New York, my guess is that, by now, I would already have gotten 10 phone calls from him telling me why these cases needed to be tried not only in civilian court but at Foley Square," Holder told the magazine.

    Under protest from Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Charles Schumer, Holder and the Obama Administration have backed away from trying 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Manhattan federal court.

    But Holder is not kowtowing to critics like Giuliani and former Vice President Cheney, who believe Mohammed and his Al Qaeda henchmen should be prosecuted by military tribunals.

    "I don't apologize for what I've done. History will show that the decisions we've made are the right ones," Holder said.

    "It's distressing to me that on an issue that is truly a matter of life and death for this nation people will find a way to make that a partisan issue," he said.

    Amy Jeffress, Holder's national security adviser, told the magazine that military files on terrorist suspects were so haphazardly kept it appeared the Bush Administration "hadn't planned on prosecuting anyone."

    "You'd look at what the Department of Defense had, and it was something, but, as a prosecutor, it wasn't what you'd like to see as evidence," Jeffress said.

    Holder bristled at Cheney for equating the decision to try terrorists in civilian courts to giving "aid and comfort to the enemy."

    "On some level, and I'm not sure why, he [Cheney] lacks confidence in the American system of justice," Holder said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Senate rejects 9/11 trials in New York City

    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...category=STATE

    First published in print: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    ALBANY -- The state Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution expressing opposition to the Obama administration's decision to hold the trials of suspected 9/11 terrorists in Lower Manhattan.

    "I personally believe that we should not be using the civilian criminal justice system to deal with these terrorists," said Sen. Vincent Leibell, R-Patterson, who authored the resolution. "These are the worst of the worst. ... There is no area of our country that has suffered more than these few blocks."

    Leibell said Obama's decision to hold the trials in Lower Manhattan was a "mistake, but there is time to correct that mistake."

    Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Manhattan, was one of seven Democrats who voted against the measure. He made it clear that he didn't want the trials held in the neighborhood, but voted against the resolution because it also calls for the alleged terrorists -- including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- to be tried in military tribunals, not civilian courts.

    "This is my district, this is my community in Lower Manhattan," Squadron said. "But we are not going to turn our back on the fundamental tenets of our country."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Don't Let Congress Block Trials for the 9/11 Accused

    http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/sit...x&action=13706

    Amnesty International

    President Obama made the right decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other alleged 9/11 conspirators in U.S. federal court, but now members of Congress are attacking the President's decision and threatening to block funding for the trial. Senator Lindsey Graham called federal trials a "dumb idea" and wants to use the kangaroo courts known as military commissions, that he and other politicians cooked up at Guantanamo, to ensure convictions and cover up evidence of torture. According to military and intelligence experts, the Guantanamo show trials have not only failed to hold the alleged 9/11 plotters accountable, but have also tarnished America's reputation for justice and served as recruiting propaganda for al Qaeda. President Obama chose the right alternative: U.S. federal courts have convicted 195 accused terrorists since September 2001, and those criminals are safely behind bars in U.S. federal prison. Tell Congress not to block fair federal trials. It's time for justice for 9/11, and real justice requires a real court.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    White House: 9/11 Military Trial Possible
    Attorney General Doesn't Rule Out Military Trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as Obama Faces Increased Congressional Pressure

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6204500.shtml

    2/13/2010

    The Obama administration appears increasingly unsure what to do with professed Sept. 11, 2001 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after officials indicated they are reconsidering not just where he should go on trial, but whether he should face civilian or military justice.

    Both Attorney General Eric Holder and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs did not rule out a military trial when asked Friday about the Obama administration's options.

    Trying Mohammed in military court would mark a further political retreat from Holder's announcement last year that Mohammed and the four other Sept. 11 suspects now held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would be tried in federal court in New York.

    On Saturday, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said at an event in New York that “support from the local community” and the “funding requirements” were key factors in deciding where to hold the trial, CBS News reports.

    Brennan made a two-hour appearance at “A Dialogue on Our Nation’s Security” at New York University's School of Law.

    During the event, one audience member, complaining of the “cowardly … not in my backyard” backlash against a federal trial in Manhattan for alleged Sept. 11 conspirators, asked, “Is it possible we might get that trial back here in New York City?”

    Brennan wouldn't pin the administration down on a specific location for the trial.

    “The administration, the attorney general and others are trying to push this forward as best we can," Brennan said. "But, again, the dependencies are there. Where’s the funding going to come from in order to provide the necessary security? We need non-obstructionism from certain elements from within the government in order to move forward on this."

    The Obama administration is trying to head off a possible vote in the Senate that could stop any terror suspects held at Guantanamo from being brought to the United States to face a civilian trial. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is offering such legislation, after losing a vote last year on the issue.

    "These al Qaeda terrorists are not common criminals," Graham said in the Republicans' weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. "A civilian trial of hard-core terrorists is unnecessarily dangerous and creates more problems than it solves."

    At stake is the public perception of the administration's handling of national security, already shaken last year by strong congressional opposition to transferring any Guantanamo detainees to American soil. A defeat over the trial issue could embolden the Republican minority to raise national security concerns in midterm elections later this year.

    "Military tribunals are the best way to render justice, win this war and protect our nation from a vicious enemy," said Graham.

    The prospect of such a vote could test of how many moderate Democrats have abandoned Obama on the issue.

    White House officials said Friday that Mr. Obama and his top advisers will play a direct role in ultimately deciding how to prosecute Mohammed. The administration initially decided to try the five terror defendants in New York but have since appeared to backtrack.

    As a result of Holder's decision to seek a civilian prosecution, Bush-era military charges that had been pending against the five suspects were dismissed last month. Those military charges could now be revived.

    The administration is reconsidering Holder's plan to put the five men on trial in a federal court in Manhattan, after local officials there balked at security complications.

    The White House insisted it is sensitive to their concerns.

    "We're going to take into account security and logistical concerns that those individuals now have," Gibbs said. "The cost of the trial, obviously, is one thing."

    Republican Rep. Peter King, who has repeatedly criticized Holder's decision to try Mohammed in New York, said the White House has bungled the issue from the start.

    "What it shows is there was no preparation, no advance work done by the administration," said King.

    For his part, Holder said he still expects Mohammed to be tried in a federal civilian court, but he conceded it's possible that won't happen.

    "At the end of the day, wherever this case is tried, in whatever forum, what we have to ensure is that it's done as transparently as possible and with adherence to all the rules," Holder told The Washington Post. "If we do that, I'm not sure the location or even the forum is as important as what the world sees in that proceeding."

    The administration has been on the defensive about its record on terrorism since a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up an airliner landing in Detroit on Christmas. The suspect faces charges in federal court, but Republicans say such suspects should be treated not as criminals but war criminals.

    Obama administration officials counter that the Christmas case was handled no differently than Bush's Republican administration had handled similar cases.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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