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

  1. #11
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    Obama's error by trial: Civilian justice for 9/11 plotters is profound, dangerous mistake

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/...#ixzz0X7gsy3QG

    Tuesday, November 17th 2009, 4:00 AM

    Related NewsBombing at police station in northwestern Pakistan kills fourRadical imam: Fort Hood gunman 'trusted' me, but I didn't insitgate rampageGunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms abduct and kill 13 in BaghdadPaterson: 9/11 mastermind shouldn't be tried in NYC9/11 workers, first responders to rally for help in D.C.The foolhardiness of President Obama's decision to try the mastermind of 9/11 and four cohorts in civilian court grows ever clearer as the outlines of the proceedings take shape.

    It is offensive that Obama gave his blessings to designating Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his Al Qaeda crew as common criminals rather than as enemy combatants, perpetrators of the worst attack on American soil from abroad.

    But that offense, high as it is, pales in comparison with the serious practical and legal consequences of hauling these avowed enemies of the nation into Manhattan Federal Court with all the rights and protections under the Constitution.

    Such as Mohammed's right to rummage through the government's intelligence and investigative files for information that is purportedly useful to his defense - but will be more helpful to Al Qaeda operatives in the field.

    (Oh, so that's what the CIA has been up to!)

    Such as Mohammed's right to mount a defense that attempts to put the U.S. on trial for supposed human rights violations in the detention and interrogation of prisoners.

    Such as Mohammed's right to act as his own lawyer even as he perverts protections he has been granted by making a circus of the trial.

    As we have said time and again, Mohammed should rightly stand before the bar of a military commission. That's where he had been, and that's where Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder should have kept him. In fact, almost a year ago, Mohammed & Co. announced that they wanted to plead guilty before such a tribunal and get on with their executions.

    Although military commissions have been okayed by Congress and upheld by the courts as providing fair due process, Obama pressed forward with closing the Guantanamo camp and bringing terror suspects into civilian courts.

    But Mohammed? The admitted architect of an attack plotted and launched from abroad? A foreign national who had concocted previous such schemes with the connivance and support of Osama Bin Laden?

    Mohammed is not just a terror suspect. He's not the guy who wanted to bomb the Herald Square subway station, or the guy who schemed to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge. He is an unrepentant war criminal who is determined to harm the U.S. by any means possible.

    A civilian trial needlessly - and thus foolhardily - enhances his ability to accomplish his goals. Critically, for example, a military commission would have the power to limit Mohammed's personal access - as opposed to his lawyer's access - to intelligence and investigative files.

    This is no small matter. Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, has said sensitive material went within days from the defendants to Bin Laden.

    We take a backseat to no one in craving vengeance for the mass murder of 9/11. And we would join the many New Yorkers who would take pleasure in participating in exacting justice. But we would do so knowing that Obama, in pursuit of misguided ideology and the fanciful notion that the world will think more highly of America, has taken a profoundly wrong step that will undermine the war on terror and increase the threat to New York.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #12
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    Gov. Paterson Blasts Decision to Hold 9/11 Trials in New York

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local...-70267232.html

    By HASANI GITTENS

    Governor David Paterson hasn't gotten much support from the Obama administration, so maybe he's only returning the favor.

    The gov Monday criticized the White House's decision to hold the September 11 trials in New York, saying it aggrivated a still sore wound for the city.

    "This is not a decision that I would have made," Paterson said after a ceremony at a new City Universrity of New York campus in Harlem. "Terrorism isn't just attack, it's anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and frustration of New Yorkers who took the bullet for the rest of the country.

    "Over 2,700 lives were lost. It's very painful, we're still having trouble getting over it, we still have been unable to rebuild that site. And having those terrorists tried so close to the attack is going to be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers," he said. "But that is the decision that the federal government has made.

    Paterson said the state has "taken every preparation and we have undergone every amount of research as to what that trial will cause in terms of our emergency preparedness and our homeland security protocol, and we will cooperate to the fullest extent with the federal government and with Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Police Department and hopefully this trial will go without incident."

    While Mayor Bloomberg and some other New Yorkers have said that the decision to hold civilian federal trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 conspirators in Manhattan was a good one, Paterson is siding with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his critique of Attorney General Eric Holder's plan.

    Asked if he thought the trial should have been a military tribunal instead of civilian, Paterson joked a little.

    “I don’t think that I’ve had a chance -- you know I’ve been a little busy lately -- and I haven’t had a chance to read the material that would have informed me as to whether or not it would have been better for it to have been e a military tribunal or whether it should have been a civilian trial," said the governor, who has been embroiled in battles over the budget, gay marriage, license plates, state authorities and even the legitimacy of his 2010 campaign.

    On Friday, Paterson had been more reserved in his judgement of the decision, saying "I do not understand why the decommissioneed [the terror suspects] from serving or being tried on Guantanamo Bay, but that's a decision that the federal government made and our job is to help them."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #13
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    Poll: Most Americans want military trial for 9/11 suspects

    http://rawstory.com/2009/11/poll-ame...-911-suspects/

    By Agence France-Presse
    Monday, November 16th, 2009 -- 9:25 pm

    Almost two-thirds of Americans disagree with the decision by President Barack Obama's administration to try the suspected 9/11 mastermind in a civilian court, a poll showed Monday.

    Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in a military court, while only 34 percent agreed with Obama that the civilian judicial system was the best way forward, the CNN poll said.

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Friday that Sheikh Mohammed and four suspected co-plotters of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people would be tried in New York in a civilian court.

    Sixty percent of those questioned in the CNN poll agreed that Sheikh Mohammed should be brought to the United States to stand trial, while 37 percent opposed the move.

    There was overwhelming support for Holder's announcement that prosecutors would seek the death penalty for Sheikh Mohammed.

    Seventy-eight percent of those polled said they thought he should be executed if found guilty, almost a quarter of whom said they didn't normally support capital punishment.

    More than a third of the 1,014 Americans questioned by CNN in the weekend poll, 34 percent, said they didn't think Sheikh Mohammed would receive a fair trial if brought to a US civilian court.

    Friday's announcement, key to Obama's attempts to try and shutter Guantanamo Bay by January, was blasted by families of the victims of the September 11 attacks and the president's political opponents.

    Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani said it was as an "unnecessary risk" to New York's security that would give an "unnecessary advantage" to the accused.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Snipers, dogs and small army to keep city secure during 9/11 terrorists trial blocks from WTC site

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...#ixzz0XDVfWlMC

    BY Patrice O'Shaughnessy, Rocco Parascandola and Alison Gendar
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
    Saturday, November 14th 2009, 4:00 AM

    Security will be at an all-time high for the trial of five accused 9/11 terrorists - just a few blocks and eight years away from the lost twin towers of the World Trade Center.

    Rooftop snipers, armored vehicles and lock-down zones around the Pearl Street courthouse are part of the plan to insure safety during the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cohorts.

    "It's highly appropriate that those accused in the deaths of nearly 3,000 human beings in New York City be tried here, and the NYPD is prepared for the security required," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly vowed.

    The men are in the Guantanamo Bay terror prison and likely won't be brought here for weeks, but New York's law enforcement leaders are busy planning to keep things safe and secure.

    The U.S. marshals will handle courthouse security, and their main mission is to protect those on trial. The job for the FBI and the NYPD is protecting the public from anyone hoping to disrupt the trial or gain international recognition by trying to free the defendants.

    Security will include 24-hour fixed canine posts and a counterassault team car - an unmarked bulletproof SUV in the area.

    The NYPD's heavily armed Hercules teams will lock down and sweep the area before suspects are moved from the federal lockup to the courtroom via a not-so-secret underground tunnel.

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder noted the tunnel means the accused terrorists "never have to see the light of day."

    Behind the scenes, the FBI, NYPD and CIA intelligence officers will take the temperature of the Muslim community while monitoring chatter from known terror groups to Internet chat rooms.

    Holder said New York, after handling a number of terrorist trials in the past, was the clear choice for the trial of the 9/11 detainees.

    "I asked the Marshals Service to look at a number of sites and tell me... 'Which one is going to be the safest to bring these cases?'" Holder said. "They said New York."

    The city has handled several high-stakes, high-security terror trials since 1995.

    That's when the city mobilized against potential retaliation following the clean-sweep terrorism convictions of radical Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine followers. Their terrorist bombing plot targeted the United Nations, the FBI's New York headquarters, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the George Washington Bridge.

    During the 2001 trial of the four men accused of plotting to blow up American embassies for Osama Bin Laden, bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled the court corridors during jury selection.

    New Yorkers took the news, and the prospect of additional security measures, in stride.

    "I'm not worried. I think it would be symbolic if he was tried and convicted here - a just result," said lawyer James Powers, 37, who witnessed the 9/11 attack from his office window on Broadway. "To the extent we are already a target, I don't think this really makes us more of one."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Holder: Don't fear trial of 'coward' 9/11 plotter

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...pXc9gD9C1UG7G1

    By DEVLIN BARRETT (AP) – 53 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder is defending his decision to put the professed Sept. 11 mastermind on trial in New York — and urging critics of the plan not to cower in the face of terrorists.

    Holder is set to testify Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where lawmakers are likely to spar over the attorney general's decision last week to send Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged henchmen from a detention center at Guantanamo Bay to New York to face a civilian federal trial.

    Critics of Holder's decision — mostly Republicans — have argued the trial will give Mohammed a world stage to spout hateful rhetoric.

    In remarks prepared before Wednesday's hearing, Holder says such concerns are misplaced, because judges can control unruly defendants and any pronouncements by Mohammed would only make him look worse.

    "I have every confidence the nation and the world will see him for the coward he is," Holder says in written testimony obtained by The Associated Press. "I'm not scared of what (Mohammed) will have to say at trial — and no one else needs to be either."

    Addressing other concerns about the case, the attorney general says the public and the nation's intelligence secrets can be protected during a public trial in civilian court.

    "We need not cower in the face of this enemy," Holder says. "Our institutions are strong, our infrastructure is sturdy, our resolve is firm, and our people are ready."

    Holder announced Friday that five accused Sept. 11 conspirators currently held at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be transferred to federal court in Manhattan to face trial — just blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center.

    Five other suspects, Holder said, will be sent to face justice before military commissions in the United States, though a location for those commissions has not yet been determined.

    The actual transfer of the suspects to New York is still many weeks away. The transfers are a key step in President Barack Obama's pledge to close the detention center at Guantanamo, which currently houses some 215 detainees. The administration is not expected to meet its January deadline to shutter the facility.

    The president, traveling in China Wednesday, echoed Holder's comments about the New York trial.

    "I think this notion that we have to be fearful that these terrorists possess some special powers that prevent us from presenting evidence against them, locking them up and exacting swift justice, I think that has been a fundamental mistake," Obama said in an interview with CNN.

    In addition to the ten detainees named Friday, Holder is expected to send others to trials and commissions in the United States.

    Another, larger group of detainees is expected to be released to other countries. Some, the president has said, are too dangerous to be released and cannot be put on trial, and those detainees will continue to be imprisoned.

    The attorney general says his decisions between trials and commissions were based strictly on which venues he thought would bring the strongest prosecution.

    Opponents of the plan, including Holder's predecessor Michael Mukasey, have accused him of adopting a "pre-9/11" approach to terrorism.

    Holder emphatically denies that.

    "We are at war, and we will use every instrument of national power — civilian, military, law enforcement, intelligence, diplomatic and others — to win," Holder says.

    Separately, a member of the Judiciary Committee, Democrat Charles Schumer of New York, is urging the administration to reimburse the city for what he says could be $75 million in extra security costs related to the terror trials.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Tough job for prosecutors to get death penalty for evil 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_c...#ixzz0XDWYe4Jb

    BY James Gordon Meek
    DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
    Wednesday, November 18th 2009, 4:31 AM

    WASHINGTON - Prosecutors who will try the 9/11 plotters in New York face a "Mission Impossible" task of winning death sentences for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his henchmen.

    Many veteran federal prosecutors - including those working in counterterrorism - were shocked by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's decision on a civilian trial in Manhattan for the jihadists.

    That's because in the feds' few past tries at the death penalty for foreign terrorists, they lost. And New York juries are seen as among the least likely to agree - unanimously, as the law requires - on execution.

    Still, legal experts say the Sept. 11 attacks that killed 2,973 people - most of them just blocks from the Foley Square courthouse - could be the exception.

    "If New Yorkers were ever going to do it, this is the case," said Karen Greenberg, director of New York University's Center on Law and Security.

    Holder, ruling out military trials, announced last week that KSM and his cohorts would be hauled from Guantanamo Bay to Manhattan to face justice. In calling for death sentences, he set a high bar for the Obama administration to be able to claim success.

    The last time a Manhattan federal jury faced such a choice was July 2001. It spared two men convicted in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 people.

    Seven of 12 jurors decided that, if executed, one defendant "will be seen as a martyr and his death may be exploited by others to justify future terrorist acts."

    That show of mercy did not dissuade the hijackers KSM masterminded from destroying the twin towers two months later.

    The feds also sought the death penalty for Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006. But a lone juror in Alexandria, Va., balked, and Moussaoui is serving life at the "Supermax" prison in Florence, Colo.

    Frances Townsend, an ex-New York federal prosecutor who was former President George W. Bush's top counterterror adviser, said death verdicts this time aren't out of the question, but the odds are against it.

    She also maintained life without parole at "Supermax" could better service justice.

    KSM has said he wants to be martyred by execution, she noted, and, "Florence would be much worse for them."

    Townsend recalled conversations with legendary FBI agent John O'Neill, a friend of hers, who was killed on 9/11 as the World Trade Center's security chief.

    O'Neill had brought many terrorists back to the city to face justice, but agreed with the jury that rejected death sentences in the Africa bombings. He feared death sentences would help Al Qaeda cast the condemned as martyrs.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    First US trial of 9/11 case was full of surprises

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...yxshQD9C1HB002

    By MATTHEW BARAKAT and MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN (AP) – 15 hours ago

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Zacarias Moussaoui was a clown who could not keep his mouth shut, according to his old al-Qaida boss, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. But Moussaoui was surprisingly tame when tried for the 9/11 attacks — never turning the courtroom into the circus of anti-U.S. tirades that some fear Mohammed will create at his trial in New York.

    And that wasn't the only surprise during Moussaoui's six-week 2006 sentencing trial here — a proceeding that might foreshadow how the upcoming 9/11 trial in New York will go.

    Skeptics who feared prosecutors would be hamstrung by how much evidence was secret were stunned at the enormous amount of classified data that was scrubbed, under pressure from the judge, into a public version acceptable to both sides.

    Prosecutors were surprised when they failed to get the death penalty — by the vote of one juror.

    No one was more surprised than Moussaoui himself: At the end he concluded an al-Qaida member like him could get a fair trial in a U.S. court.

    "I had thought that I would be sentenced to death based on the emotions and anger toward me for the deaths on Sept. 11," Moussaoui said in an appeal deposition taken after he was sentenced to life in prison. "(B)ut after reviewing the jury verdict and reading how the jurors set aside their emotions and disgust for me and focused on the law and the evidence ... I now see that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial."

    All that suggests the dire predictions of critics and confident assertions of proponents should be viewed skeptically as prosecutors prepare to put Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and four of his alleged henchmen on trial in a civilian federal court.

    The five had been headed for a military tribunal at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week he would charge them in civilian court and expects to seek the death penalty.

    U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who presided over Moussaoui's trial — the first in this country over 9/11 — believes it proved federal courts can handle terror cases: "I've reached the conclusion that the system does work," she said in 2008.

    The first lesson from Moussaoui's case: Don't expect a speedy trial.

    Moussaoui was charged in December 2001 with conspiracy for his role. The case churned through years of pretrial hearings and appeals as judges sought to balance national security with Moussaoui's constitutional rights, often over what evidence could be used.

    Documents later introduced at trial showed Moussaoui and Mohammed were well acquainted and Mohammed told interrogators he planned to use Moussaoui as a pilot for a second wave of hijacked jetliner attacks — plans that were eventually aborted. But Mohammed considered Moussaoui a problematic operative, who took instructions poorly and recklessly ignored directions to minimize communications.

    Eventually, in 2005, Moussaoui pleaded guilty to conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers. Under the complex rules for federal death penalty cases, a separate sentencing trial was held in 2006 to determine whether Moussaoui would lose his life or spend the rest of it in prison. In the first phase, jurors concluded Moussaoui's actions were eligible for the death penalty, but in the second phase they spared his life — thanks to a lone holdout juror.

    During the long run-up to trial, Moussaoui's abusive tirades in handwritten motions and outbursts in hearings created concerns the jury trial would devolve into chaos. Brinkema threatened to lock him in a separate room watching by video if he tried that.

    Mindful of that threat, Moussaoui sat quietly at his separate table flanked by deputy marshals. On the few occasions he was called upon to speak, Brinkema kept him tightly on topic.

    His theatrics were confined to one-liners — like "Victory for Moussaoui! God curse you all!" — that he tossed off to spectators as he left the courtroom after the jury departed for lunch or the day.

    In military tribunal hearings at Guantanamo, Mohammed also showed a propensity for grandstanding. In one letter released by that tribunal, he referred to the attacks as a "noble victory" and urged U.S. authorities to "pass your sentence on me and give me no respite."

    One of Moussaoui's lawyers, Edward MacMahon, isn't worried about Mohammed's behavior in court. "Federal judges deal all the time with defendants who try to disrupt cases," he said.

    MacMahon, himself the target of some of Moussaoui's epithets, said he thought the trial "was a very dignified process."

    Lead prosecutor Rob Spencer, now with Lockheed Martin Corp., said the Moussaoui trial allowed the public to see that Moussaoui took pride in the terror created by the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

    "A valuable part of the Moussaoui trial was that we got an unvarnished, public view of this guy ... of what we're up against" in dealing with al-Qaida terrorists, Spencer said.

    Sorting through classified evidence should be easier in the upcoming case, experts said. First, the Moussaoui case generated detailed appellate rulings to guide lower courts. Second, much that was highly sensitive in 2003 may be far less so now.

    On the other hand, there was no allegation Moussaoui was tortured into confessing, but coerced confessions or statements might be significant at Mohammed's trial. U.S. civilian courts bar evidence obtained under coercion, which could exclude what Mohammed told investigators after, as the Justice Department has acknowledged, he was waterboarded 183 times.

    But there are also statements Mohammed made much later bragging about his role, and statements by others subjected to less harsh interrogation methods that fewer people consider to be torture, so there's grist for much legal argument.

    Paul McNulty, U.S. attorney here when Moussaoui was prosecuted, said there is a crucial difference in the two cases: Moussaoui pleaded guilty, so the sentencing trial focused only on his punishment and there was no chance he'd go free. No one knows whether any New York defendants will contest their guilt.

    McNulty wondered whether the public is willing to accept the chance of an acquittal.

    McNulty expects New York judges to be as tough as Brinkema on issues like ensuring defendants access to witnesses. "It could get complicated very quickly," he said.

    "It's not supposed to be easy," defense counsel MacMahon said. "The law makes it very difficult to obtain a death sentence. The government basically has to pitch a perfect game to win a death penalty."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #18
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    9/11 suspects have no response to announcement of trial in New York
    The alleged 9/11 plotters were `stoic' and polite upon hearing that they will moved to New York City for a federal trial.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nati...y/1338879.html

    BY CAROL ROSENBERG
    crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- The alleged 9/11 conspirators neither greeted with joy nor trepidation the news that they would be taken to New York City to face a civilian trial for the Sept. 11 attacks.

    "They were stoic," detention center commander Rear Adm. Tom Copeman said Tuesday.

    "They did not seem surprised," he added. "They basically just said, `Thank you for the information.' There was nothing dramatic one way or the other."

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Friday that confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four co-defendants, all former CIA captives, would be charged by federal prosecutors "to answer to their alleged crimes in a courtroom just blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood."

    He urged a death penalty trial.

    The five men got the notice over the weekend, said Copeman, from the chief Army jailer at Guantánamo, Col. Bruce Vargo, and the prison camps staff attorney, Navy Capt. Don Martin. They delivered copies of Holder's announcement in English and, for those who needed translation, in Pashto and Arabic.

    All five have bragged about their alleged roles in the attacks. They said they welcomed martyrdom.

    The five accused -- two Yemenis, a Saudi and the Pakistani Mohammed and his nephew -- are still charged before a military commission with the mass murder of nearly 3,000 people for allegedly directing, financing and providing training to the 19 hijackers who commandeered the aircraft that struck the Twin Towers, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001.

    So, they will continue to meet twice monthly to plan a common defense strategy, Copeman said, as well as keep laptop computers the military prosecutor loaded with the evidence against them to help them prepare for their now aborted military tribunals.

    Military Commissions spokesman Joe DellaVedova said the prosecution had no immediate plans to ask for the laptops back. They have had them for about a year.

    The five alleged plotters had a defense strategy meeting Nov. 9 at the high-security courtroom at Camp Justice, called the Expeditionary Legal Complex. They were slated to meet again Nov. 30.

    All five men are segregated on the base in a secret prison, called Camp 7. Unlike other portions of the detention center, the prison camp for former CIA captives has no live satellite television. That means they have not seen the massive TV coverage of the decision of plans to return them to the scene of the crime.

    It also was not known if they had yet received newspaper clippings, which in the aftermath of Holder's announcement reported Republican denunciations and domestic security fears.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Obama on terror trials: KSM will die

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29661.html

    11/18/2009

    Americans who are troubled by the decision to send alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York for trial will feel better about it when he’s put to death, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

    During a round of network television interviews conducted during Obama’s visit to China, the president was asked about those who find it offensive that Mohammed will receive all the rights normally accorded to U.S. citizens when they are charged with a crime.

    “I don't think it will be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him,” Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

    When Todd asked Obama if he was interfering in the trial process by declaring that Mohammed will be executed, Obama, a former constitutional law professor, insisted that he wasn’t trying to dictate the result.

    “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,” Obama said. “What I'm absolutely clear about is that I have complete confidence in the American people and our legal traditions and the prosecutors, the tough prosecutors from New York who specialize in terrorism.”

    In another interview, Obama said he had not tried to tell Attorney General Eric Holder whether the case involving KSM and four other alleged 9/11 plotters should be heard in federal court or before a military tribunal.

    “I said to the attorney general, make a decision based on the law,” the president told CNN’s Ed Henry. “We have set up now a military commission system that is greatly reformed and so we can try terrorists in the forum. But I also have great confidence in our Article 3 courts, the courts that have tried hundreds of terrorist suspects who are imprisoned right now in the United States.”

    Obama also suggested that critics of the decision are unwisely building the alleged Al Qaeda operatives into larger-than-life figures who require the U.S. to abandon its usual legal processes.

    “I think this notion that somehow we have to be fearful, that these terrorists are –possess some special powers that prevent us from presenting evidence against them, locking them up and, you know, exacting swift justice, I think that has been a fundamental mistake,” the president declared.

    Also in the interviews:

    — Obama warned of a double-dip recession – another drop in economic growth that would reverse recent gains – if government spending continues to pile up.

    “I think it is important to recognize that if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, at some point, people would lose confidence in the economy. That could lead to a double-dip recession,” he told Fox News’ Major Garrett.

    — He said he’s comfortable with the progress his administration has made so far. “A lot of our initiatives have not yet borne fruit, but we knew that something like Iran's nuclear program wasn't going to be solved in a year. The question is are we moving in the right direction? And I think there's no doubt that we are,” he said on CNN.

    — In response to another question, Obama initially claimed that most of the deadlines his administration is reported to have missed were set by the press, though he later seemed to acknowledge that he set an aggressive schedule for passage of health care reform legislation.

    On closing Guantanamo Bay prison, “we had a specific deadline that was missed, the rest of these deadlines that you're asserting often times are deadlines imposed by the media,” Obama told NBC.

    — Obama suggested that the White House knew public goals for passing health care bills through both houses before the summer recess were optimistic, perhaps overly so. “Internally we understood Congress takes time, it's slow, the Senate is slow, that's how it's structured, those are the rules,” he said.

    Obama said he expected to sign health care legislation by the time of his State of the Union speech in January, but he kept the pressure on by refusing to acknowledge that it is not likely to pass by year’s end. “You will not hear that from me,” he said.

    — Obama said he hasn’t read a book by his half-brother who lives in China, who alleges that the father the two men shared abused him. Obama said he stopped by for about five minutes during the trip. “I don't know him well. I met him for the first time a couple of years ago,” Obama told CNN. “But it's no secret that my father was a troubled person. Anybody who's read my first book, "Dreams of My Father," knows that, you know, he had an alcoholism problem and that he didn't treat his families very well. And, you know, so, obviously, that's just a sad part of my history and my background. But it's not something that I spend a lot of time brooding over.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    30,732
    Former N.J. Gov. Thomas Kean opposes trial in N.Y.C. for alleged mastermind of 9/11 attacks

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/200...kean_says.html

    By Brian Donohue/The Star-Ledger
    November 17, 2009, 10:59AM

    NEW YORK -- Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the commission that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks, today criticized the decision by the Obama administration to try the alleged mastermind of the attacks in federal court in New York.

    In what he described as his first interview since the decision by United States Attorney General Eric Holder last week, Kean told WNYC radio he feared an open trial in Manhattan federal court would make the suspect, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a "martyr" and "hero" among al Qaeda sympathizers around the world.

    Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesThomas H. Kean, former New Jersey governor and chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Co-Chair Lee H. Hamilton confer during a news conference in 2005 in Washington, D.C.
    Kean's comments came in a radio interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC.

    Kean, a Republican who is also former governor of New Jersey, appeared on the program with fellow 9/11 commission member Richard Ben-Veniste, a Democrat.

    Ben-Veniste took an opposing view of the decision, saying he thought a trial in civil court was appropriate and would demonstrate the power of the American justice system.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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