DOJ Says NY Terror Trials Still Under Consideration

Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler today said the Justice Department has not made a decision about holding the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged 9/11 co-conspirators in New York. He denied New York is out of consideration. He said DOJ remains committed to a trial in a federal criminal court.

"We haven't made a final decision and it's not off the table," Grindler said during a briefing Monday. Grindler said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was committed to the trial being conducted in federal court rather than before a military commission, as several lawmakers have argued.

"Our federal courts have a long history of safely and securely handling international terrorism cases and we are committed to bringing Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the other alleged Sept. 11 conspirators to justice," Grindler said.

That's good news. Obama and Holder need to stick to their promises on this one and bring these cases in federal criminal courts, which are more than capable of safely conducting them.

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    why do these republicans hate the Reagan (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:55:58 PM EST

    Reagan wanted to charge and try terrorists with crimes. He wanted to frame terrorists as criminals.

    Clancy, too (none / 0) (#9)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:58:57 PM EST
    That was one of the big points he made Patriot Games, if my memory serves. That was the Ryan vs. the IRA book.  If you haven't read them, the early books were enjoyable adventures, but they were also very much in the realm of right-wing fantasy.  In this book, Clancy waxed poetic about how the British treated the IRA guys as criminals in court.

    Of course, the book also goes straight for the plot of "world is saved by ordinary guy unleashing horrific levels of violence on bad people who clearly deserve it," so if that is not your bag, don't read it.

    But, sadly, the right has managed to frame "the terrorists" on the level of the Legion of Doom for most Americans--supercriminals who can't be held in ordinary jails and who are so clever they will run circles around our daft prosecutors.  If the same prosecutors who couldn't manage to make a case against anyone from Enron, the mortgage industry, Wall Street, the Republican K-Street project, or the credit card industry are in charge of these prosecutions, then perhaps the scardey-cat right-wingers are correct here...


    Reagan was on to something... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:43:38 PM EST
    treating accused mass-murderers as enemy combatants gives their beliefs and actions legitimacy they do not deserve.

    Though if such thinking were to be applied fairly Reagan woulda been on trial, followed by Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama...so much for that.


    today intel chief says... (2.00 / 0) (#21)
    by diogenes on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:41:48 PM EST
    Didn't an intel guy say today that an Al-Qaida attack on American soil was "likely" in the next three to six months?  
    If Obama and Holder force the trial to be in NY City and the "likely" attack happens there, I suspect that the NY senate seat will go the way of the Massachusetts seat, and perhaps the whole senate will swing.
    Maybe I should change my screen name to Cassandra.

    If McCain et al get their way (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:46:27 PM EST
    The DoJ may not be the ones making the decision

    Probably posturing, but he may be right.

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that he expects to win a floor vote on blocking funds for terrorists' civilian trials.

    Speaking alongside seven other co-sponsors of the bill, McCain told reporters that his side has the votes to force Obama to change his policy.

    "I believe we can win, this time, a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate," he said.

    Oh Johnny... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:06:36 PM EST
    does he realize that if we don't try him we are supposed to let him go?

    Oh that's right, the rules only apply to us...pay no mind.


    KSM (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:28:07 PM EST
    is never going anywhere - no matter what.

    Exactly... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:36:45 PM EST
    which makes me real nervous about the precedent they are trying to set here playing fast and loose with the rules meant to protect us from the law.  Just try him downtown and send him to Supermax...we all know we've got a charade goin' here, get it over with!

    McCain must be worried about the justice wing taking their job seriously...all I can think of for the opposition to the trial...that and just the usual politics of paint Team D as 'soft on x'.


    Patriot act drug prosecutions (none / 0) (#10)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:03:30 PM EST
    Didn't we just see a bunch of stories about how patriot act methods were used in drug prosecutions?  Where are all the posse comitatus nutcases who couldn't shut up about Waco all through the 90s?  Is there anything more "big government" or "jackbooted thugs" (to quote the republicans of 15 years ago) than ceding law enforcement and justice to the military?

    Waco is in... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:46:49 PM EST
    the tribal regions in AfPak now, populated by muslim whackjobs as opposed to christian whackjobs...so its all good.

    The anti-war left is no better really...when Team R/D respectively are in charge their fans shut up, only to get loud again when they lose the intercontinental belt to Team D/R respectively.


    McConnell (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:51:48 PM EST
    is making noise too.

    The Obama administration will change it's policy of trying suspected terrorists in federal courts, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicted today.

    "I think the administration is going to retreat here," McConnell told reporters. "Just because people in New York said we don't want them here, I hope they don't think there's any

    Oops -rest of the quote (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:52:16 PM EST
    I think the administration is going to retreat here," McConnell told reporters. "Just because people in New York said we don't want them here, I hope they don't think there's any other part of the country that's clamoring to have terrorist trials."

    Fear of exposure (none / 0) (#7)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:29:56 PM EST
    Maybe the bigger fear for those in DC is that a trial will bring the conduct of our government back into the limelight.

    So far Bush and company have been able to walk away from it all as heroes to many. Republicans, (with the help of Obama and several top ranking Democrats) have managed to minimalize any meaningful investigations.

    This might not be as easy to do in an open federal court.

    Do the trials in New York (none / 0) (#11)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:11:28 PM EST
    The Obama administration should tell Bloomberg to stop whimpering and act like a world-class, big-city mayor.  They should say that the trials will be held in New York City, and that he can either support them or have the world reminded of his city's fear of high-profile, crowd-producing events every time they compete for an olympics or political party convention or even an elks meeting for the next 20 years.  And Obama should threaten to make public short jokes about Bloomberg.

    It is time for an inspirational Obama speech about the importance of our civilian institutions, about doing our duty, and about not letting the terrorists scare us away from the things this country stands for.  Remind us all that the world is watching, and that this is what it means to be a beacon of freedom to the world.

    I'm getting real tired of this He-man bull (none / 0) (#12)
    by tigercourse on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:27:38 PM EST
    from posters. Do you live in the city? Do you want to suffer the years of massive gridlock created by shutting down so many streets? As a tax payer, do you want to foot the 200 million a year bill for an empty show trial? New York City has higher unemplyment right now then the rest of the country. We don't need something new to depress our economy. And you must see the difference between a couple of days long convention (essentially one big party) a couple of weeks long Olympic games (one big tourist attraction) and a couple of years long trial (one big headache).

    it's called civic duty (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:11:59 PM EST
    it requires some sacrifice. And NYC's economic issues don't trump the Constitution and rule of law.

    NYC has handled many terror trials, as has Denver and many other cities. All survived just fine. Sorry if I don't share the concerns that rental and sales prices of downtown condos may (and again just may) temporarily not rise.


    2 yrs of living in a secure zone? (none / 0) (#16)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:43:46 PM EST
    No thanks. You may not think it's much, but it's quite a large area that would be effected. I personally don't mind the trial being here, but this is looking to be a major circus to serve other purposes. It'd be nice if there was a place close by they could have it that wasn't so disruptive to those that live there. I think this goes beyond "some sacrifice".

    What is it you think is going to happen? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:55:41 PM EST
    How will this be a disruption?  Do you envision all of southern manhattan being shut down for the duration of the trial?  Why?  Are the defendants radioactive?

    These guys are not mutant supercriminals.  They cannot cause havoc on their own.  They will be in orange jumpsuits, wearing manacles, and surrounded by federal marshals.

    If you are worried about attacks during the trial, why do you think it will be any more dangerous than any other time?  Al Qaeda has demonstrated multiple times that they want to attack New York, and they are not sitting around waiting for an excuse to do it.  New York is their target with or without a trial.  

    Mostly: why give the bad guys the satisfaction of telling them you are scared of them?


    It has nothing to do with what I think (none / 0) (#19)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:55:08 PM EST
    is going to happen. Because I don't think much is going to happen compared to the security circus the Admin wants to put on so these guys can "meet their Maker". I am not personally any more afraid of an attack during the trials than I am any other given day. I realize I live in the target zone for terrorists. No different from living in CA on a fault line  ;)

    I do think that lower Manhattan can do without having so much of it taken over by this trial and the security that they seem to want to go with it. Took awhile to get business back there. I would not want to be a small biz person in the security zone. Some of the areas that border it in the soft zones are quite congested and busy ta boot. And I've had sharp shooters in my building/on my roof. I sure as heck wouldn't want to live with that for a long period of time. Nuttin' like some heavily armed cops popping up on your roof while sunbathing and having cocktails w/friends, lol!~ (East Village security situation). I've also worked in TS and know how security reacts to official visits, NYE etc since 911. Wouldn't want to live with that either. Many of us avoid going into known security areas if we can. Not to mention it disrupts subways and buses, huge deal.  And then there is the manpower and expense (yes, the Feds may pony up some bucks, but at what other costs to us?)

    You talk about not letting the alleged terrorist control us by fear, how about other ways they control us? I honestly don't know why this can't be handled as past trials were or moved to an easier to secure area in NYS. 2-3,000 steel barriers? Really?!


    As a defense attorney (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 07:11:22 AM EST
    Do you think it's also a good idea to tick off potential jurors by closing off streets and disrupting businesses for 2+ years?

    Seems like the mayor is doing his job  - representing his constituents, who more and more don't wan't the trials there.  It's certainly easy for someone who doesn't live there to say those people should suck it up and deal with it. That's not to say the trials shouldn't be held in NY, but it's certainly a flippant attitude to not consider the impact to the local economy and neighborhoods.


    I am a he-man! (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ricosuave on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:46:19 PM EST
    I have long ago come to terms with my extremely high level of manliness, and I hope you can accept me for who I am without your anti-he-man prejudice.

    I do not live in "the city" (as evidenced by the fact that New Yorkers calling it "the city" continues to annoy me).  But I will establish my cred by saying I lived for many years in DC, including on 9/11.  And I have (on an earlier occasion) been the victim of a terrorist attack.  But on topic: in DC I was REGULARLY inconvenienced by the workings of government and political events, including once when I was stopped by a motorcade while on the way to the emergency room.  I have spent large blocks of time in Paris as well, and barricaded zones full of protesters are a regular occurrence there, and they still manage to get their bread and cheese every day.  New Yorkers have been dealing with the annoyances of the UN for a half-century, with all of the security hassles and dangers that come with it.

    They will not need to shut down all of Manhattan for this trial any more than they needed to shut down all of DC when the president regularly spoke at the Hilton across the street from my home.  They will shut down a few streets here and there when they move people around, but the trial will not be a multi-acre affair...it will take place in a single room in a building already considered a terrorist target and already heavily guarded due to the fact that IT IS A COURTHOUSE AND THERE ARE CRIMINALS THERE.  Also: Manhattan is a really crowded place and nobody has ever has an expectation that they can drive from point a to point b in any reasonable amount of time (though they all claim to know secret shortcuts to La Guardia).

    Aside from the obvious fact that the level of unemployment does not negate the fact that we are a free and democratic country, there is nothing about this trial that will further depress the economy of New York.

    I'm sorry that the system of government that centuries of Americans have fought and died to give you is little more to you than "a big headache."  For many of us, these institutions are more important than that.


    We are "REGULARLY inconvenienced" also (none / 0) (#20)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:07:12 PM EST
    but most of the time it's a short term situation. This isn't. We know when the UN is active, protests are happening and the pres is coming to town. We deal. But when they start talking months (as in a year or 2 or more) who 'nother story.

    Oh well, by the time this trial gets up and running . . .  I'll be back living on the faults, lol!~


    I posted this before (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 07:12:34 AM EST
    But here's an idea of what will be affected for 2 years or so.

    That's it? (none / 0) (#25)
    by ricosuave on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:45:40 PM EST
    A 0.23% increase in the daily cost contributable to gridlock in New York City?  If that's all you are complaining about, then we will all commiserate with you but that is certainly not a reasonable excuse for switching from the American system of justice to the Soviet model.  I guess the locals may feel it is good enough justification for the NIMBYism surrounding this trial.

    But this is where you get to choose: does the "Justice" we clamored for after 9/11 mean Bush/Hollywood style blow-em-up justice, or does it mean something more in America?


    I think you missed the point (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 01:34:54 PM EST
    It's more the logistics of shutting down 5-1/2 miles of roads and sidewalks around the area.

    And like I said, it seems Bloomberg is responding to his constituents here who don't want this aggravation and loss of income, plus extra costs to the city (isn't that what he's supposed to do??)

    Doesn't matter to me, as I don't live there. But since one of the alternate sites is Alexandria, VA, where I DO live, I can't say I blame these people for not wanting this in their lives for 2 years or so.


    No (none / 0) (#27)
    by ricosuave on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 05:48:15 PM EST
    I don't think that is what Bloomberg is supposed to do.  I think he is supposed to stand up and say to the Feds: "We think this guy murdered thousands of people in New York City.  If you don't prosecute him, and do it here where the victims lived and worked and where their families are and where the crime happened, then we are filing murder charges against him and starting the process of jury selection."  Officials in Arlington should be doing the same thing.

    On a related note (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 09:10:36 AM EST