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Democratic and GOP Senators Ask AG Holder to Try Detainees in Military Commissions

Bipartisan letter urges Holder to reverse course on KSM.

1:23 PM, Jan 26, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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In a letter to Eric Holder, Democratic senators Webb, Lincoln, and Lieberman join Republican senators Collins, McCain, and Graham in asking the attorney general to reverse course on his decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and his co-conspirators in civilian court in New York City:

We strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged conspirators in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The attacks of 9/11 were acts of war, and those who planned and carried out those attacks are war criminals.  Today, those who subscribe to the same violent ideology as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed continue to plan and execute attacks against innocent civilians all over the world.  It is not in our national interest to provide them further publicity or additional advantage. 

We and many others have already expressed serious concerns about whether a trial in civilian court might compromise classified evidence, including revealing sources and methods used by our intelligence community.  We are also very concerned that, by bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorists responsible for 9/11 to the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, only blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood, you will be providing them one of the most visible platforms in the world to exalt their past acts and to rally others in support of further terrorism.  Such a trial would almost certainly become a recruitment and radicalization tool for those who wish us harm.  

Full press release after the jump:

Bipartisan Senators Urge AG to Try Detainees in Military Commissions

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jim Webb (D-VA), and John McCain (R-AZ) today called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reverse his decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged conspirators in the September 11, 2001 attacks in civilian court rather than military commissions.  

 

January 26, 2010

 

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Attorney General of the United States

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

 

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

 

In light of recent events, we write to express our continuing concerns regarding the policies of this Administration with respect to those prisoners now detained at Guantanamo, and also any others who in the future might be charged with acts of international terrorism.  We remain particularly concerned about using the U.S. criminal justice system for trying enemy combatants.  

Of special importance due to time constraints and location, we strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged conspirators in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The attacks of 9/11 were acts of war, and those who planned and carried out those attacks are war criminals.  Today, those who subscribe to the same violent ideology as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed continue to plan and execute attacks against innocent civilians all over the world.  It is not in our national interest to provide them further publicity or additional advantage. 

We and many others have already expressed serious concerns about whether a trial in civilian court might compromise classified evidence, including revealing sources and methods used by our intelligence community.  We are also very concerned that, by bringing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorists responsible for 9/11 to the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, only blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood, you will be providing them one of the most visible platforms in the world to exalt their past acts and to rally others in support of further terrorism.  Such a trial would almost certainly become a recruitment and radicalization tool for those who wish us harm.  

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