The New York Times reports:
For the first time, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has spoken out against plans to stage the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, at the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan, joining a growing chorus of people who believe the epic trial will be too disruptive and expensive for the city.
“It would be great if the federal government could find a site that didn’t cost a billion dollars, which using downtown will,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people,” he said. “Can we provide security? Yes. Could you provide security elsewhere? Yeah, and I mean — the suggestion of a military base is probably a reasonably good one. Relatively easy to supply — to provide security. They tend to be outside of cities so that they don’t disrupt other people.”
It was a marked change from Mr. Bloomberg’s initial reaction to the news, just two months ago, that the trial would be held in Manhattan. ”It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered,” he said at the time.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Representative Dan Boren becomes the latest congresional Democrat to come out against trying KSM in civilian court in New York. Yesterday, Senators Webb, Lincoln, Lieberman, Graham, McCain, and Collins sent a letter to Holder urging him to reverse course on the trial.