Yesterday, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani came out swinging against the Obama administration's decision to try five of the alleged 9/11 plotters, including mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, at a NYC federal court, accusing the White House of thinking the "War on Terror is over." But senior White House adviser David Axelrod pointed out that Giuliani previously supported the decision to try 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui in federal criminal court.
On This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked Giuliani about his comments made in 2006—Giuliani said at the time, "I was in awe of our system. It does demonstrate that we can give people a fair trial, that we are exactly what we say we are. We are a nation of law." Stephanopoulos said, "You called it a symbol of justice then. If criminal court was good enough for Moussaoui, why isn't it good enough for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?" To which Giuliani responded:
Well, it was, and it would be good enough for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but the reality is, there's another alternative, and the administration for some strange reason is creating the other alternative, military tribunals. They're going to try five other people at least in those military tribunals. I don't understand why they can't try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in the military tribunal. That also would demonstrate we're a nation of laws. That is the way in which we have tried enemy combatants in the past, whether it was the second world war or the Civil War. So, we're basically, in this particular case, we're reaching out to give terrorists a benefit that's unnecessary. In fact, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, when he was first arrested, asked to be brought to New York. I didn't think we were in the business of granting the requests of terrorists.
He also complained that the federal process could drag on for a while, plus, "The reality is, George, it also creates an extra risk that isn't necessary. It creates an extra risk for New York. Now, New York can handle it, there is no question about it, but why add an additional risk when you don't have to do that?"
However, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also on This Week, said she stood behind the decision for the trials to be held in NYC (okay, more like she wasn't second-guessing U.S. AG Eric Holder) —and said she would not run for Governor of New York next year (heh, Hillary in Albany). Giuliani said he's taking a 2010 run "into consideration."