Now that the Obama administration has decided to move the trial of 9/11 terror plotters Khalid Sheikh Moahmmed and others to Guantanamo Bay—and not hold a civilian trial in NYC—most New York politicians are happy. For instance, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the opportunity to boost former President George W. Bush, "Today's reversal is yet another vindication of President Bush's detention policies by the Obama Administration, and is welcome news to the families of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, who will finally see long-awaited justice," while Mayor Bloomberg looked at it from the POV of how it would have been extremely expensive to secure NYC, "Being spared the expense is good for us." And the NY Times editorial board is just upset with everyone!
In today's editorial, titled, "Cowardice Blocks the 9/11 Trial," the Times writes:
Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. described a federal court trial for the self-professed mastermind of Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, as “the defining event of my time as attorney general.” On Monday, Mr. Holder’s dream for demonstrating the power of the American court system crumbled when he announced that the trial would take place not in New York City or anywhere in the United States but before a military commission at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prison camp.
That retreat was a victory for Congressional pandering and an embarrassment for the Obama administration, which failed to stand up to it.
The editorial singles out Senators Joseph Lieberman and Charles Schumer in Congress, complains about Bloomberg's inflated estimate for the cost of security, and points out that the Obama administration "did little to prepare the political groundwork for a local trial and barely defended the idea after the unfounded attacks began."
On the other hand, the Daily News' editorial board writes that moving the trial back to Gitmo was the right decision, "Hundreds have already been released from Guantanamo; those who remain are credibly accused of heinous war crimes. Try them. And put Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has confessed to - boasted of - killing nearly 3,000 people on that September morning, at the head of the line."
For Attorney General Holder's part, he unleashed anger at Congress, too, "The prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and his co-conspirators should never have been about settling ideological arguments or scoring political points," and said of people saying KSM et al. couldn't be tried in a civilian court, "Too many people - many of whom certainly know better - have expressed doubts about our time-honored and time-tested system of justice. That's not only misguided, it's wrong."