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WH Now Seeks Other Site For 9/11 Trial

From the New York Daily News:

People sing during a rally across the street from Federal Court in New York to protest the plan to bring the conspirators in the September 11, 2001 attacks to trial in the city in December 2009.

White House asks Justice Department to look for other places to hold 9/11 terror trial

BY Kenneth R. Bazinet, Adam Lisberg and Samuel Goldsmith

Thursday, January 28th 2010

The White House ordered the Justice Department Thursday night to consider other places to try the 9/11 terror suspects after a wave of opposition to holding the trial in lower Manhattan.

The dramatic turnabout came hours after Mayor Bloomberg said he would "prefer that they did it elsewhere" and then spoke to Attorney General Eric Holder.

And speaking of turnabouts, when the plan to hold this trial in New York City was announced a few months ago, Mr. Bloomberg said he was all for it.

"It would be an inconvenience at the least, and probably that’s too mild a word for people that live in the neighborhood and businesses in the neighborhood," Bloomberg told reporters.

"There are places that would be less expensive for the taxpayers and less disruptive for New York City."

State and city leaders have increasingly railed against a plan to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Manhattan federal court since Holder proposed it last month.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said he was "pleased" that the administration is reconsidering the location of the trial.

Earlier in the day, Schumer spoke "with high-level members of the administration and urged them to find alternatives," said the senator’s spokesman, Josh Vlasto.

We believe that Mr. Schumer has also changed his tune.

The order to consider new venues does not change the White House’s position that Mohammed should be tried in civilian court.

"President Obama is still committed to trying Mohammed and four other terrorist detainees in federal court," spokesman Bill Burton said Thursday.

"He agrees with the attorney general’s opinion that . . . he and others can be litigated successfully and securely in the United States of America, just like others have," Burton said.

Burton referred questions about the location debate to the Justice Department. While not commenting publicly, a department official disputed the characterization that the White House ordered the possible move.

But another insider told the Daily News that Justice officials have been caught off guard by the fiery opposition in New York.

"They’re in a tizzy at Justice over Bloomberg," a federal law enforcement official said. "It’s like a half-baked soufflé – the plan is collapsing."

Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1 who helped rally opposition to the plan, called the shift "a step in the right direction."

"I’m thrilled the White House is reconsidering," Menin said. "The trial has to be moved out of New York City."

Meanwhile, a source told The News that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was the driving force behind the push by Manhattan business leaders to change the mayor’s mind on the trial.

Kelly made an "extremely powerful" speech to a roomful of 150 prominent business leaders about how disruptive and costly the trial would be for lower Manhattan at an annual police charity event on Jan. 13, the source said.

"What turned this around was when Ray made a presentation to the Police Foundation," the source said. "Everyone went from thinking, ‘Justice will be served’ to thinking ‘We are screwed.’ "

What followed was a barrage of complaints to the mayor from some of New York’s most powerful tycoons – part of a tide of pressure that led Bloomberg to turn against hosting the trial.

Estimates put the cost of a multiyear terror trial in lower Manhattan at about $200 million a year. Leaders have suggested other venues for the trial, such as the Military Academy at West Point or Stewart Air National Guard Base in upstate Newburgh.

The federal government has said they would reimburse the city for the costs, most of which cover overtime for increased security, but they won’t reimburse business owners for lost revenue during the chaos, said Steven Spinola, president of the heavyweight business group Real Estate Board of New York

Perhaps Messrs Bloomberg and Schumer realized that this show trial isn’t going to be the ‘stimulus’ to the economy they thought it would be. Especially, once it became clear that the federal government would not cover all the lost revenue to the local businesses.

But when have they ever cared about business?

More likely, they realized that if anything untoward happens they would lose their phony-baloney jobs.

From the New York Post:

‘Terror ma’ trial ‘cursed’


January 27, 2010

Two jurors were excused from the "terror mom" trial yesterday after they saw a spectator point his fingers like a gun and silently curse the jury.

The unidentified man in a white headdress was taken into custody but it was unclear if charges were filed following the incident in Manhattan federal court…

When this incident was first reported, there was no mention of the spectator pointing his finger like a gun or his "white headress." (Is he a Muslim?)

It was just mentioned in the last sentence of an article about the disruptions in the trial, and only in passing — by the Associated Press:

More discord at NY trial of al-Qaida supporter

By Tom Hays, Associated Press Writer Mon Jan 25

… Siddiqui’s outbursts weren’t the only disruptions of the day: The judge removed two jurors who told him in private that they couldn’t be impartial because a spectator had pointed at them and mouthed an obscenity. They were replaced and the man was barred from the courtroom.

Maybe the AP was afraid of a Muslim backlash.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 29th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “WH Now Seeks Other Site For 9/11 Trial”

  1. Right of the People says:

    “There are places that would be less expensive for the taxpayers and less disruptive for New York City.”

    Like Gitmo!

  2. proreason says:

    See how flexible the Democrats are.

    Particularly when they realize they could themselves be killed. Or even worse, voted out of their lifetime sinecures.

  3. canary says:

    opportunity/competition bids between NY & VA terrorist trials began in Aug last year.

    Washington Post Terrorism: Trials May Be at New Va. Court
    Aug 13 2009

    Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia are competing with the Manhattan U.S. attorney for the opportunity to prosecute high-profile cases, including those of Khalid Sheik Mohammed …

    …the Alexandria courthouse, less than 10 miles from the White House,…

    …the U.S. Marshals Service is preparing security plans for possible trials at the Newport News courthouse, a sleek….which specify requirements such as blast-resistant walls to protect from truck bombs.

    Alexandria remains under consideration for trials, along with federal courthouses in Richmond and Norfolk, although they also present security issues:…

    Justice Department officials have said they expect each of the four prosecutors’ offices to end up with a handful of high-profile criminal trials…

    … The 2006 death penalty trial of Moussaoui turned the neighborhood around the courthouse into a virtual encampment, with heavily armed agents, rooftop snipers, bomb-sniffing dogs, blocked streets and identification checks.

    Richard Cullen, a former U.S. attorney for Virginia’s eastern district, said Newport News is best prepared to cope. “It’s a new courthouse…” said Cullen, who chairs the McGuireWoods law firm in Richmond.

    Cullen said Guantanamo inmates could be held at the nearby Naval Station Norfolk,…

    The Newport News courthouse…only high-profile case…former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick,…

    Kim Lee, a spokeswoman for Newport News, said the city would work…”


    well, at least the terrorists on trail will be protected from truck bomb resistant walls

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    I vote for a ship with a spring board somewhere over the Mariana Trench.

    • canary says:

      I vote for the the Alexandria courthouse being considered, less than 10 miles from the White House where it would be safest.

  5. Melly says:

    What about Fort Hood?

  6. Chuckk says:

    It doesn’t matter where the trials are held. They will be a circus with grandstanding lawyers, media hyper-attention, and all sorts of outbursts and disruptions.

    The real crime is the trials being held at all.

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