Holder Defends 9/11 Trial Decision
At a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder defended his decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 suspects in civilian court in New York.
Holder said he knows “we are at war with a vicious enemy who targets our soldiers on the battlefield in Afghanistan and our civilians on the streets here at home. … Those who suggest otherwise are simply wrong.”
Dozens of family members of 9/11 victims recently signed a letter to Holder and President Obama opposing a civilian trial for the alleged plotters.
They said it would give the men a well-publicized platform to espouse their views, in a trial to be held just blocks from where the World Trade Center towers crumbled when the hijacked planes crashed into them.
“Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will have no more of a platform to spew his hateful ideology in federal court than he would have in military commissions,” Holder said Wednesday.
“Before (his military) commissions last year, he declared the proceedings an ‘inquisition,’ condemned his own attorneys and our Constitution and professed his desire to become a martyr. Those proceedings were heavily covered in the media, yet few complained at the time that his rants threatened the fabric of our democracy,” Holder said.
Holder said he was confident his decision “will withstand the judgment of history.”