Republican Leader: ‘Irresponsible Decision’ to Try 9/11 Mastermind in Federal Court
November 13, 2009 - 11:27 AMHouse Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) says the Obama administration is putting "liberal special interests before the safety and security of the American people" in deciding to bring the 9/11 mastermind to the United States for trial in federal civilian court.
Boehner issued the statement on Friday, shortly before Attorney General Eric Holder formally announced the decision to bring Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees to New York City.
“The possibility that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators could be found ‘not guilty’ due to some legal technicality just blocks from Ground Zero should give every American pause,” Boehner said. “These men are part of a global terrorist network dedicated to attacking America and civilization itself, and on that awful day nine years ago, they succeeded in killing nearly 3,000 innocent men, women, and children.
“These terrorists were already being tried by military commissions, which were specifically designed to prosecute such heinous acts. This decision is further evidence that the White House is reverting to a dangerous pre-9/11 mentality – treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue and hoping for the best.
“We need a real strategy for fighting and winning the war on America’s terrorist enemies that includes an effective, credible, and consistent plan for all terrorist detainees,” Boehner concluded.
In May, the U.S. House Republicans introduced H.R. 2294, the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act, which would block the transfer or release of the Guantanamo Bay terrorists into the United States.
The Republican legislation makes clear that governors and state legislatures must pre-approve the transfer or release of any terrorist detainee into their respective states, and it requires the administration to meet strict criteria and certification standards before terrorists housed at the Guantanamo prison could be brought to the United States.
The bill, introduced by Boehner, has been referred to committee and its chances of passage are slim in the Democrat-led Congress.