Saturday, January 30, 2010

GOP Blocks Federal Funds for 9/11 Prosecutions in Civilian Courts?

Republicans are attempting to block the use of federal funds for 9/11 terrorist trials in US civil courts. The broader idea is to move these trials to the proper venue - military courts, but there is more to it than that. It's one of those "not in my backyard" situations: GOP legislators do not want these trials in Washington, DC. While I'm tempted to say the administrations deserves the inconvenience and the cost, that leaves everyone else suffering and Republicans have been against Civilian Federal trials of terrorists from the beginning.

According to The Hill, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA-10th) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will introduce the legislation this week.

Earlier this week, Rep. Peter King (R-NY-3rd) introduced a similar bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to try within U.S. civilian courts any detainee being kept in the Guantanamo Bay prison....

While there has been no official announcement as to where the trials would be held if the White House decided against New York City, several Republican aides said that the administration was considering the Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia areas, an unpopulated island near Manhattan or nearby military installations.
Democrat New York Governor David Paterson finally decided he didn't like the idea of trials a mere few blocks from the former site of the World Trade Towers. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling for the government provide all security costs, and Senator Dianne Feinstein is opposed to New York City trials.
Wolf raised objections several weeks ago to reports that the White House was considering hosting the trial of Riduan Isamuddin – an alleged close ally of Osama bin Laden’s -- and two other defendants in the Washington, D.C., region.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Wolf said that there had been enough recent intelligence pointing to possible terrorists threats related to Isamuddin to deny him a trial in civilian courts in the D.C. area, suggesting that to do so would put the region in jeopardy.
Most of us know the issue is simple. It's only Obama and Holder that do not get it:
...a bipartisan contingent of senators wrote Holder and asked him to consider military trials for the alleged terrorists, saying, “The attacks of 9/11 were acts of war, and those who planned and carried out those attacks are war criminals.”

The letter was signed by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Read more of Republican action:
Orrin Hatch Declares War on Reconciliation: Permanent Damage to Parties

Rep. Marsha Blackburn Questions Obama at Baltimore Conference: Dems Impeding Republican Ideas?

Rep. Paul Ryan Questions Obama on Budget: Obama Runs for the Hills

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