Attorney General Defends Civilian Trial for 9/11 Mastermind
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Attorney General Eric Holder told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York was a tough call and that, in his view, the government is more likely to successfully prosecute Mohammed in a federal or so-called 'Article III' court than in a military commission.
In response to the concerns of Senators on both sides of the issue, Holder argued that the rules governing classified evidence in federal courts will not allow sensitive information to land in the hands of terrorists. He also said Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will have no more of a platform for his ideas in federal court than he would in a military commission. The media covers both.
"I'm not scared of what Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has to say at trial. And no one else needs to be afraid either," Holder said.
When Senator Charles Schumer brought up the most practical matter for New Yorkers -- the more than $75 million police estimate they'll spend on security -- Holder assured the senator he would recommend the federal government share the financial burden.
The full hearing can be seen here.