The baseball season is over, and both Michelle Obama and prominent example of his terror-fighting judgment Bernie Kerik stepped on whatever good press Rudy Giuliani might have gotten from his sweet World Series seats. So what’s a putative gubernatorial candidate to do for a little free media?
Predictably ignoring the fact that even Republican primary voters fairly decisively declined last year to take advantage of his mad national security skills, the president of 9/11 is weighing in this weekend on the decision to try the 9/11 plotters in a civilian court in New York.
Also predictably, he disagrees with that decision. He told Fox News Sunday “We generally don’t bring people back to the scene of the crime for justice. We didn’t do that in our other wars.” (which is, of course, why the Nuremberg trials were held in Portugal, admittedly by a military tribunal).
One of the major problems with holding the trials in a civilian court is, of course, that a great deal of the evidence against the plotters will most likely be declared inadmissible because of the circumstances in which it was gathered. Attorney General Holder said during his confirmation hearings that he believes that any evidence gathered by waterboarding could not be used. Holder also said that the prosecution has access to sufficient clean evidence which has not yet been revealed to the public.
Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, knows all that. He is, however, reduced to incoherence when discussing waterboarding, so he’s decided to avoid the subject. He’d also prefer not to dwell too heavily on the fact that the New York trial of Ramzi Youssef for the first World Trade Center terror attack in ’93 took place on his own watch.
He pretty much ignored that trial, despite the fact that he now claims to have figured out early on that al Qaeda was behind the bombing, something he neglected to mention at the time or at any time in the intervening 8 years before 9/11. Current defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Youssef’s uncle, financed the ’93 attack.
So if the response to the ’93 attack was, as Giuliani is saying, “a mistake” which endangered America, it was, to some extent, Giuliani’s mistake.
Giuliani, who was fairly well known in the day for his strong belief in not challenging the mayor, also says that the trial will be too big of a burden on the cops. Mayor Bloomberg, who is currently the mayor, disagrees, saying that he supports the decision to hold the trial here, and has “great confidence” that the NYPD and the feds “will handle security expertly,” according to Bloomberg News, who presumably would know.
Insofar as he was a big supporter of the decision to move the ’04 Republican Convention to New York, I’m not even going to go into what his former honor has to say about the additional security costs.
America’s former Mayor. We’ll pay shipping.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 15, 2009