Ex-AG Mukasey: DOJ Indecision on 9-11 Trials Looks ‘Like Amateur Night’
Posted Feb 2, 2010 10:37 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey slammed the Justice Department today for indecision on where to try five accused Sept. 11 plotters.
In an appearance on Fox and Friends, Mukasey showed little patience when asked about an apparent flip-flop on a Manhattan venue, the Huffington Post reports.
"It makes it look like amateur night down there," Mukasey said. "Yes, it makes us look weak. It is weakness. And I can't understand the reason for the vacillation. I can't understand the choice to bring it to New York in the first place other than showboating."
Reports over the weekend said the Justice Department has retreated on its decision to try the alleged terrorists in New York City. Gary Grindler, the incoming acting deputy attorney general, didn’t go that far, however, when he told reporters on Monday that Manhattan trials aren’t “off the table,” but that other sites were also being evaluated, Bloomberg reported yesterday.
In today's appearance, Mukasey said military courts at the Guantanamo Bay facility were better equipped for Sept. 11 trials, according to the Huffington Post account.
"Gitmo has been custom-built to deal with cases precisely like this," Mukasey said. "There's a courtroom that can deal with classified information, store it safely and electronically. There's a detention facility that can hold these people in a remote, secure and humane location. It was built specifically for these kinds of trials. Secondly, New York poses a tremendous, the biggest, security threat. And as well, it is a mockery of the rule of law to take people who are charged with violating all the rules of war and put them in a situation that's better than the one they would have been in if they had followed the rules of war."