Back in November, I discovered a 2001 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing transcript where Senator Chuck Schumer (D - NY) said it would be “ludicrous” to try Osama bin Laden in New York City’s downtown federal court. However, today, Mr. Schumer is welcoming the trial of professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York’s southern district within downtown Manhattan. TRANSCRIPT of 2001 segment:
SENATOR SCHUMER: There are also those prisoners of war who we have captured and will capture in Afghanistan and other countries who will receive a trial of some sort. It is clear we need to try those suspects in a forum that achieves two primary goals—two goals, I might add, that may not conflict. First, the Government must have the power to use even the most sensitive classified evidence against these suspects without compromising national security in any way, shape, or form. In addition, those who commit acts of war against the United States, particularly those who have no color of citizenship, don’t deserve the same panoply of due process rights that American citizens receive. Should Osama bin Laden be captured alive—and I imagine most Americans hope he won’t be captured alive. But if he is, it is ludicrous to suggest he should be tried in a Federal court on Center Street in Lower Manhattan.
I found the video that corresponds with the 2001 transcript. It is contrasted with last November’s hearing of Senator Schumer’s discussion with Attorney General Eric Holder about New York’s hosting of the terror trials. The final segment is my follow up with the New York Senator on his current support for these terror trials as opposed to military tribunals.