- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2009

Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, said in an interview that New Yorkers are being forced by the Obama administration to host the trials for terrorists suspected of planning the Sept. 11 attacks that killed thousands in lower Manhattan.

“They’re having this pushed down their throats,” the conservative lawmaker told The Washington Times’ “American Morning News” radio show Monday.

He also said President Obama’s decision to bring self-proclaimed September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four accomplices to New York from the Guantanamo Bay detention center is another case of the president “doing a lot of things to look good” for the rest of the world.

“He’s trying to show America is willing to submit and become a part of the rest of the world, rather than lead it,” Mr. DeMint said.

Congressional Republicans — and some Democrats — warn that closing the detention facility in Cuba and bringing accused terrorists to U.S. soil for civil trials will result in such problems as exposing top-secret information in court, creating a terrorist target and allowing the defendants to use their trials as a platform for anti-American rhetoric.

“These terrorists won’t be on trial at all. It’ll be the U.S. and our intelligence system, and a lot of conjecture about what was done to get information,” Mr. DeMint said. “It’ll be one day after another of criticizing what America had to do to retrieve these people who planned an attack on New York and killed so many Americans.”

New Yorkers appear to have mixed feelings over the plan to bring the suspects to a federal court just blocks from where two hijacked planes knocked down the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, announced by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Friday.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiuliani called Mr. Holder’s move “dangerous,” while Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia Democrat, said war criminals “do not belong in our courts.”

But Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said the trials could show the world the strengths of the U.S. judicial system.

“What we’re saying to the world is the U.S. acts out of strength not out of fear,” Mr. Leahy told CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday.

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