Rudy Giuliani told NBC's "Today'' show Thursday that a conventional criminal trial for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is "not necessary.''
The former mayor continued his tirade against the decision to try Mohammed in a federal civilian court, while a congressman from Texas says there's only one reason the city would want to host the trials: jobs.
Giuliani said "there's no reason to put New York through this.'' He also said that if President Barack Obama concluded that military tribunals were impermissible, "I would have been in favor of it.'' He said the decision to try Mohammed and four others in New York sets a bad precedent. Attorney General Eric Holder has argued that it's typical to try criminals near the site of their alleged attacks.
Critics of the decision have feared trying the accused terrorists in New York would make the city a bigger target for terrorism. That's actually one reason New York would want to try the suspects here, according to Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican.
If the city's a bigger target for terrorists, it needs heightened security. Heightened security, especially the kind that would be needed in a trial of this magnitude, requires more people to implement and execute a plan of protection. And that means more jobs.
"You've got subways, tunnels, bridges all subject to terrorism," Gohmert told Fox News, according to the Daily News. "Unless they're trying to create a new jobs bill by allowing terrorism back in New York then this is insane."
Gohmert's comments came just one day after Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona, also a Republican, said he was sorry for raving that the risk could be so high with the trial in New York that terrorists would come kidnap Mayor Michael Bloomberg's daughters.
Gohmert also hinted Obama's skills as a community organizer would come in handy for mass evacuations in the city – a suggestion Rep. Jerry Nadler of Manhattan deemed be ridiculous.
"That's obviously absurd," Nadler told the News. "The fact that the trial is here is not going to make us more or less of a terror target."
The decision has been met with disparate opinions in New York, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg supporting the decision and Gov. David Paterson saying it's a bad idea.
Meanwhile, the reality of having the trials in New York brings up the issue of security – and who's going to pay for it.
Giuliani said he had no doubt that authorities would keep New York safe during the trial. But he said there will be "tens of millions of dollars in additional burden'' for security, nevertheless. He said that at a previous trial of a terrorist suspect in New York in the 1990s, he had to close the streets to the public near City Hall and in the Wall Street area and that he "was pilloried'' for that.
Sen. Charles Schumer asked Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday if the Justice Department was willing to reimburse the city for security costs from the trials -- which experts say could cost around $75 million.
Holder replied that "he did not disagree" that federal funds should be used and the money should not come out of state and city coffers.
Giuliani, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination last year, told NBC's "Today'' show: "The reality is, we are breaking precedent here. ... The reality is, he would get a fair trial there (in a military tribunal). A case like this, the government is put on trial. The more exciting headlines will be the headlines against the government. The headlines will be, '180 Waterboardings. The CIA did this terrible thing and that terrible thing to me.' Some of it will be lies and some of it will be true.''