Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani took to three separate TV talk shows Sunday to blast the Obama administration’s decision to send Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged Sept. 11 plotters to Manhattan to face a trial in federal court.
"It is an unnecessary advantage to give to terrorists," Giuliani said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday. "I don’t know you'd want to give terrorists advantages and, secondly, it's an unnecessary risk."
Giuliani also warned that opting for a civilian court trial over a military commissions proceeding would mean lengthy delays.
“Our federal system has an enormously protracted process that's going to go on forever….It grants more benefits than a military tribunal will grant. There's always the possibility of acquittal, change of venue,” the ex-mayor said on ABC’s “This Week.”
While Attorney General Eric Holder argued that it is typical to try criminals near the site of their alleged acts, Giuliani said just the opposite. “We generally don't bring people back to the scene of the crime for justice,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “What the Obama administration is telling us loud and clear is that both in substance and reality, the war on terror, from their point of view, is over. We're no longer going to treat these people as if this was an act of war.”
White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Giuliani’s criticism was “odd” given his praise for the prosecution of alleged Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, who was sentenced to life in prison by a civilian federal court in Virginia.
“Mayor Giuliani testified in that case, and he heralded the outcome. So he may have changed his view, but we haven't changed ours,” Axelrod said on CNN.
Giuliani indicated the Virginia trial was the best option at the time because the Bush Administration lacked the “choice” to put Moussaoui before a military commission, though he did not explain why.