The gov Monday criticized the White House's decision to hold the September 11 trials in New York, saying it aggravated a still sore wound for the city.
"This is not a decision that I would have made," Paterson said after a ceremony at a new City Universrity of New York campus in Harlem. "Terrorism isn't just attack, it's anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and frustration of New Yorkers who took the bullet for the rest of the country.
"Over 2,700 lives were lost. It's very painful, we're still having trouble getting over it, we still have been unable to rebuild that site. And having those terrorists tried so close to the attack is going to be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers," he said. "But that is the decision that the federal government has made.
Paterson said the state has "taken every preparation and we have undergone every amount of research as to what that trial will cause in terms of our emergency preparedness and our homeland security protocol, and we will cooperate to the fullest extent with the federal government and with Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Police Department and hopefully this trial will go without incident."
While Mayor Bloomberg and some other New Yorkers have said that the decision to hold civilian federal trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 conspirators in Manhattan was a good one, Paterson is siding with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his critique of Attorney General Eric Holder's plan.
Asked if he thought the trial should have been a military tribunal instead of civilian, Paterson joked a little.
“I don’t think that I’ve had a chance -- you know I’ve been a little busy lately -- and I haven’t had a chance to read the material that would have informed me as to whether or not it would have been better for it to have been e a military tribunal or whether it should have been a civilian trial," said the governor, who has been embroiled in battles over the budget, gay marriage, license plates, state authorities and even the legitimacy of his 2010 campaign.
On Friday, Paterson had been more reserved in his judgement of the decision, saying "I do not understand why the decommissioneed [the terror suspects] from serving or being tried on Guantanamo Bay, but that's a decision that the federal government made and our job is to help them."