The Attorney General of the United States just doesn’t get it.
The on-again, off-again trial of the 9/11 terrorists may be on again -- at the Federal Courthouse in Manhattan.
It doesn’t seem to matter to Attorney General Eric Holder that having the trial in densely crowded lower Manhattan is strongly opposed by Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and many of the people who work and live in Chinatown. Indeed, if the trial lasts many months as expected, Chinatown’s commerce could be devastated.
Holder has told the Senate Judiciary Committee that New York is “not off the table” as the place to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attack, and four henchmen.
Thus, Holder and the White House leave all of us in a state of confusion. New York Senator Chuck Schumer said: “We know the administration is not going to hold the trial in New York. They should just say it already.”
Now it could be in. Unless the AG misspoke. It’s possible. In February, Holder said he was open to trying the accused before a military tribunal. This guy is nothing if not inconsistent! We hope he stands ready to defend the First Amendment rights of bloggers who criticize him!
Councilwoman Margaret Chin told me: “I’m so disappointed in President Obama. He should visit Chinatown and lower Manhattan and see for himself. We’re still suffering from the effects of 9/11 -- streets barricaded, traffic a mess. And a trial would make it worse, much worse.”
In an editorial the Daily News declared: “Get the hell out of here: 9/11 trial cannot be in New York, Mr. Holder.”
It’s time Washington got its act together. New York is not a yo-yo, to be tossed in and out like a plaything. This trial could cost the city 200 million dollars, or more. It would disrupt the lives of millions of people.
The Obama administration needs to listen to New York. Is that too much to ask?