Fossella: Terrorists Should Be Tried as War Criminals

Monday, 01 Feb 2010 02:33 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Former Republican Rep. Vito Fossella applauded the Obama administration for finally doing the right thing in moving the trial of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 suspects out of New York City.

But Obama is making a significant error in not trying the terrorists as war criminals, Fossella said.

“The important issue still is that these individuals should be tried before military tribunals [rather than in a civilian court],” the former New York congressman told Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella.

See Video: Former Rep. Vito Fossella blasts Obama’s approach to terrorism trials - Click Here Now

A popular congressman who served five terms, Fossella had the distinction of being the only Republican in the House from New York City with his district covering Staten Island.

“It boggles my mind,” Fossella said. “There are those who just feel that we should undo almost 200 years of jurisprudence and precedents for treating war criminals and trying them. . . Let's think about what could happen at a civilian trial. They could reveal sensitive military information, national security information. They could further weaken this country.”

On Friday, U.S. officials revealed that the Justice Department was looking into alternate sites for the trial of Mohammed and four other defendants.

The plan to try the five men in lower Manhattan drew stiff opposition in Congress and New York. Mayor Bloomberg, who initially supported the idea of New York trial, then opposed it, saying it would be too costly for the city to pay for the security related to the trial.

Fossella applauded Bloomberg and the Obama administration's change of heart.

“I think these decisions to relocate or move the trial from downtown Manhattan are long overdue,” said Fossella, who is now the chief operating officer of Superfund Investment Group, an investment management company.

“Downtown Manhattan is just a few blocks from where these terrorists attacked this nation on Sept. 11, 2001. . . So on many different levels many of us have argued, not just for days but for months, how ridiculous” it would be to try the 9/11 defendants in New York City.

“One [reason] is that these are individuals who declared war on this country, who attacked this country, and thus should be treated as war criminals and not as ordinary citizens or civilian defendants.

“Secondly, they should not be afforded the constitutional rights that are guaranteed every American citizen. These individuals clearly declared war, they wanted war, and as such should be subject to what has been in place for more than 200 years – trying these individuals before a military tribunal.

“Third, as a practical matter … the security costs alone for the trial could exceed $500 million. Five hundred million dollars of taxpayer money to try five terrorists,” Fossella said. “Which, again, for different reasons, is just ludicrous. Not to mention the fact the impact it would've had on the quality of life on the residents and business owners of downtown Manhattan. … No one across this country should have to pay for the security costs in excess of $500 million for these terrorists."

Other issues Fossella addressed during the interview:

  • On whether security officials should be fired for the Christmas Day bombing attempt of Northwest Airlines Flight 253:

“The real issue should continue to focus upon those who want to bring harm to our people. That we should recognize that are still terrorists out there who don't like us – who hate us, as a matter of fact – who hate our way of life, who want to destroy freedom, who want to kill innocent people.”
  • On the ability of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Obama administration to keep Americans safe:

“I think more important than pointing fingers at one person or one individual is to have a rigorous, vigilant policy in place. We should not bend over backwards to accommodate those who want to do this country harm.”
  • Obama's reluctance to use the words “terrorist,” “terrorism,” and “war on terror”:

“I think you have to call it like you see it. They want to be called terrorists, they want to be called warriors. . . They are terrorists, and they should be recognized and acknowledged as such. I would prefer to see our commander in chief use the word 'terrorists,' because that's exactly what they are.”
  • On whether Obama is perceived as weak by al-Qaida and America's other enemies:

“I hope not. It's our collective, joint interest that the country remains strong and vigilant and we have a commander in chief who's recognized as vigilant. We may disagree on the policy, but our differences should end at the border.”

See Video: Former Rep. Vito Fossella blasts Obama’s approach to terrorism trials - Click Here Now

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mali's Islamists Withdraw Cease-Fire Pledge

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 13:06 PM

Tens of thousands of Fatah supporters rallied in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza on Friday for the first time since they we . . .

Fmr. CIA Director Hayden: Iran Nuclear Crisis Gets 'Scarier'

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 18:11 PM

 . . .

Join Fmr. CIA Director for Special Iran Briefing, Assess the Danger

Friday, 13 Jul 2012 12:27 PM

 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved