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Public Statements

Making American's Less Safe


Location: Washington, DC

"I am angered by the Obama Administration's irresponsible decision to prosecute the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks in federal criminal court in New York City.

"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his cohorts are part of a global terrorist network dedicated to attacking America. On that awful day nine years ago, they succeeded in killing 3,000 men, women, and children, including 700 innocent people from New Jersey.

"Yes, they must be brought to justice. But these terrorists were already being tried by military commissions, which were specifically designed, and endorsed by the President, to prosecute such heinous acts.

"By bringing these terrorists to U.S. soil for a federal criminal trial, the Administration is giving them the same status as common criminals. By bringing them to New York City, the Attorney General is providing them the world's largest public forum to spew their hate and incite further acts of violence.

"In addition, the Administration is actually jeopardizing our national security. At trial, prosecutors will be forced to reveal U.S. intelligence on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with the methods and sources used in acquiring it. This will enable al Qaeda to better understand our intelligence-gathering techniques and respond accordingly.

"This is not some hypothetical theory. Osama bin Laden used U.S. government information revealed during the 1993 World Trade Center bombing criminal trial to update and enhance his techniques.

"The New York City trial will also jeopardize future military and intelligence missions. Will U.S. personnel have to read terrorists their Miranda rights on the battlefield? Will they have to collect and secure evidence in a war zone? At what risk to our troops and intelligence professionals?

"This irresponsible decision is further evidence that the White House is reverting to a dangerous pre-9/11 mentality -- treating terrorism as a domestic law enforcement issue and hoping for the best.

"This week, we also saw television images of Administration officials touring a jail in Illinois as they shop around for a location here in the U.S. to house over 200 dangerous terrorists now being held in the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility.

"Such a decision would be an open invitation to further acts of terrorism either on our shores, abroad or on the battlefield.

"That's why I have cosponsored H.R. 2294, the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act, which would stop the transfer or release of terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay prison into the United States.

"The President's actions will place the safety and security of the American people into serious doubt and should be reversed!"

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