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Statement by Senators McCain and Lieberman Regarding the Alleged 9/11 Co-Conspirators will be tried in Military Commissions


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) today released the following statement regarding the announcement by the Obama Administration to try the alleged 9/11 co-conspirators in military commissions:

"We are pleased that the President has decided that the alleged co-conspirators responsible for planning and carrying out the terrorist attacks of 9/11, including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), will be tried in military commissions in Guantanamo. KSM and the other alleged co-conspirators are charged with war crimes and their cases belong before military commissions, not federal courts here in the United States.

"While we know this was a difficult step for the President and is not what the Attorney General intended when he first announced that KSM and his cohorts would be tried in a civilian criminal court in New York in November 2009, it is the right decision and we strongly commend the President and the Attorney General for reaching this decision, as we and many others have called for.

"Congress, working with the Obama Administration, made significant improvements to military commissions in 2009 and provided a means to try terrorists who have violated the law of war with a criminal process that is fair and consistent with our values while ensuring the safety of American citizens and preserving classified information during wartime.

"Justice in the 9/11 cases has been delayed for nearly a decade. It is well past time to end debate over where the 9/11 conspirators should be tried and move forward with military commissions at Guantanamo. Today's announcement, while long in coming, allows justice to be done. The victims of 9/11 and their families deserve the President's decision to put aside political differences and seek an accounting for the worst terrorist attacks in our Nation's history."

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