McConnell: Reversal “is very welcome news” and “I’m sure this decision will draw widespread approval.”
McCain/Lieberman: “It is the right decision and we strongly commend the President and the Attorney General for reaching this decision.”
Mitch McConnell: Guantanamo Military Commissions for 9/11 Plotters ‘a Welcome Development’
`For the sake of the safety and security of the American people, I’m glad the President reconsidered his position on how and where to try these detainees. Going forward, this model should be the rule rather than the exception.’
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Monday regarding the administration’s decision to follow a bipartisan recommendation of Congress to try the 9/11 plotters in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rather than in civilian courts in U.S. cities:
“Amidst all the other business we’ll be dealing with this week, I’d like to take a moment to note a welcome development in the war on terror.
“For the last two years, the Obama Administration has actively sought to bring the 9/11 plotters into our communities for civilian trials, a horrible idea that rightly drew overwhelming bipartisan opposition from the American people and their elected representatives here in Congress.
“Today, the administration is announcing that it has changed course, and that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the others who plotted these horrible attacks will be tried in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, rather than in a civilian trial in New York or some other U.S. city.
“This is the right outcome to the long and spirited debate that preceded this decision. Military Commissions at Guantanamo, far from the U.S. mainland, were always the right idea for a variety of compelling reasons which I and others have enumerated repeatedly over the past two years.
“For the sake of the safety and security of the American people, I’m glad the President reconsidered his position on how and where to try these detainees. Going forward, this model should be the rule rather than the exception.
“I’m sure this decision will draw widespread approval.
“It is very welcome news.”
STATEMENT BY SENATORS McCAIN AND LIEBERMAN REGARDING THE ALLEGED 9/11 CO-CONSPIRATORS WILL BE TRIED IN MILITARY COMMISSIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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.”
Scott Brown Statement On Justice Department’s Decision On 9/11 Conspirators:
“I strongly agree with Attorney General Holder’s conclusion to prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed, and the major co-conspirators, through the military commissions system. After spending time at Guantanamo last month, I am confident that the military commission will bring swift and certain justice to these 9/11 masterminds. It was a mistake to think they could be tried in the civilian courts as ordinary criminals. After ten years these terrorists will finally be brought to justice, which is exactly what the 9/11 victims’ families and the American people have been waiting for.”