November 13, 2009
Lewis: President Obama’s Decision to Bring 9/11 Mastermind into U.S. for Trial is Dangerously Irresponsible
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Committee Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis today criticized the Obama Administration’s decision to bring five terrorists currently detained at Guantanamo Bay – including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who masterminded the 9/11 terrorist attacks – to New York for trial in civilian court. Lewis and Republicans on the Appropriations committee have so far this year been successful in inserting legislative language into various Appropriations bills to prohibit the release and limit the transfer into the U.S. of prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay. However, stronger restrictions supported by Republicans – such as a ban on any detainee transfer to the U.S. – have been largely blocked by the Democrat leadership in the House.
Lewis made the following statement regarding the Administration’s announcement:
“President Obama’s decision to allow Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo detainees to New York for trial is dangerously irresponsible. Time and time again, the American people and their elected representatives in this Congress have made it known that these terrorists should not be allowed into the U.S. for any reason, including for trial.
Yet, President Obama has disregarded the will of the people and is moving one of the most destructive enemies in American history back to the scene of his heinous crime to be tried in a U.S. civilian court – essentially giving him the rights of an American citizen. Not only could this lead to the unthinkable outcome of this trial being thrown out on legal technicalities, but the ensuing publicity could lead to information being made public that could bring harm to American civilians and military personnel who are fighting to stop terrorism around the globe.
It is time for the Obama Administration to come to grips with the reality that closing Guantanamo will not make America safer. It is time for the President to put a halt to his ill-conceived campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay and stop this frantic effort to empty Guantanamo of detainees by transferring them to the U.S. or releasing them abroad.
President Obama and this Administration must instead put the safety of all Americans first, and craft a long overdue, coherent plan to bring these enemies of the state to justice right where they are - in Guantanamo Bay.”