The Senate gave passage yesterday to Senate Bill S.3871, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza, which would prohibit New York State, or its local governments, from funding any civilian trials of enemy combatants for acts of terrorism in federal courts located in New York.
Senator Lanza has been a vocal opponent of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s ill-conceived plan to try Sept. 11 terrorist suspects in New York City civil court. He has urged the Obama Administration to reverse its decision.
“The President and Attorney General went to extraordinary and costly means to ignore the will of Congress and the people of New York,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “They seem hell bent on giving foreign terrorists greater rights then they are willing to give American soldiers. Civil trials allow foreign terrorists to exploit our civil trial procedures and discovery rules, and gain intelligence information which will be used to more effectively attack America. This is what happened during the trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Helping our enemies is unconscionable and injurious to our national security. I call upon the Speaker to allow the bill to simply come to the floor of the Assembly for a vote. I am confident that Assembly members will put our State and Country’s safety first and pass the bill. I have successfully debated and passed this critical legislation in the Senate. It is urgent that the Assembly act now. The President and Attorney General seem hell bent on forcing these trials upon the people of New York based upon some misguided and dangerous political agenda. We the people must act to protect ourselves.”
“The arrogance of the Obama administration, and specifically that of Attorney General Holder, has clearly blinded them to the dangers of holding civilian trials in New York,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), who has carries the bill in the Assembly. “Each trial brings renewed threat to New York’s citizens and opens us up to another horrific terror attack. The President’s actions are reckless and irresponsible. By his actions, Mr. Obama has sent a clear message that he does not care about the safety and welfare of those he was elected to protect and serve.”
“Enemy terrorists executed the largest mass murder in American history ,” said Senator Lanza. “Mass murdering, foreign enemies of America should not be afforded the same privileges and rights which are afforded to American citizens under the U.S. Constitution.” Lanza adds that a civil trial would afford these murders even greater rights than a United States soldier which is unconscionable.
“The notion that these terrorists would be tried anywhere near the World Trade Center is not only a major affront to the people of Staten Island who lost so many that day, but also a security risk to all New Yorkers,” said Senator Lanza.
The legislation passed last night after Senate Democrats debated Lanza on the bill for over two hours. 18 members of the Democratic Conference voted against the bill. To view Senator Lanza’s debate follow the link below: