Leibell Resolution to move 9/11 Terror Trials Overwhelmingly Passes State Senate

Vincent L. Leibell

February 10, 2010

Leibell Resolution Calling on Obama Administration to move 9/11 Terror Trial Out of New York Overwhelmingly Passes State Senate; Chamber Stands Opposed to President’s Refusal to Commit to Changing Course
    State Senator Vincent Leibell, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs today overwhelmingly won passage of a Senate resolution he introduced calling on the Obama administration to reverse its decision to conduct the 9/11 terror trial in New York.

The resolution (J3889) took on added importance following the President’s refusal Sunday to commit to moving the trial out of New York.  Law enforcement officials estimate the failure to change course could cost State and City taxpayers up to $1 billion in increased security costs and put New Yorkers at risk.

Senator Leibell said, “Holding the terror trial in New York would unnecessarily put New Yorkers at risk and have a staggering economic impact on businesses, disrupt city residents, and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  As the President waffles on a matter of extreme importance to New York, I am pleased that the Senate has overwhelmingly voiced its opposition to the Obama administration’s plan.  I urge Congress to stand with us in support of this resolution.”

Senator Leibell introduced his resolution several weeks ago and worked with Democrats and Republicans to achieve its passage. 
According to numerous published reports, Leibell noted, the Obama administration is still considering conducting the trial in New York City, despite public outcry.

Senator Leibell, a former Naval Officer, said that he supports bringing enemy combatant terrorists to trial in front of a military commission tribunal rather than in federal civilian court, as the Obama administration has proposed. 

New Yorkers can sign Senator Leibell's on-line petition at nysenate.gov/trials.   They can also join the new "Move the Terror Trials"  Facebook page that he established.

The Leibell resolution is below:

Senate Resolution No. 3889
        URGING  the  Federal  Government  to  reverse  its
        decision  to  hold  civilian  trials  of  terrorists
        Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak
        Bin  Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali,
        and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi  in  Manhattan  federal
  WHEREAS,  Throughout  the  course  of our nation's history, from the
time of George Washington to the present  day,  the  United  States  has
recognized that these terrorists, captured with the intent to attack the
United  States,  its  people  and/or  its interests, and which present a
serious and immediate threat to the nation and its people, should not be
afforded the same constitutional criminal justice  protections  reserved
for United States citizens; and
  WHEREAS,  Attempting  to  apply  the  same  constitutional  criminal
justice protections reserved for United States citizens, and  attempting
to  apply  the  principles  of  our civilian courts to these terrorists,
which have openly espoused, planned and/or conducted acts of  terrorism,
war  and  mass  murder  and  destruction  against the United States, its
people and/or its interests,  is  contradictory  to  the  rules  of  war
followed by our soldiers during the capture of these individuals, and is
inherently   inapplicable  to  the  prosecution  and  administration  of
justice; and
  WHEREAS,   Permitting   these   terrorists   to   enjoy   the   same
constitutional  criminal  justice protections reserved for United States
citizens, and awarding them the rules and  procedures  of  our  civilian
federal  courts,  will  place  a  great  risk on our nation's most vital
intelligence information, offer a platform for the inspiration of hatred
of the United States, and encourage fellow terrorists to commit  further
acts of war and violence against this nation and this state; and
  WHEREAS,  The means necessary to be employed to effectively stop the
activities of these terrorists before they  fulfill  their  missions  to
espouse,  plan  and  conduct  acts of terrorism, war and mass murder and
destruction against the United States, its people and/or its  interests,
are  not  consistent with the means to afford these individuals the same
constitutional criminal justice protections reserved for  United  States
citizens,  or to obtain a successful prosecution of these individuals in
a civilian federal criminal court; and
  WHEREAS, Despite these issues, in February 2009, the  United  States
Department   of  Justice,  stayed  the  prosecution  before  a  military
commission tribunal, of five of the most infamous, dangerous and devoted
Al Qaida terrorists in world  history,  Khalid  Sheikh  Mohammed,  Walid
Muhammed  Salih  Mubarak  Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz
Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi; and
  WHEREAS, The Government of the United States of America announced on
November 13, 2009, through U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,  plans  to
prosecute  avowed  Al  Qaida  terrorists  Khalid  Sheikh Mohammed, Walid
Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al  Shibh,  Ali  Abdul-Aziz
Ali,  and  Mustafa  Ahmed  Al Hawsawi in federal district court in lower
Manhattan; and
  WHEREAS,  All  of  these  avowed  terrorists  to be so prosecuted in
federal court have been directly linked to the attacks of September  11,
2001,  which  saw the deaths of nearly three thousand people on New York
soil; and
  WHEREAS, The proposed location of this trial, in the very shadow  of
where  the  World  Trade Center once stood, and in the heart of New York
City's  financial  and  commercial  district,  poses  unacceptable   and
significant risk, harm and threat to the safety and security of millions
of Americans and New Yorkers residing and working in the vicinity of the
federal district courthouse in Manhattan; and
  WHEREAS,  The  risk,  potential harm, threat and danger that will be
brought to New York State and New York  City  and  its  citizens,  as  a
result  of  the  federal  government's  decision  to  give  these avowed
terrorists a civilian trial in federal district court in Manhattan  will
cause  New  York  City, New York State and its citizens to bear not only
the huge burden of such risk, potential harm,  threat  and  danger,  but
also  bear,  in  the midst of a deep economic recession and state fiscal
crisis, an unprecedented security cost, which officials  have  estimated
could reach nearly $1 billion; and
  WHEREAS, It is further contemplated that these trials will cause the
State  of  New York, the City of New York and its citizens, many of whom
experienced the horrific events  of  September  11,  2001,  first  hand,
further   unprecedented   disturbance,  emotional  trauma  and  economic
hardship, with the institution of required security  measures  by  state
and local law enforcement agencies which would need to be taken in lower
Manhattan  for  a  period  which  has  been estimated to be years before
completion of such trials; and
  WHEREAS, New York Governor David A. Paterson, New  York  City  Mayor
Michael   Bloomberg,  Julie  Menin,  Chairwoman  of  Community  Board  1
(representing the neighborhoods surrounding the federal  courthouse  for
lower  Manhattan),  have all expressed serious concern and opposition to
the federal government's plan to prosecute these  avowed  terrorists  in
New  York  City and cause undue and unprecedented financial hardship and
burden on the people and law enforcement agencies in the  State  of  New
York  and  its  political subdivisions in and around New York City; now,
therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That President Barack  Obama  and  Attorney  General  Eric
Holder  are  hereby  strongly  urged by this Legislative Body to reverse
their decision to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih
Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali, and  Mustafa
Ahmed  Al  Hawsawi  in  federal  district  court  in Manhattan, over the
objections of our state  and  local  government  officials;  and  be  it
  RESOLVED,  That  copies  of  this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to  President  Barack  Obama,  U.S.  Attorney  General  Eric
Holder, and all members of the New York State Congressional delegation.