Argument: US courts have successfully tried many terrorists

Issue Report: Trying 9/11 terror suspects in NYC courts


Dan McLaughlin. “Why Terrorists Don’t Deserve A Court Date.” CBS. November 18, 2009: “our federal courts have waged an admirable war of their own against terrorists, whether the judges call it that or not. Our civilian courts have tried 195 cases of terrorism since 2001, according to Justice Department figures, and 91percent of them have resulted in convictions.”

Joint statement by conservatives David Keene of the American Conservative Union, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and Bob Barr, a former Georgia Republican congressman and Libertarian Party presidential candidate, all in the name of the U.S. Constitution: “Over the last two decades, federal courts constituted under Article III of the U.S. Constitution have proven capable of trying a wide array of terrorism cases, without sacrificing either national security or fair trial standard…The scaremongering about these issues should stop.”[1]

Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith. “Holder’s reasonable decision.” Washington Post. November 20th, 2009: “In terrorist trials over the past 15 years, federal prosecutors and judges have gained extensive experience protecting intelligence sources and methods, limiting a defendant’s ability to raise irrelevant issues and tightly controlling the courtroom. Moussaoui’s trial was challenging because his request for access to terrorists held at “black” sites had to be litigated. Difficulties also arose because Moussaoui acted as his own lawyer, and the judge labored to control him. But it is difficult to imagine a military commission of rudimentary fairness that would not allow a defendant a similar right to represent himself and speak out in court.”

“A Return to American Justice.” New York Times Editorial. November 13, 2009: “Experience shows that federal courts are capable of handling high-profile terrorism trials without comprising legitimate secrets, national security or the rule of law. Mr. Bush’s tribunals failed to hold a single trial.”

“Commentary: U.S. legal system is capable of trying 9-11 suspects.” The Miami Herald. Nov. 16, 2009: “The American system of justice has won an important vote of confidence from the Obama administration, signaling an overdue return to due process and the rule of law.

“Commentary: U.S. legal system is capable of trying 9-11 suspects.” The Miami Herald. Nov. 16, 2009: “By deciding to move the trials of five Guantanamo detainees accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to New York City for trial in a civilian court, the administration reaffirmed confidence in a system of justice that has repeatedly shown itself capable of handling terrorism cases.

That’s what happened with the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui, and scores of other terrorism suspects tried in open court. Some 347 convicted terrorists are being held in American prisons after facing justice in U.S. courts, by the count of Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.”