Rep. King Slams White HouseBy Marcia Kramer
November 18, 2009
New York (CBS) - The New York City Police commissioner is raising questions about the money and the manpower needed to keep the city safe during trials for alleged 9/11 terrorists. This as Attorney General Eric Holder is defending his decision to try them in New York.
It was subtle, but worrisome. Commissioner Ray Kelly voicing concern about manpower cuts affecting security decisions during the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four terror accomplices.
"We obviously have to think about it. We are down over 5,000 police officers from where we were in 2001, so we have to take a very hard look at the resources that will be utilized for an operation like this," Kelly said.
Prodded by Sen. Charles Schumer, Holder agreed to have the federal government pick up about $75 million of the tab, money that will help turn lower Manhattan into a fortress once the al Qaeda men arrive here.
"We'll have a significant number of police officers on the ground. We'll have equipment sensors; we'll have our Skywatch deployed," Kelly said.
The decision to bring Mohammed and the other terror plotters here has Team Obama and the attorney general playing defense. Critics believe the trial could make New York and even bigger target and that Mohammed will use the court proceedings as a stage for his anti-American rhetoric.
"Does that approach not reward terrorists with benefits like potentially providing them access to sensitive information and providing them a platform for propagandizing?" Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky asked.
Holder said he's not worried.
"We need not cower in the face of this enemy. Our institutions are strong. Our infrastructure is sturdy. Our resolve is firm and our people are ready," Holder said.
Schumer said he's confident justice will be done.
"I've asked Eric Holder if he sees any legal barriers that some defense lawyer could throw in the way of instituting capital punishment for these terrorists and he said no," Schumer said.
However, Republican Congressman Peter King reiterated his stance that a move like this is only asking for trouble.
"The president's decision to bring detainees from Guantanamo to the United States for trial is one of the most dangerous decisions any president has ever made. The president is unilaterally ending the war against terrorism and returning us to a pre-Sept. 11 law enforcement regime," King said.
King and other House Republicans are trying to force a vote on the "Keep Terrorists out of America Act."
It forces the president to certify that any detainee brought here will not ever be released into the country.
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