Dylan Ratigan   |  November 16, 2009

9/11 trial coming to New York City

Nov. 16: Former Gov. George Pataki, R-N.Y., Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald join Morning Meeting to discuss the controversy surrounding the Obama administration’s decision to bring the 9/11 suspects to trial in New York City.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> former new york governor, a republican, george pataki . republican is probably not his first identifier. anyway, we have somebody that is fully behind the idea of bringing in the suspects. and then the best selling author of "great american hypocrites."

>> i think it's a horrible decision. i think it jeper dieses american security. and the propaganda to have al jazeera waiting in the hallways. and the excuse is we have to follow the rule of law, and of course we do, but military tribunals have been upheld by the u.s. supreme court , and they are what we should be using in this case against these terrorists.

>> i do not agree. our tradition is people accused of heinous crimes gets trials, and the crime was committed here. i think it's exactly the thing to do. i have not been able to make any sense of the various accusations against it. they will be tried there. and there is ample evidence to convibt them. we need to show the world that we adhere to justice.

>> congressman, respectfully you are saying you can't see a downside to doing this. we have to reveal our sources. we tried this once before after the 1993 bombings of the towers, and we were forced to give up what we knew, including bin laden . he could infur from that what our sources were. we were going to use military tribunals . they are perfectly fine for some terrorists, but these terrorists we are going to try here. what is the justification for that?

>> i think there is not justification. we should be using it for none of them. what is relevant about the tribunals, the bush administration in seven years was not able to try one person in the military tribunal .

>> that's because he could not get congress to passed the authorization until 2006 .

>> the supreme court knocked it down.

>> glenn , you made the point that other countries, london, madrid, tried their terrorists or those that were accused of perpetrating terrorists attacks in countries in their home cities. walk us through your views and how you put -- again, our situation in the context of other cities around the world?

>> well, it seems only the united states has politicians like governor pataki that spreads the fearmongering, which is saying we are too scared. the spanish, they treated the people that did the subway bombings, and india put on trial the sole surviving terrorists, and even indonesia gave trials to the people that blew up the night clubs in bali. it's only the conservatives feeding the terrorists agenda?

>> only the american concern conservatives -- tell me why barack obama and holder are using tribunals -- they are -- wait, let me try here. you just spoke. they are just picking these particular terrorists for trial in new york because they blew up civilians in new york . so what their logic is, kill thousands of civilians in america, and you can get a civil trial . kill one or two overseas, and we will use military tribunals . that makes no sense. we are less safe today because of this decision.

>> go ahead, glenn .

>> the core of the american justice system, if we want to put people in prison for life or kill them, we determine they are guilty and we give them trials. military tribunals are used for battlefield justice. when you cannot get them to a real court, that's not the case here. and nothing helps terrorists more than being able to go to the muslim world ex say look how the united states states are too afraid to give muslims a real trial that they give to everybody else . that's the greatest weapon we have against terrorism.

>> yeah, when the world trade center towers were blown up in 1993 , we did that. this is not fearmongering. i take recentment with the fact that you use that word. we convicted the sheik in a criminal trial , and it inspired bin laden and others to say we were going to do it again.

>> you think because of that trial, that's what they did what they did.

>> because of the trial they knew what our sources were.

>> they were motivated to do it before. we have the classified intelligence procedures act passed by congress in 1978 that has been used for 30 years.

>> that does what in this context?

>> it works well. the courts have experience with how to protect secrets.

>> we need a better understanding of this. what specific security risks -- forget the politics and theater of it.

>> i will give you an example. we have to reveal the sources of information in a criminal trial . if there is a afghanie civilian that we paid to give us information to capture somebody we have to reveal that. what are other afghany civilians going to think about providing information when they fear their name will be revealed in open court .

>> hold on. let me get to the congressman. i will get back to you.

>> that ignores the intelligence law. that's why we have see put. in the military tribunal , you have the exact same civil rights and to the same extent.

>> the procedures are do it, and we had the law in place and we had it in the '90s when we did the trial, and we still had to reveal the names of all the coconspirators. they were able to protect themselves from our intelligence and our efforts to find them. that's a fact.

>> we are out of time. this conversation is clearly going to stay with us. governor, thank you. and representative glenn , thank you so much for helping us to weave our way through what we are dealing with here.

>>> and then, of course, all