Giuliani: NYC Can Handle The Security, But Don't Make New Yorkers Relive Sept. 11

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says New York can handle the security that will surround the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the 9/11 conspirators, but that he thinks the decision is "one of the worst decisions that the administration has made."

Giuliani called parts his reaction to the decision "almost personal" and said that "knowing many of the people who died that day," and having stayed in close touch with survivors, "there's no reason to put them through what will become a much more intense reliving of what happened with the terrorists getting an equal chance to explain their side of the story," in a setting "where their lawyers would be unethical if they didn't pursue every avenue of acquittal," which will probably include "putting the government on trial" and, potentially, creating an atmosphere "of moral equivalence, which will be very upsetting."

On whether or not New York will be safe: "If there were no other choice but to try these people in civilian court...I would say that New York City could handle it, because I believe that New York City...today, even more so, is the best prepared city in the country for dealing with whatever terrorists might do or might plan to do." Giuliani noted that New York has the largest police force in the country, with lots of training on how to deal with terrorism-related threats.

"Having said that, it is clearly true that New York City is a prime target, and there is no reason to add...to what already makes New York City a target when you don't have to do that, when you clearly have another approach [military trials] that would avoid that possibility," Giuliani said.

Giuliani, of course, guided the city (and helped guide the nation) through the terrorist attacks in 2001. But, as a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York--where the alleged 9/11 conspirators will be tried--his legal experience makes him an interesting voice on the matter as well (on the call today, he cited military tribunals as a legitimate legal option, pointing out that the administration had deemed them acceptable for other terrorists, likening 9/11 conspirators to Japanese pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor).

Meanwhile, New Yorkers narrowly support the location of the trials, according to a Marist poll.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In