Paterson Calls Obama Wrong on 9/11 Trial
By DANNY HAKIM
Gov. David A. Paterson on Monday criticized the Obama administration’s decision to try five men linked to the Sept. 11 attacks in a civilian court in Manhattan.
His comments made him one of a few Democrats to take that stand and underscored his schism with the White House.
“This is not a decision that I would have made,” the governor said. “New York was very much the epicenter of that attack; over 2,700 lives were lost.”
“It’s very painful,” he added. “We’re still having trouble getting over it. We still have been unable to rebuild that site, and having those terrorists tried so close to the attack is going to be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers.”
The decision to try the men in New York rather than in a military tribunal, made public on Friday by the United States attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., drew mixed reactions from lawmakers and victims’ families. Some have questioned why the five terrorism suspects, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the attacks, are being afforded civilian trials.