The White House ordered the Justice Department Thursday night to consider other places to try the 9/11 terror suspects after a wave of opposition to holding the trial in lower Manhattan.While this is a victory for New York City and a triumph of common sense over lunacy, the original problem still remains. They are still determined to try the terrorists in civilian courts. It is only the venue that they are changing.
The dramatic turnabout came hours after Mayor Bloomberg said he would "prefer that they did it elsewhere" and then spoke to Attorney General Eric Holder.
"It would be an inconvenience at the least, and probably that's too mild a word for people that live in the neighborhood and businesses in the neighborhood," Bloomberg told reporters.
"There are places that would be less expensive for the taxpayers and less disruptive for New York City."
State and city leaders have increasingly railed against a plan to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Manhattan federal court since Holder proposed it last month.
Sen. Chuck Schumer said he was "pleased" that the administration is reconsidering the location of the trial.
Earlier in the day, Schumer spoke "with high-level members of the administration and urged them to find alternatives," said the senator's spokesman, Josh Vlasto.
The order to consider new venues does not change the White House's position that Mohammed should be tried in civilian court.So some other lucky community will get the fun of hosting the trial. I wonder if they'll consult with the police commissioner and mayor ahead of time before making this choice.
"President Obama is still committed to trying Mohammed and four other terrorist detainees in federal court," spokesman Bill Burton said Thursday.
It's good that Obama could recognize that he needed to change his policy after even members of his own party such as Feinstein and Schumer were calling for an end to the idea of trying them in New York City. But why would any other location be any better? It is the policy that should be changed, not just the venue.