GOP Blasts Obama Administration for Handling of Terror Trials

Posted January 31, 2010 at 10:36am

Congressional Republicans on Sunday continued their criticism of the Obama administration for its handling of the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 terror suspects, but stopped short of calling for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder. “I think he ought to step up to Congress and admit he’s the one who made the decisions,— Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) said Sunday on Fox News. “He needs to go to Congress and say, ‘I made that decision and here’s why.’— According to news reports Saturday, President Barack Obama has decided not to try Mohammed, the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind, in New York City, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) has recently complained of the costs and disruption that the high-profile case would bring. Senate Democratic Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other key Democrats have echoed Bloomberg’s concerns.Of the decision, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) said on Fox: “I think it’s one of those things that sounded good in theory but in practice it doesn’t go as well. If there’s somewhere we can try them without spending more money, why spend more money?—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took aim at the Obama administration for even considering the move, saying it was “a mistake— to try terror suspects on U.S. soil during George W. Bush’s administration. He said those mistakes shouldn’t be repeated.“They ought to be tried in these military commissions, and they also ought to be detained at Guantánamo,— McConnell said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.—Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed, saying on Fox: “I think he’s making the wrong decisions. I think we should learn from our mistakes in the past.—McConnell, who has led GOP efforts to keep the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility open, said that if Obama doesn’t switch course on the terror trials, the Senate will respond with its power of the purse.“Absolutely, and I think that will be done on a bipartisan basis,— McConnell said, adding that he believes the administration will realize that “whatever domestic support they had is totally collapsing.—