November 13th, 2009
01:06 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain blasts decision on terror suspects

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain wants suspected terrorists tried in military tribunals."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain hammered the Obama administration Friday for its decision to try accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists in a civilian court in New York.

Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi will all be transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York - a short distance from the World Trade Center towers that were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

McCain said in a statement that he is "extremely disappointed" by the decision and argued that the suspects "should be treated as war criminals and tried for their crimes through military tribunals."

"I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues in Congress and with the Obama Administration to make our military tribunals system better able to dispense justice efficiently and fairly while protecting secure information," McCain said. "If military tribunals are suitable for the terrorists who attacked our sailors aboard the U.S.S. Cole, as the Obama Administration has decided, then military tribunals are certainly the right venue to try the Al-Qaeda terrorists, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who murdered thousands of innocent civilians on September 11, 2001."

He added: "Today's decision sends a mixed message about America's resolve in the fight against terrorism. We are at war, and we must bring terrorists to justice in a manner consistent with the horrific acts of war they have committed."

Filed under: John McCain • President Obama
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. Kate

    Yeah KILL, BLOOD, and more KILL AND MORE BLOOD.......that's what the GOP is all about........they love war and killing innocent men and women, they put our sons and daughters, mothers, fathers, in the line of fire with out any quilt what so ever........after all it isn't their sons and daughters or grandchildren fighting in these Wars, they keep their own out of the Service and it is your family and my famiy members that they send into battle......over and over again tour after tour and they wonder why there are so many suicides in our military........just more of the Republican FEAR and SCARE the hell out of the American people........NO NO NO, this party is stuck in a hole so deep they don't know how to get they just keep trying to knock this President down........were tired of this crap........

    November 13, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Skeeve

    Unless somebody could explain me, in coherent language and without resorting to slogans and hysteria how exactly trying this people in NYC jeopardize out precious security, I say try them here.

    November 13, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Biased

    It appears this story must be strictly for democrats since the majority of the responses seem to be attacking McCain. I would like someone to respond to the fact that if the rule of law is so important to you why were you not up in arms when Holder and Obama went to court to have the prisoners at Gitmo remain classified as "non persons" with no rights? So how can any court of law or tribunal convict a "non person"? And why do many of the responses say convict them and kill them or similar words if you want to follow the law so closely that now they are being transferred, someone is now presumed innocent. So in all reality, you have already decided they are guilty therefore a military trial where they were ready to plead guilty would have been fine.

    November 13, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Susan

    McCain is going to always be angry about something and it is usually something he knows nothing or little about.

    Thank God he didn't win. I think we would be in a depression and a third war by now with empty-headed Barbie waiting in the wings.

    Things could be so much worse.

    November 13, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Dan, TX

    What's wrong with JUSTICE! They should be tried in NYC.

    November 13, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. mario mtl ca

    Too old to understand

    November 13, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Stu- SW Florida

    It's quite evident McCains' no lawyer. Thank God he's not our President!

    November 13, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Ken Williams

    This isn't about McCain vs Obama. Its about the Obama administration spitting in the face of the victims and their families by allowing them the same rights as American citizens. How good are you liberals going to feel when the ACLU gets these guys off on a technicality and they kill again.

    November 13, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Steve in Kentucky

    Yup. Let's turn our back on our own system of justice.

    After all, it's the government and, by definition, the government can't work.

    So we either have the choice of running a gulag in Gitmo and holding people forever with no trial - or letting terrorists run rampant across America. And we all know which one Obama will choose since he hates America so much.

    If you're a Rethuglican, this is your reality.

    November 13, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Pam

    Grandpa Munster can blast it out his arse.

    November 13, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. ronvan

    Two things for me: First what if, God forbid, something does happen during the trial? Second, what if, because of "national security", or a sharp lawyer, or our imperfect legal system, that these "things" are actually aquitted? These "things" have no concept of human values, have perverted their own religion for personal gain, strap bombs on their own people including women & children, all in the name of their God! Put a bullet in their heads and be done with it!!

    November 13, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. GOPBslapper

    So the terrorists who bombed the WTC the first time around were tried and convicted in NYC, but in an act of Divisive, Political Theatre, the GOP now says we can't do the exact same thing?
    What a bunch of Un-American Morons!

    November 13, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. g

    which court can hand out the stiffer sentence does any boby know?

    November 13, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. dave

    mccain shut up and retire pleeeeeeeeeeeeeez

    November 13, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Bill P

    The perpatrators of the first WTC bombing were tried in criminal court.
    They are now rotting in jail.
    Where is Osama Bin Laden?

    November 13, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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