Rep. Maloney Testimony at City Council Hearing on NYC Terror Trials
New York, NY – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) submitted the following testimony at a New York City Council hearing today on the proposed trials in federal court in lower Manhattan of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other detainees:
“Good afternoon. I would like to thank the Committees on Public Safety
and Lower Manhattan Redevelopment for holding today’s hearing. I
commend Chairman Vallone and Chairwoman Chin for their leadership on
behalf of New Yorkers who are deeply concerned about the consequences
and cost of trying the self-described mastermind of the 9/11 attacks,
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and other detainees in lower Manhattan. I
regret that a prior commitment prevents me from testifying today in
“The New York City Police Department has reported that providing
security for the trials would require an enormous police presence, both
in cars and on horseback, and thousands of metal barriers, among other
security measures, in the neighborhood surrounding the courthouse.
These measures would be an enormous burden on a community that to this
day is still recovering from the 9/11 attacks.
“The City estimates that these and other security measures would cost
$200 million per year, with a total cost approaching $1 billion for the
duration of the trials. The cost to local businesses that would be
severely disrupted by the trials would be incalculable.
“I join with Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Kelly, Manhattan Community
Board 1, and many of my colleagues in the New York Congressional
delegation in urging the federal government to consider trial venues
other than in lower Manhattan. Alternative venues exist where security
measures would be less costly, and, just as important, would have less
of an impact on the day-to-day life of the surrounding community.
“Closing Guantanamo Bay and trying the 9/11 terrorists in a manner
consistent with American values are what’s important – the trials could
be held in any number of secure locations. There is no need to paralyze
one of the most dense, urban areas of the country or to inconvenience
tens of thousands of residents, business owners, and employees in order
to bring these terrorists to justice.
“In addition, I urge the administration to make clear that wherever the
trials are held, the federal government will pay for the entire cost of
providing security. State and local governments should not have to bear
the burden of this federal responsibility.
“None of us will ever forget the boundless horror of September 11, 2001
and the murder of thousands of our neighbors, family members, and
friends. Bringing one of the plotters of the attacks to justice in an
American courtroom will be a powerful demonstration to the world that
our nation will never yield its fundamental values to the worst of