South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham continues to express his vehement disagreement with the Justice Department’s decision to try five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy in a civilian court. In November Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the five, which includes accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be transferred to New York to go on trial in civilian court. Appearing on Fox News Wednesday, Graham says he is introducing a measure stop the funding to be used to transport the detainees.
“The amendment that I offered will become legislation that will prevent funding to transfer people from Guantanomo Bay to New York City. It will deny funding to the administration to do that. We can’t tell them the venue to try the case in, but we can stop them from having the money to move them and that is an effective way to stop the trials in New York.”
Holder has said that he will direct prosecutors to seek the death penalty against the conspirators. Graham and other Republicans have said the move is a step back for the security of the nation and puts Americans unnecessarily at risk. No date for the trial has been set.
Graham says he and Attorney General Holder have a strong fundamental disagreement about trying prisoners in the ongoing war on Terror in civilian court. “i like him a lot but we’ve had a strong disagreement over taking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the co-conspirators into civilian court. it is criminalizing the war. We do agree that about 50 or more of these detainees at Guantanamo Bay should be held indefinitely without trail under the law of armed conflict.
Graham says President Obama stated recently that we are at war with Al-Qaeda, and if that is the case Graham adds that we should conduct ourselves like we are at war with Al-Qaeda and not turn the conspirators over to civilian authorities, they should be tried by a military tribunal.