9/11 families, supporters, protest NYC trials: "NEW YORK — Several hundred people rallied in the rain near Manhattan’s federal courthouse complex Saturday to protest the plan to put major terrorism suspects on trial in New York City.Demonstrators at the Saturday event included the actor Brian Dennehy and a number of people who lost friends and relatives in the 9/11 attacks.Anger at the Obama administration ran hot in the crowd. One person held up a sign calling Attorney General Eric Holder ‘disgraceful and despicable.’
Another sign said ‘Obama/Holder ... Jihad from within.’Opponents of the plan say that a New York trial could again make the city a terrorism target, and that the five suspects should instead face a military tribunal.Addressing the crowd, Dennehy passed along a message from the father of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who is opposed to a public trial for reputed terror mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.The actor said he also believed the trial would be ‘an uncalled-for ordeal that could be used for political purposes.’‘This will provide the radicals with a huge forum,’ said Dennehy, a Marine Corps veteran. ‘Why should they have the normal constitutional protections?’Lee Ielpi, a retired firefighter whose son, also a firefighter, died on 9/11, said he believed the U.S. has been in a state of war since the attacks, and that a military tribunal was therefore the appropriate venue for justice.‘They deserve a fair trial in a military tribunal, not on our soil,’ he said. ‘Guantanamo is where it should be.’Other victims of the attacks disagreed.
Lorie Van Auken, who lost her husband at the World Trade Center, said in an interview before the rally that it was fitting the accused answer charges a short walk from ground zero.‘Opponents of the trial don’t represent all families,’ she said in a telephone interview on Friday.Another supporter of the trial plan, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, said military commissions have a poor track record when it comes to convicting terrorism suspects.
The New York Democrat expressed confidence that U.S. prosecutors can win a conviction in a regular, civilian court.On Saturday, the protesters included 9/11 families, ground zero rescue workers and former World Trade Center executives.Greg Manning was a senior vice president at Euro Brokers, whose life was spared because he was on business outside the trade center. He said the decision to stage the trial in New York shows the government’s ‘casual attitude towards security.’He said Mohammed, who is accused of being the mastermind of the attacks, ‘is not the same as any defendant.’ Manning said that if Mohammed decides to defend himself, ‘he will exploit every right in the Constitution and use the trial as a platform.’"
(Via Air Force Times - News.)