Issa to Holder: Produce Documents that Led to Your Decision to Try KSM in New York

February 4, 2010

Administration’s reassessment of KSM trial in New York City calls into question Attorney General Holder’s “Thorough Review”

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Darrell Issa, Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for all records relating to President Obama’s January 2009 decision to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility as well as all documents related to Attorney General’s decision to prosecute five Guantanamo detainees in the New York Federal court system, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

“When President Obama signed the order to close Guantanamo Bay, he required Attorney General Holder conduct a through review of all legal, logistical and security issues surrounding the transfer of detainees to the United States, as well as whether prosecuting them in the American legal system was possible,” said Issa.  “When Attorney General Holder announced the decision to try five Guantanamo terrorists in New York City, he claimed that New York was the ‘best forum’ and that he had ‘weighed every alternative,’ yet now the Administration is reassessing the decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his fellow conspirators in downtown Manhattan, citing staggering costs and national security concerns.  The obvious question is exactly what kind of review, if any, was conducted that led Attorney General Holder to decide that terrorist trials in New York were a good idea?”

The letter from Issa demands the Attorney General produce, no later than February 12, 2010 all records relating to the decision to transfer Guantanamo Bay terrorists to American soil, any and all assessments that led to the Obama Administration’s decision to prosecute terrorists in the federal court system, as well as specifics on what the Administration’s working group—which included the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—recommended to the President concerning the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

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