The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312;

Attorney General Holder Defends Decision To Try 9/11 Suspects In Federal Court

Tells House Subcommittee That Final Administration Decision On Trials Still “Weeks Away”


In testimony before a House Appropriations Subcommittee today,
Attorney General Eric Holder defended the merits of his November
decision to try the 9/11 defendants in federal criminal court, but
nevertheless stated that the administration may still consider using the
untested military commissions, instead. Holder said a final decision
regarding the 9/11 suspects was "weeks away."

Since 9/11, the military commissions have resulted in three
terrorism-related convictions. Federal courts, on the other hand, have
produced over 300.
The American Civil Liberties Union strongly believes that the
appropriate place to try terrorism suspects is in federal criminal
court, and that the military commissions are unable to deliver effective
and certain justice and should be shut down for good.
The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of
the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
"Attorney General Holder made the correct decision when he
determined that our federal criminal courts are the best and most
effective choice for prosecuting the cases of the 9/11 defendants, and
it is encouraging that he stood behind his decision today. The minority
in Congress who are pushing for the administration to use the
illegitimate military commissions should be reminded that the military
commissions are untested, ineffective and contrary to American values
and the rule of law. Prosecuting these cases in federal court allows us
to pursue real justice in a competent and proven system that can deliver
reliable and trustworthy results."
More information on trying the 9/11 suspects
in federal criminal courts can be found at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666