Manhattan: Despite near freezing temperatures and steady rain, a spirited crowd of 9/11 families, first responders, and their supporters rallied this afternoon outside a federal courthouse in Manhattan to protest Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 conspirators the right to a civilian trial in that very court. Interspersed among the sea of umbrellas at the rally were American flags and homemade signs:
"Give Us Liberty, Give Them Death," read one. "Treating Terrorism As A Street Crime Is What Brought Us 9/11 In The First Place," said another. One took direct aim at the attorney general: "Eric Holder=Disgraceful and Despicable," and “2,921 Souls Shout: Can You Hear Us Now?”
Speakers and attendees argued that by giving enemy combatants a trial in a civilian court -- rather than a military tribunal -- Holder has needlessly put lives at risk. The decision will restrict what evidence may be used against the terrorists, could reveal intelligence secrets, and sets back the clock to September 10. “[Terrorists] declared war on us 15 years ago,” said Andy McCarthy, who prosecuted the “Blind Sheikh” following the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. “When they declared war on us, they were using bombs, and we answered with subpoenas. They attacked, and we indicted.”
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