Andy McCarthy led the team that successfully prosecuted those who bombed the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993 and conspired in the Landmark Bombings plot, including “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman. He has been critical of Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to bring the 9/11 conspirators into federal court. McCarthy weighed in again today, in the New York Daily News:
In the military system, we could have denied them access to classified information, forcing them to accept military lawyers with security clearances who could see such intelligence but not share it with our enemies. In civilian court, the Supreme Court has held an accused has an absolute right to conduct his own defense. If KSM asserts that right — as he tried to do in the military commission — he will have a strong argument that we must surrender relevant, top-secret information directly to him. And we know that indicted terrorists share what they learn with their confederates on the outside.
Finally, as policy, the administration’s decision is perverse. A half-century of humanitarian law, beginning with the Geneva Conventions, sought to civilize warfare. To receive enhanced protection, combatants must adhere to the laws of war and refrain from targeting civilians. Under Obama-logic, the Cole bombers get a military commission while the 9/11 savages are clothed in the majesty of the Bill of Rights.