Family Members of 9/11 Victims Seek Meeting with Attorney General Holder to Support Civilian Trials for GTMO Detainees

WASHINGTON - March 9 -  Today, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a national organization of more than 200 relatives of victims of the 9/11 attacks, delivered a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking to meet with him to discuss their support for civilian trials for Guantanamo detainees including alleged 9/11 master mind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. The families’ group acted in the wake of reports that the Obama administration is considering trying Mohammed before a military tribunal. 

In the letter, the group voiced its concern that the Administration was considering “…compromising with Senator Lindsay Graham regarding the civilian trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed.  If there is validity to this report, we need you to know that we consider this to be a very troublesome bargain.”  The letter goes on to say: “We believe the closure of Guantanamo Bay must not be solely symbolic in nature. We must close it and hold all trials in open, civilian courts where justice is transparent. We continue to support your initial conviction that holding these trials on American soil is the right thing to do.”  

The group is preparing to launch a public education campaign to bolster support for civilian trials for terrorism suspects which they believe is a critical step to reversing Bush administration policies that undermine due process and the rule of law. 

“I lost my pregnant daughter on 9/11 and I know I will never get her back,” said Donna O’Connor, a spokesperson for 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. “We will not stand by idly and lose our country as well. The American system of justice has successfully prosecuted over 300 terrorism cases without compromising our principles.  9/11 families ask nothing less than that in the name of our loved ones.”

A copy of the letter is attached and available at www.peacefultomorrows.org.

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/03/09-0