Brief of the Week, November 23, 2009

N.Y. TRIAL COULD MEAN “MISCHIEF IN THE FORM OF MURDER,” SAYS MUKASEY: The decision of Attorney General Eric Holder to relocate five Guantanamo Bay detainees to New York City for trial in federal court was blasted the same day by his predecessor. In Washington for a meeting of the Federalist Society, former Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey responded to an interview HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi had with former New York City Mayor Ed Koch about Holder’s decision. Koch had told Gizzi that the Manhattan Corrections Center (where the detainees will be held pending trial) is a “very secure institution” that can be depended upon to hold the prisoners. Mukasey told Gizzi, “All that shows is that if you ask the wrong question, you’re sure to get the wrong answer. Of course it’s secure. They’re not going to escape. The question is not whether they are going to escape. The question is whether, not only that particular facility but the city at large, will then become the focus for mischief in the form of murder by adherents of Kalid Sheik Muhammad. Whether this raises the odds that it will, I would suggest to you that it raises them very high. [italics added].” The former prosecutor and federal judge from New York went on to say, “the proceeding, assuming it goes forward within the lifetime of everyone in this room, is one where confidential information is able to be kept confidential and whether the trial is able to proceed in an orderly fashion.”