Monday, January 18, 2010
Solution To Costs & Security Concerns Surrounding Gitmo Trial In Manhattan
By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
There's been a lot of opposition to the announced terrorism trial against five Guantanamo Bay detainees charged in the September 11, 2001 terrorist plots. Many people object to holding the trial in federal district court - saying that they should instead face military tribunals. Others are concerned about the costs and security issues surrounding a trial in a courthouse in lower Manhattan.
The city of New York says it will cost $200 million-a-year in local taxpayer's money to provide security. And the trial is expected to last more than a year.
Businesses and residents in adjacent Chinatown fear that the necessary security measures will drive customers away in this already fragile economy.
TV host and writer Julie Menin - however - has come up with a common sense solution to this problem.
Menin, writing today in the Huffington Post, says that Governors Island - located in New York Harbor - would make an ideal location for the trial.
The island is a mostly abandoned former military base. The only access is by boat. Anyone who attended the trial could be screened on the mainland before getting on board. No one would be able to walk up with a bomb strapped to his body or in a bag. No one would be able to attack with a car or a truck bomb.
The only real vulnerabilities would be by sea and by air. As when the president's helicopter lands at the nearby Wall Street heliport, marine traffic could be diverted from coming too close to the island during the trial. An inconvenience, yes. But less so than the impact on the lower Manhattan community should it be held there.
Not only would this work, but it would be far less expensive to maintain.