The AP reports:
Dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainee cases have been referred to federal prosecutors for possible criminal trials in the nation’s capital, Virginia and New York City, officials told The Associated Press on Monday as a second strategy for trying the detainees emerged within the Obama administration. The Justice Department’s strategy of holding trials in East Coast cities could be a sharp departure from a Pentagon plan to hold all Guantanamo-related civilian and military trials in the Midwest.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell is blasting the decision, declaring:
I strongly oppose the trials of any Guantanamo Bay detainees being conducted in Alexandria, or anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The federal courthouse in Alexandria is located just feet from hotels, shops and apartment buildings. In 2006 the Alexandria trial of terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui demonstrated firsthand the tremendous burden such events place on the community. Since that time the area surrounding the Courthouse has grown more populated and busier. Trying Guantanamo Bay detainees in Alexandria would lead to a severe disruption of daily life in the city, and would be an imposition on all residents of the area. It would present numerous public safety challenges and concerns. I join with Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille, Congressman Frank Wolf and other local officials in strongly opposing any effort to try detainees at the federal courthouse in the city. I continue to support passage of federal legislation prohibiting the transfer of detainees to a state without approval from the governor and legislature. One of the chief obligations of a governor is to take every action necessary to keep their citizens and communities safe and secure. I strongly oppose this proposal by the Department of Justice.
No word yet from Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds.