Giuliani: White House sending message 'the war on terror is over'

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani lashed out at the Obama administration Sunday, saying they sent the message that "the war on terror is over" with the decision to try 9/11 terrorism suspects in civilian court.

"We generally don't bring people back to the scene of the crime for justice," Giuliani, who was mayor at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said on "Fox News Sunday." "We didn't do that in our other wars."

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"It would seem to me what the Obama administration is telling us loud and clear is that both in substance and reality, the war on terror, from their point of view, is over," Giuliani added. "We're no longer going to treat these people as if this was an act of war."

The onetime presidential hopeful said that the White House should opt for a tribunal system that had been honed over the years to be "constitutionally permissible," whereas the decision to try professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others in New York federal court was a "better choice for the terrorists."

"This seems to be an over-concern with the rights of the terrorists and a lack of concern for the rights of the public," Giuliani said.

"I think they think that somehow this is going to increase our reputation overseas."

But also on "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) countered that not only would civilian court be the "best forum to guarantee success of prosecution," but pointed out that the Bush administration had successfully tried "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui in federal court in 2006.

"The court has determined they deserve some constitutional protections," Reed said.

Reed, a veteran who sits on the Armed Services Committee, said that trying Mohammed in a military tribunal would only have enforced his "image of soldier" in the Islamic world.

"The up side is that you are vindicting this country's basic values," Reed said.

"This is an opportunity to show that we're better than they are."

The senator also brushed off concerns about acquitted suspects being released. "That is highly unlikely," he said. "As long as these individuals pose a threat they can be detained and they will."

Giuliani also accused the Obama administration of delaying a decision on strategy forward in Afghanistan for political reasons, and of downplaying the Islamic extremist angle on the Fort Hood shootings.

"This whole thing with Major Hasan is another indication that [Obama] doesn't get it," Giuliani said. "He doesn't get the fact that there is an Islamic war against us. Not so hard to figure out that this was yet another Islamic terrorist attack on American soil."