In Break With Bloomberg After Catastrophic Losses, Eaton Answers Atlas’ Call on Terror Trial Issue
Now, Atlas is 3 for oh.
Over two weeks ago, my colleague Francisco D’Anconia called for the Brooklyn GOP establishment to address the issue of holding terror trials of the 9/11 co-conspirators in New York.
Come this past Friday, they finally did. (Thanks for the ole Sarah Palin wink!)
But the decision of Chairman Craig “The Duke” Eaton to oppose the terror trials highlights just how willing the party leadership is willing to be in public with Mayor Bloomberg in light of the devastating losses experienced by the party in last months elections in Brooklyn.
In a press release issued to…well, honestly, I can’t say I know really to whom the party issues these things. I saw this “release” on the Urban Elephants blog in a post entitled “Brooklyn GOP: Obama Wrong on Terror Trial Here.”
The substance of the release stated the following:
This Coalition was formed to fight the decision of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to try the 9/11 co-conspirators in New York City’s federal court, effectively giving war criminals the same rights as American citizens while endangering the safety of all New Yorkers.
Brooklyn Republican Chairman Craig Eaton is calling the decision to try the 9/11 mastermind in New York Federal Court “a grave error that at best, forces victims and their families to relive the attacks, and at worst, puts our city in the crosshairs of terrorists once more.”…
Eaton, an attorney, said that Obama’s decision is insensitive and dangerous, adding “New York has twice been attacked by terrorists in recent years. This trial only encourages them to try again.”
Noting that the 9/11 attacks were an act of war, Eaton suggested that “a military tribunal is more appropriate for Khalid Sheik Mohammed,” and noting that a federal court trial would create havok with traffic, commerce and day-to-day life in New York City.
“New York City has already paid too steep a price in the war on terror, ” Eaton added, “the Obama Administration has made a huge mistake in allowing this trial to take place here.”
First, Eaton divides the party and fails to heal the wounds from his contentious re-election. Then, he sees the 2009 elections kick the life out of the Brooklyn GOP like never before, having failed to see even one GOP candidate win in Brooklyn.
Now, Eaton, Sen. Marty Golden, and the rest of the Brooklyn GOP “leadership” are caught the in the middle of what is becoming an extremely controversial and high profile debate about 9/11 and the legality of trying terrorists in American courts–more specifically in our home city of New York.
Two men that Eaton and the establishment have supported very openly and publicly–former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg–are at odds over what could be the issue of the coming year. But one question remains: what is the Brooklyn GOP’s stand on these trials?
The Brooklyn GOP posse has been silent about more than just recent party events.
We know Eaton, for example, has been openly rooting for Rudy Giuliani for Governor, and in fact unilaterally endorsed him for that post in his official position, without a vote of the party’s executive committee or even an official declaration of Giuliani’s intent to run (in fact, there are serious doubts that Giuliani will in fact run if Cuomo does).
Most recently, Eaton was one of the New York City GOP Chairmen who bent over backwards for Mayor Bloomberg in his campaign by granting him a Wilson Pakula, despite failing to help Bloomberg carry a borough that preferred Bill Thompson. He seemed to be everywhere with the Mayor: at fundraisers, parades–the works.
But now, the Brooklyn GOP might want to distance itself from Bloomberg. He has taken a very controversial position on the terror trials of alleged 9/11 terrorists here on American soil.
Good call, Francisco.
Now, we know The Duke has been harboring a Giuliani fetish for quite some time. As Francisco’s piece stated, Eaton unilaterally endorsed him for governor before any formal announcement was made by Giuliani regarding the decision to run for governor, even dedicating party funds to that endorsement. As many of you know, Giuliani is no longer seeking that position. That turned out to be another fruitless venture of The Duke’s.
In this circumstance, The Duke is showing just how quickly he’ll throw a man under the bus, even one whom he personally fought to see be the party’s choice. Where Giuliani, I believe, likely had the city’s best interests at heart, Eaton’s motives are not as clear. There was a large rally today in Manhattan that opposed the terror trials, and Eaton is likely trying to get attention for himself at the expense of the man who so narrowly won reelection that his political worth to Eaton might be next to nothing.
Throwing people under the bus…isn’t that what Obama was known for doing during the campaign?
Hmm… Well, Democrats act alike, I guess. Even the recently converted…
Anyway, the choices and reasons surrounding this decision make it very clear just how desperate the Brooklyn GOP is to drive attention away from its miserable failure last month. With the terror trial issue becoming a very popular cause among Republicans, it’s good that Mr. Eaton–an avid reader of Atlas, as you all know–decided to follow the suggestion of Francisco D’Anconia’s and, for once, take a stand on an issue!
Even if it might be for all the wrong reasons.