What does Ed Koch think about the Times‘ report that Rudy Giuliani won’t be running for governor?
“That surprises me, because I thought he would be a candidate,” he said, after being told of the report. “I believe he would lose, as this is now a solid rock Democratic state. I’d be even more surprised if he runs for the Senate instead, simply because his desire–based on my observation over the years–is to be in an executive position. But who knows, politics always surprises me.”
As for Mr. Giuliani’s recent media blitz decrying the decision to try terrorists in New York City, Mr. Koch said: “I happen to think he’s absolutely right, and the decision made by the attorney general and the president are wrong for the following reasons: One, you may not get a conviction because you didn’t get a speedy trial as the Constitution requires. The second reason is that he could move to have the case dismissed on the basis that he was tortured and he wasn’t given his Miranda rights, which you don’t have to give a person who is tried in a military court.” Mr. Koch pointed out that even the Civil War soldiers didn’t get trials in the federal courts.
But Mr. Koch said he does not agree with the notion–expressed most creatively by Arizona Congressman John Shaddeg–that the trials will make the city less safe. “The terrorists don’t need reasons to kill. They do it all day long, and they’re constantly planning to kill somewhere in the U.S. Fortunately, we have prevented them, so allowing New York City to be a base where you incarcerate terrorists is not going to increase the danger in my judgment. They want to kill in the U.S. You may say, ‘yes, but it focuses the danger more in the city where the trial is held.’ But the lives of New Yorkers are no more precious than the lives of people in San Francisco or other cities.”