This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," November 13, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, they're coming here, and let's just say Rudy ain't happy.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
The self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four alleged co-conspirators are being brought back to New York to stand trial with the shadow of what once was the World Trade Center.
Attorney General Eric Holder defending that decision today saying: "They should be tried where their crimes occurred. And we're going to be getting reaction from a 9/11 family member in a moment. Someone who is not too happy with this decision. But first, to Rudy Giuliani himself in this exclusive chat.
The former New York City mayor was among the first responders to those Sept. 11 attacks. Joins me right now with a reaction.
What do you think?
RUDOLPH GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I think this is a very dangerous decision, and an irresponsible one. And one that is absolutely unnecessary, meaning if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed couldn't be tried anywhere else but in New York, then of course, New York would handle it and do it.
New York is already a target for terrorists. We announce that every day and talk about it every day. To add something unnecessary to that makes no sense. And the president has made a, I believe, irresponsible decision.
And finally, this was an act of war. And one of the things I thought we learned from September 11th was that we were in a state of denial before Sept. 11. We — we went through this once before — 1993. We had people — terrorists — attack the World Trade Center. We did not recognize it as an act of war. We tried them in the Southern District of New York. It did no good.
We were attacked in Africa. We were attacked at those embassies in Africa. We were attacked on the USS Cole. And then we had the worst attack in our history, and I hoped and prayed from that day on it would be the last Islamic terrorist attack in our history.
And it was not the last, because a week ago we had another Islamic terrorist attack on our soil. And why this administration has trouble figuring that out when the man yelled out, "Allahu akbar," when he was murdering people, as a former prosecutor I find frighteningly incompetent.
CAVUTO: Obviously, they must know in advance that even doing this on our soil and in New York is — is going to be a provocative action.
CAVUTO: So on that level alone, what do you think?
GIULIANI: Because the — they have — they have elevated to a point of I believe irrationality process over safety. I mean, they're — this was a — an act of war by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators. They attacked us like Pearl Harbor. And this may be a different kind of enemy, but it's just as dangerous, just as insidious. And this should be treated as an act of war.
President Bush recognized that. We went through a decade or so of not treating Islamic terrorism as acts of war. Bin Laden declared war on us, and we didn't hear it. We were in a state of denial before Sept. 11. Except at least before Sept. 11 the administrations that existed then didn't have the experience of Sept. 11.
But I believed once Sept. 11 happened, Republican and Democrat would never go back to where we were before in that foolish state of denial. A nation that cannot face its enemies is a nation that's in danger.
CAVUTO: So when Eric Holder says he would probably be pursuing the death penalty, it does little to...
GIULIANI: Well do you think of the vagaries of the criminal justice system? I mean, you're going to have motions to dismiss the case. They're going to have motions for change of venue. I mean, you want to think of a place where you — where you — better than New York where you couldn't get a fair trial for the people who attacked the World Trade Center? It was the biggest news story of the decade — one of the biggest of the century.
I had a case — much less publicity — involving corruption in New York City in 1986 that got so much publicity that venue had to be changed to Connecticut where I had to go try it personally. That case got one tenth of the publicity that this case got.
CAVUTO: So you think it's very unlikely that New York would be able to be...
CAVUTO: ... anyway.
GIULIANI: Criminal defense lawyers are going to have the obligation to try and get Khalid Sheikh Mohammed acquitted. That is...
CAVUTO: Could — could they also...
GIULIANI: That is their obligation.
CAVUTO: Could they also — they could also throw this out on a technicality, right?
GIULIANI: Of course. They have...
CAVUTO: They have water boarding issues...
GIULIANI: They have — they have an obligation, an ethical obligation to raise every issue that requires the United States government to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If there's — if it's a 50-50 case, he's supposed to get acquitted. If there are mistakes that have been made in the processing of this case by the government, it is conceivable that evidence will be suppressed. It's even — I don't believe it will happen, but it's not inconceivable, the case could be thrown out for...
CAVUTO: What would you throw it — what would throw it out?
GIULIANI: I don't know. I have no idea what they did. I have no idea how much...
CAVUTO: But I mean, this would then become a case not so much about Khalid. It would be about what he endured. Again, am I right? Then they turn it around, right?
GIULIANI: Don't you think the activists are going to use this? I mean, the United States government is going to try to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial. The defense lawyers are going to try to put the United States government on trial.
CAVUTO: But are they really going to be putting George Bush on trial?
GIULIANI: Well, I mean, he was the president of the United States. And I'll say this for President Bush, he kept us safe from Islamic terrorist attack every day he was president. It only...
CAVUTO: But isn't this about — Mayor? Isn't this...