This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," January 29, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, now the White House is looking at moving the 9/11 terror trials from New York City.
America's mayor relieved at that, but he's angry about this, the trial still set to happen in a federal court, still here in the U.S. of A. Rudy Giuliani says, keep Gitmo open, prosecute the terror suspects there, all of them.
Former Republican mayor of New York, presidential candidate as well, joining me right now.
Mayor, good to see you.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI, R-FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Good to see you, Neil.
CAVUTO: Everybody is blinking in the wake of this. And you were steadfast on it. And now your successor seems to be singing more your tune now, Michael Bloomberg, and now the administration looking for not Gitmo, but an alternative.
GIULIANI: I predicted about a month ago that the president was going to move the trial out of New York; he just didn't know it, right?
CAVUTO: What do you think happened?
GIULIANI: Now I think he's going to move it to a military tribunal.
CAVUTO: I know, but what brought that?
GIULIANI: But he's not quite there yet. And he's just going to go through a lot more pain until he gets there.
What brought him there is, it was — as Pete King says, it was one of the most irresponsible decisions an American president ever made. It makes no sense at all to try this man in a civilian court. We're not proving anything to anybody, except maybe some left-wing ideologues.
There's no constituency for, oh, my gosh, it's much fairer to try him in civilian court than a military tribunal. It's particularly no fairer after you've already announced, as the president did and the attorney general, that he's guilty, that he's going to be convicted, and, if he doesn't get convicted, you are going to keep him in jail anyway.
So, this is a public relations thing we're dealing with.
CAVUTO: But, you know, there is — we have had all these constitutional purists — I do want to talk about that in a second — but who say, well, you know, we never declared an act of war. So, by not doing that, or Congress not doing that, all this other stuff we have been doing with these guys is weird.
GIULIANI: OK. I will give you an example, the attack on Pearl Harbor. There was no act of war declared. It wasn't declared until a day or two later. Would we have treated those people as civilian criminals who just committed murder or treated them as war criminals, enemy combatants?
CAVUTO: But the act of war was declared a day later, right?
GIULIANI: OK, but it wasn't at the time the act was being...
CAVUTO: Fair enough.
GIULIANI: ... and it was on American soil.
All throughout the Civil War, all throughout the Second World War, all throughout the Korean War, which was not necessarily declared — it was a — considered a military action, a police action, I think it was called — we treated them as enemy combatants. Truman did. Eisenhower did.
GIULIANI: ... like we did during in the Vietnam War.
CAVUTO: So, there is precedent.
GIULIANI: Yes. And what better case? Why would you want to give terrorists more rights and more benefits than you have to give them?
Military tribunals are fair. They're just. We're giving them a lot more justice than they ever gave any of their innocent victims, who they just killed for horrible reasons.
CAVUTO: So, that there is legal precedent?
GIULIANI: And who the heck is going to be impressed with a trial in a civilian court that is going to become a circus, that the president of the United States and the attorney general have already announced the results of?
GIULIANI: So, let's say we try them in civilian court and we convict them. If they're trying to impress these terrorists, the terrorists are just going to say, well, that was a foreordained conclusion.
So, this makes no sense. It's not necessary. Scott Brown was absolutely right when he said we shouldn't be spending money on terrorists' lawyers. We should be spending money on catching terrorists.
And the reality is, give them exactly what they're entitled to, nothing more. I think that's where the American people are. And I think the president is going to get there. And it's going to take him longer. I mean, I wish we didn't have to go through all this.
CAVUTO: All right. Well, I'm not a lawyer, but I do watch "Law & Order." So...
GIULIANI: I have been on it.