Holder Doubles Down On Terror Suspects In Civilian Courts; McConnell: "Send Them To Guantanamo Where They Belong"
House and Senate will reconvene on Monday. On Tuesday the Senate will take up a district judge nominee for Oregon, followed by the nomination of CIA Director Leon Panetta to be Secretary of Defense.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed cloture on S. 782, the bill reauthorizing the Economic Development Act, and a cloture vote is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 73-27 to agree to the Feinstein-Coburn amendment to S. 782, which would repeal an ethanol tax credit. Following that vote, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to prohibit federal funds for ethanol blender pumps and ethanol storage facilities by a vote of 41-59.
Last night, Politico wrote, “Attorney General Eric Holder is finding his voice again, staking out traditionally liberal positions in public and behind closed doors despite a series of highly publicized setbacks, most notably the White House’s rejection of his plan to try September 11 suspects in civilian courts.”
And sure enough, despite that setback, the AP reports, “Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday defended the prosecution of terrorism suspects in civilian court after the top-ranking Senate Republican urged him to send two Iraqis to Guantanamo Bay rather than try them in Kentucky.” According to the AP story, “Holder insisted in his speech that civilian courts are ‘our most effective terror-fighting weapon.’”
Does the Attorney General really believe our civilian courts are a more “effective terror-fighting weapon” than our military, our intelligence services, and law enforcement across the United States?
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell disagrees vehemently with Holder’s position. The AP writes, “McConnell issued a statement in response to Holder's speech that said foreign terrorists belong at the secure detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. ‘There is wide, bipartisan opposition to giving the rights of U.S. citizens to men who tried to kill our troops on the battlefield,’ McConnell said. ‘Unfortunately, this administration has been working since its first week in office to do just that, regardless of the opposition in those communities or their elected leaders in Congress.’”
As The New York Times reported, “Speaking on Fox News, Mr. McConnell denounced the Justice Department’s decision to prosecute two Iraqi men who were charged with terrorism last week in Kentucky. He said the men should be sent to the military prison at Guantánamo to face charges, even though they were arrested on domestic soil. ‘A few years ago, we set up military commissions for the specific purpose of trying foreign terrorists,’ Mr. McConnell said. ‘The perfect place for these terrorists is at Guantánamo, to be interrogated. And, if subsequently a trial is deemed appropriate for these foreign terrorists, there are courtrooms down there for the military commission trials. There is really no reason to be mainstreaming these foreign terrorists into a regular U.S. court.’”
The AP noted that “members of Congress have successfully fought Holder over the prosecution of five other terrorism suspects planned for New York City, including alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The Obama administration bowed to the political pressure and backed off the plan, saying it would instead prosecute them before a military commission.”
But now Holder is apparently doubling down on trying foreign terror suspects in our civilian court system, despite bipartisan opposition to this bad idea.
As Leader McConnell previously said, “These men don’t belong in a courtroom in Kentucky. They belong at the secure detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, far away from U.S. civilians. Sending them to Gitmo is the only way to ensure that they will not enjoy all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens. Sending them to Gitmo is the only way we can be certain there won’t be retaliatory attacks in Kentucky. Sending them to Gitmo is the only way we can prevent Kentuckians from having to cover the cost and having to deal with the disturbances and disruptions that would come with a civilian trial. And sending them to Gitmo is the best way to ensure that they get what they deserve. . . . Send them to Guantanamo where they belong. Get these terrorists out of the civilian system — and out of our backyards.”
Tags: Eric Holder, terrorist trials, civilian courts, Mitch McConnell, Gitmo, Kentucky To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!