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Tuesday, February 2, 2010
It Is Time To Prioritize Security Over Terrorist Rights
By Heritage Foundation @ 10:40 AM :: 4620 Views :: National News, Ethics

Thursday, the White House ordered the Department of Justice to begin considering places other than New York City to host the civilian criminal trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terrorists. The New York Times describes a decision to move the trials out of New York as "a retreat by the administration" and reported that the Obama administration "was scrambling" to find a new way forward.

This latest bit of self-inflicted national security chaos comes after Obama ally New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that he did not want KSM's trial in Manhattan. And Bloomberg was not the only Obama sympathizer to plead with the President to rethink his detainee policies. Six Senators, including Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Jim Webb (D-VA), John McCain (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) all signed a letter saying of KSM and his conspirators:

You will be providing them one of the most visible platforms in the world to exalt their past acts and to rally others in support of further terrorism.

And the KSM trial debacle is not the only sign the Obama administration is putting their personal politics over protecting American citizens. Last week, the nation's top intelligence official, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, told a Senate committee that the Obama administration was wrong to question Flight 253 would-be-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with civilian law officers instead of using specially trained interrogators from the recently-created High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.

These concerns were then echoed by 9/11 Commission heads former-Gov. Thomas Kean (R-NJ) and former-Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), who said U.S. intelligence agencies should have been consulted before Abdulmutallab was granted constitutional protections under U.S. law, known as Miranda rights, and initially stopped talking to investigators.

It is high time for the Obama administration to stop allowing their leftist base to undermine our national security. As Heritage fellow Cully Stimson explains, returning KSM to a military court would be a great place to start:

It is time for the administration to acknowledge the folly of deciding to try KSM and others in federal court and refer them back to a military commission, where they belong. Then, the administration should give commissions the full resources that they have lacked, including world-class prosecutors and defense counsel.

The tide is turning against the administration’s approach to terrorism. Perhaps that is why the President did not mention KSM during his State of the Union address. Americans don’t think terrorist deserve constitutional rights. Americans also know that military commissions are fair.

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