Congress Can Stop the KSM Trial

If the president will not reverse himself, Congress should.

by Michele Bachmann and
Andrew C. McCarthy
National Review Online
December 22, 2009

There is no justifying the Obama administration’s decision to grant a civilian trial to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 plotters who carried out the deadliest act of war ever committed on U.S. soil. The president must not grant the worst of war criminals the same constitutional rights enjoyed by the nearly 3,000 U.S. citizens they massacred on 9/11. If he won’t reconsider, Congress must act.

Beginning in the Revolutionary War, it has been recognized throughout our history that wartime enemies are not mere criminal defendants. When they commit provable war crimes, they are tried by military commission, a process that permits them fewer rights than a civilian trial while shielding more national-defense information from disclosure to the enemy.

As the Obama administration concedes, we are a nation at war. After the 9/11 atrocities, Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of military force. In 2006, at the urging of the Supreme Court, Congress put the military-commission system originally ordered by President Bush on firm legislative footing. The Obama administration not only acknowledges the validity of this system, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the bombers of the U.S.S. Cole (who murdered 17 members of our Navy in October 2000) will be tried in it, even though this attack is the subject of a pending civilian indictment…

…President Obama must reverse this reckless decision. If he fails to do so, the people’s representatives must explore their options. The Constitution grants Congress control over the jurisdiction of the federal courts: Our lawmakers have the power to restrict enemy combatants to trial by military commission for war crimes…

Read the entire article at NRO.

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