A Very Bad Decision

I know, I know. Climategate. It’s huge! I have much to say, but I’m waiting for the story to unravel just a bit more.

I want to talk, instead, about what may well be the worst decision of Barack Obama’s presidency.

I recognize that that’s a very high threshold. His bloated, wasteful stimulus package, his ill-conceived government-run health care plans, and his constant stream of apologies for America being America all qualify as products of terrible decisions. But this past month, he may well have outdone himself.

It is a colossal mistake to bring 9/11 hijackers onto American soil to try them in civilian courts.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed is the admitted mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. His actions resulted in the slaughter of thousands of American innocents in the worst act of domestic terrorism in our nation’s history. For this, he was not arrested; he was captured out in the field of battle.

He didn’t commit a crime; he committed an act of war.

Our nation has a mechanism of dealing with people who are captured in battle. These peoples are tried away from the media circus in military tribunals that reflect the difference between domestic felons and international terrorists. Military tribunals have a long and respected history, and they’ve been employed by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Why, then, do President Obama and his Attorney General feel it necessary to abandon precedent and drag this enemy of the state into a civilian court?

Left-wing pundits scoff at the claim that this is somehow a threat to our national security, since American prisons are just as secure as Guantanamo Bay. They miss the point entirely. The problem isn’t that the prison system will let him escape; it’s that a judge, applying the precedents of liberal jurisprudence, might very well be persuaded to let him go.

Consider this. Khalid Sheik Mohammed was never read his Miranda rights. He was never indicted by a grand jury; he never had a bail hearing; he wasn’t allowed one phone call. That’s entirely appropriate in an international wartime setting, but domestically, it’s enough to get a case thrown out of a civilian court.

Why would the President subject the nation to this?

This circus of a trial will provide an opportunity to paint the Bush administration in the worst possible light. Mr. Mohammed will undoubtedly use his soapbox to tell lurid and wildly exaggerated tales of torture and malfeasance and attempt to indict the War on Terror as the real source of evil in the world. It will also ensure that classified information used to fight the war will come to light as a result of the trial discovery process.

It demonstrates that President Obama is more interested in scoring cheap political points then he is in treating this war as a war.

You can see evidence of that in the recent terrorist incident in Ft. Hood, when an Islamic extremist slaughtered American soldiers on American soil. Even now, we’re told to “withhold judgment” and avoid “jumping to conclusions,” despite the clear evidence that demonstrates the murderer’s terrorist sympathies. Should we continue to treat terrorism lightly, we will only serve to weaken our national resolve and undermine the successes that we have had in fighting terror since that dreadful day in 2001.

We are at war. This terrible decision is a profoundly unserious way to deal with a very serious threat.

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