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Denying Rights – to Terrorists By: Andrew Walden
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, September 08, 2006


In response to the June 29 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Osama bin-Laden’s bodyguard Salim Ahmed Hamdan, President Bush announced Wednesday he is sending Congress a proposal to organize military tribunals to hear the case against 14 key al-Qaeda plotters and dozens of the other terrorists currently held by the U.S. The 14 plotters, mostly the type who sit back and order others to their in attacks, were previously held by the CIA in secret locations.

The secret facilities were revealed by the Washington Post in late 2005 as successful Iraqi elections were gathering steam. European Union bureaucrats have since been conducting investigations to determine the locations of these facilities and render them useless. The 14 detainees—the entire contents of the so-called secret prisons—are being transferred to Guantanamo Bay Naval Station where the will be subject to U.S. military proceedings.

In spite of a four-and-a-half-year propaganda effort designed to convince Americans to be concerned with the rights of our enemies, the best that the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Legal Left could come up with was this ruling required the administration to seek approval from Congress in establishing military tribunals necessary to mete out justice.

President Bush will now deftly transform this into yet another weapon to use against al-Qaeda terrorists.

The proposal Bush is sending Congress, backed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and most of the Republican majority, denies Guantanamo detainees the opportunity to access classified evidence used against them. Such rules are often seen in cases involving foreign enemy agents. Even in cases involving only Americans, classified evidence has been presented to a “special master” or the presiding judge “in camera” for their review without being released to the defendant or his legal representative.

Lining up against President Bush’s proposal are Senators John McCain, R-AZ, John Warner, R-VA, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC. Democrats are lining up behind them. The three senators’s counter-proposal would have the terrorists and their servants given access to all evidence being presented against them, including classified—which could allow the terrorists to discover the identities of informants, information they could then funnel back to al-Qaeda. Or, under the right circumstances, the New York Times or Washington Post.

In response, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has told the Associated Press, “It's going to get worked out,” Asked by AP if the White House will negotiate with the lawmakers, he replied, “It may be that the Hill is willing to negotiate.” Staffers for Senator McCain sent a similar signal, telling Fox News, the differences are “exaggerated.” Only Lindsey Graham has a statement posted on his website.

Congress should promptly comply—on the president's terms. A vigorous war has already reduced al-Qaeda to waging a propaganda war while plotting the real thing. Perhaps the best evidence of al-Qaeda’s weakness is their new chief propagandist—Adam Gadahn. Congress should not undermine this by showering these killers with legal privileges that will hurt the war we're winning.

Since the jihadists believe America is weak—based on Bill Clinton's eight years in office and the Legal Left's crusade to protect terrorists's rights—they believe the American military justice system is about to tie itself into knots while rendering them appropriate jurisprudence.

A typical Islamist response to President Bush's “admission” of the secret CIA prisons comes from Nasharudin Mat Isa, the deputy president of Malaysia's largest opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic party, quoted in the September 7th Washington Post: “This latest boast of his [about CIA secret prisons abroad] will make him even more unpopular among Americans.”

Opinion polls and election results tell a different story, as do elections in such places as Australia, Britain, Canada, and Germany.

Now it is 2006. The Democratic Party's Left is convinced it will retake the House and possibly the Senate. President Bush's bill provides them an opportunity to let the American people know where they stand on the most important issues facing us today. McCain, Graham, and Warner are bait. Democrats who take the bait and come out in support of “terrorists’ rights” may be signing their own political death warrants.

Years of painstaking propaganda work by the American and European left on al-Qaeda’s behalf is about to be transformed into a means of clarifying issues to the American voter. To the Islamists' and Left's surprise, this will result in the election of Congressional candidates who support and pledge to continue supporting policies that will let our troops prevail. The president's proposal would be chief among these.

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