The rhetoric of holding civilian trials for terrorists is backfiring, and that's a good thing.
Since the Administration announced their intention to hold the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) trial in NYC, I expressed concerned about the cost to ensure a safe and secure trial, the national platform KSM would receive and most importantly, the Administration's decision to provide a terrorist with the privileges of a civilian trial. It came as no surprise when the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg announced the cost to ensure a safe and secure trial in NYC would be hundreds of millions of dollars.
These terrorists are enemy combatants. They are being detained so we can gather information and prevent them from being reunited with those who are constantly plotting attacks, such as the one on Christmas Day.
Placing KSM, the mastermind of 9/11, or Umar Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day bomber, on trial in civilian court confuses the difference between civilian trials and military tribunals.
Civilian trials serve the purpose of answering legal questions and handing down punishment. Military tribunals are established to try members of enemy forces -- like terrorist detainees.
Mr. Holder has already testified that KSM will never be released. So, what is the purpose of a civilian trial other than for show?
I am not alone with my concerns. KPBS, a public radio station out of San Diego, has quoted officials in an article today saying:
"We keep getting muzzled by the White House, then clobbered by Congress." Another complained, "This administration has a particular way of handling things where problems build, the White House ignores it, things get out of control, then Obama gives a big speech and everyone chills out for a little while." Someone else said, "We've fought hard on this, and the White House hasn't. They don't want to talk about this."
The Administration's first obligation is the safety and security of the American people. As a member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, I am well aware of the threats posed when trying a terrorist in a civilian trial, and I will continue to fight for the security of our nation.