Rep. Vern Buchanan, the author of the "Military Tribunals for Terrorists Act," commended today's announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute the 9-11 mastermind in military court instead of civilian court. Until today, Holder had said the Department of Justice would try Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and four others in civilian courts.
"Terrorists with ties to known terror organizations such as al Qaeda should not be afforded the same constitutional protections as American citizens," said Buchanan, Florida's only member of the powerful Ways & Means Committee. "Using military tribunals to interrogate, prosecute, and sentence foreign terrorists who conspire or attack the United States is a far better way to handle these kinds of sensitive matters."
Buchanan introduced legislation earlier this year requiring terrorists to be tried as enemy combatants, not common criminals. Buchanan's bill, the "Military Tribunals for Terrorists Act," mandates that any terrorist who attacks the United States or its people be interrogated, prosecuted and tried in military court, not civilian court.
"While today's announcement is a step in the right direction, it is my hope the Administration will work with me and others to enact my bill which mandates that terrorists be tried as enemy combatants and brought before military tribunals" Buchanan said.
Buchanan's "Military Tribunals for Terrorists Act" is co-sponsored by three leading national security experts: the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Inelligence, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA); the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).