U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) today blasted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 offered by Representative Justin Amash (MI-03) to grant constitutional rights to foreign terrorists captured on U.S. soil.
"The Amash amendment sacrifices our national security in order to coddle foreign enemy combatants," Rooney said. "Never in our nation's history have we granted enemy combatants who attack our homeland during a time of war the same rights and privileges of American citizens, but that's exactly what the Amash amendment would do."
"If the Amash amendment were to pass, it would send a message to al Qaeda that not only are we not serious about defeating them, but we're even willing to reward them with the same constitutional rights that our citizens enjoy if they manage to sneak into our country and attack us on our own soil.
"I will fight like hell to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, but I could not disagree more strongly with those who want to extend those rights to foreign terrorists. If we catch a member of al Qaeda in the act of committing a terrorist attack on our soil, we should not treat them like a neighborhood burglar. We should not advise them to stay silent when another attack could be imminent. We should interrogate them and get as much information from them as we possibly can."
Rooney served as a military prosecutor in the Army JAG Corps and taught constitutional and criminal law and West Point. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.