Michele Bachmann Weighs In on 9/11 Trials
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and the National Review’s Andrew McCarthy teamed up with other House Republicans on Thursday on the front steps of the Supreme Court to take a shot at President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for deciding to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged co-conspirators of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in U.S. federal courts.
“The decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City and give him all the benefits and perks reserved for American citizens is a slap in the face of the 9/11 victim’s families, the American people, and the men and women who risk their lives to defend our liberties each and every day,” said Bachmann in a statement released after the press conference.
Curiously, many of those protesting the accused terrorists’ trial in federal court repeatedly refer to a federal court trial and its attendant due process rights as being “reserved for U.S. citizens.” At a rally last weekend in New York City, for example, protesters and speakers repeatedly objected that the 9/11 defendants were being given “the same rights as U.S. citizens.”
In fact, the “right” to be prosecuted in a U.S. federal court has never been “reserved” for U.S. citizens at all. It’s historically been a “right” accorded to anyone who commits a crime on U.S. soil. Thus everyone from a U.S.-born citizen to an illegal alien who commits a federal crime in the United States gets tried in federal court. Although the government has just recently created special military commissions to try some crimes against U.S. military targets abroad, we don’t normally create new courts or legal systems to try non-citizens who commit mass murder, mail fraud, or any other crimes that might land them in federal court.
“If President Obama admits that we are a nation at war, then we should act like one,” continued Bachmann in her statement. “Justice for the 9/11 attackers should be swift and conclusive, something that won’t be done when KSM exploits the abundant appeals and legal loopholes he has been inexplicably awarded as a foreign combatant,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann didn’t mention that there have been only three military commission trials since they were created by President George W. Bush because detainees challenged the constitutionality of the military commissions — and won.
The proceedings that began last week under the supposedly new-and-improved military commissions signed into law by President Obama already suggest that we’ll be seeing more of the same.