Sunday, June 26, 2011

Do Not Militarize Terrorism Prosecutions!

Excellent New York Times editorial The Phony Tough-on-Terror Crowd:
President Obama must push the Democratic leadership to amend the Senate bill — and make it clear that he will veto any bill that turns over proper law enforcement functions to the military.

For decades, terrorism has been prosecuted — with great success — in civilian courts. The Bush team insisted, falsely, that these courts were not tough enough for the war on terrorism and pushed the use of military courts for some “unlawful combatants.”

The most basic truth — which almost no politician will dare to admit — is that federal court trials work. The military tribunals (which started with Mr. Bush’s kangaroo courts and now involve a system that is somewhat more refined but still flawed) have managed to extract a few minor plea deals. They have yet to render a verdict or impose a stiff sentence on a single high-profile terrorist.
Obama ran on a plank of eliminating these illegal military "tribunals" and he should stick to his convictions, terrorists are best dealt with (as Al Gor was crucified for saying) as a law enforcement problem, not a military problem.

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