Unfortunately, the Obama administration clearly thinks the correct answer is that the continuing threat posed by al-Qaida and its sympathizers is strictly a legal matter. Those caught in the act - such as the Christmas Day underwear bomber over Detroit - are given Miranda rights (even if they are not U.S. citizens) and treated as criminal suspects, not terrorists. Such thinking goes hand-in-hand with Obama's plans to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo in favor of housing terror suspects in mainland U.S. prisons. Not only that, it defies common sense and the overwhelming desires of most Americans.
Recall as well that Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napalitano banned use of the word "terrorism" from her department's lingo, replacing it with "man-made disasters"; and that she issued a report describing U.S. soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq as potential security risks.
Recall that Obama's security team utterly failed to "connect the dots" regarding the underwear bomber, allowing him to board an international flight with a one-way ticket paid for with cash.
And recall how Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the bomber, Omar Abdulmutallab, Mirandized after just 50 minutes of questioning, clearly thinking that obtaining a conviction was a higher priority that preventing further such attacks.
Then there is Obama's utterly daft plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 conspirators in Manhattan. Not only would such a trial be incredibly disruptive in a logistical sense, and cost hundreds of millions in extra security, and give Mohammed and the others a huge platform from which to spew their venomous hatred of this country and the West. It also would have all the appearances of a kangaroo court, a "show trial" like those perfected by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, in as much as the the president and Holder have already issued a public guarantee that the defendants would be found guilty.
Obama's determination to treat terrorists no differently than those accused of shoplifting is a big reason a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators - including Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia - introduced legislation this week that would cut off funding for trials of the 9/11 conspirators in civilian court, whether in Manhattan or elsewhere.
Said Isakson, "Suggesting we send Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to New York City where he was the mastermind of the slaughter of almost 3,000 Americans and hold a trial in that city was just plain wrong. It is wrong to grant American constitutional rights to a foreign terrorist, and I believe we must ensure that these terrorists are tried by military commission."
Chambliss shared similar words: "Our nation is engaged in military conflicts overseas as a result of those who planned and executed the attack on September 11, 2001," said Chambliss. "We should not give those terrorists the same constitutional rights granted to our citizens, and we should not give them a platform from which to spew their hatred toward America. These terrorists should not be treated any differently than those caught on the battlefield."
Other co-sponsors include Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.).
The 9/11 conspirators, and other terror suspects, if they are tried at all, should be tried by a military commission and, if found guilty, then given the maximum penalty in an expeditious manner. In the meantime, Obama's determination to tie up the court system trying terrorists proves only that he and his team are deeply over their heads when it comes to national security.