Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller has done some truth-telling in a column this past week in The Detroit News. (“Miller: Military commissions best place for terrorists trials”). Maybe she’ll fill some of the void left by Michigan’s loss of Congressman Pete Hoekstra.
Treating terrorism as a criminal matter the way we used to, Rep. Miller writes, did nothing to prevent the attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet the Obama administration is now clinging to this same “flawed approach”:
affording constitutional rights to terrorists, including the right to remain silent, to which I believe they are not entitled. Our enemy views this system as a weakness to be exploited to advance their cause.
When 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured, he is reported to have told his interrogators, "I'll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer."
Fortunately for the nation, KSM was captured under the Bush-Cheney administration, and they knew we were in a war. Mohammed never got to New York, and the mastermind of 9/11 wound up talking instead to the guys of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation team someplace else. These conversations led to KSM eventually disclosing invaluable information, including the plans for a 9/11 follow-up attack on Los Angeles, and key information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
In stark contrast, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, when he should have long since been facing a military at Guantanamo, is going on trial here in Detroit. Writes Rep. Miller:
This administration's ideological blinders prevent it from seeing what most Americans innately understand — these enemies of freedom do not deserve the protection of our Constitution; they are, and should be treated as, enemy combatants. Never before has any nation extended such a robust set of protections to its enemies, and given them a forum to spew their vile hatred.
Recently, potential jury members and the city of Detroit were treated to such an outburst by Abdulmutallab who shouted, "Osama's alive" and "Jihad" during a jury selection hearing in federal court. This terrorist was afforded his Miranda rights shortly after his capture, given the the best medical care at the University of Michigan Hospital and is being afforded a standby attorney even though he has decided to represent himself. Taxpayers are footing the entire bill.
While we watch the pre-trial unfold, it is disheartening to watch as yet another terror trial turns into a circus.