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Obama Admin Still Insisting On Civilian Trials For Foreign Terrorists | Missouri Political News Service

Obama Admin Still Insisting On Civilian Trials For Foreign Terrorists

July 8th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments


Despite the triumph of finally getting Osama bin Laden, recent news in the war on terror indicates that the Obama administration is once again back to insisting that foreign terrorists be tried in civilian courts.

Politico reported yesterday, “In a move that has angered some congressional Republicans, a Somali man accused of having ties to two terrorist groups — who was secretly interrogated for months aboard a U.S. Navy ship — will be prosecuted in civilian court in New York by the Justice Department, the Obama administration said. The indictment, unsealed in the Southern District of New York, charged Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame with nine counts related to supporting Al Qaeda in Yemen and the Shabab in Somalia terror groups — but the White House didn’t reveal his capture until after he had already been brought onto American soil.”

As ABC News noted, this isn’t sitting well with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., blasted the Obama administration this morning for the decision to bring Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, the Somali man facing terrorism charges to New York for trial, saying the administration’s ‘ideological rigidity’ is ‘harming the national security’ of the country. ‘Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame is a foreign enemy combatant,’ McConnell said on the Senate floor this morning, ‘He should be treated as one; he should be sitting in a cell Guantanamo Bay, and eventually be tried before a military commission. Warsame is an admitted terrorist.’ . . . ‘It’s astonishing that this Administration is determined to give foreign fighters all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens regardless of where they are captured.’ . . .”

According to Fox News, “Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the transfer ‘directly contradicts congressional intent and the will of the American people.’ ‘Congress has spoken clearly multiple times – including explicitly in pending legislation – of the perils of bringing terrorists onto U.S. soil,’ he said. . . . ‘A foreign national who fought on behalf of al Shabaab in Somali — and who was captured by our military overseas — should be tried in a military commission, not a federal civilian court in New York or anywhere else in our country,’ said Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.”

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is moving ahead with civilian trials in Kentucky for two Iraqi terror suspects, even though they are not U.S. citizens. The Bowling Green Daily News reported, “McConnell, the Senate minority leader, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking Holder to reconsider his decision to hold civilian trials for Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, both arrested on terrorism charges in Bowling Green in May.”

In the letter, Leader McConnell wrote, “As you know, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi are not United States citizens or legal permanent residents of this country.  They are foreign nationals who apparently entered this country illegally after having fought our troops in Iraq. In addition, as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky has noted, none of their actions—both those from the past and those they planned for the future—relate to targeting our civilian population in this country.  In Iraq, Alwan conducted IED attacks against our troops for several years . . . . Hammadi also engaged in IED attacks in Iraq and was part of a group of insurgent fighters that possessed eleven surface-to-air missiles. . . . [O]ur priority with enemy combatants like these should be to capture, interrogate, and detain them—indefinitely, if need be.  If, after these priorities are achieved, we determine they should be tried for violating the laws of war, we should use our military commission system to do so.  Our civilian criminal justice system simply is not intended for these purposes.”

The Daily News noted, “McConnell also outlined several questions for Holder to answer, including why the two men are entitled to all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens. McConnell also asked what the cost of the trials would be and if the city of Bowling Green and the commonwealth of Kentucky would be reimbursed for costs incurred during the trial. ‘I urge you to reconsider it,’ McConnell said in the letter.”

As Leader McConnell said yesterday, “[I]t has become abundantly clear that the Administration has no intention of utilizing Guantanamo unless an enemy combatant is already being held there. Instead, the Administration has purposefully imported a terrorist into the U.S. and is providing him all the rights of U.S. citizens in court. This ideological rigidity being displayed by the Administration is harming the national security of the United States of America. Alwan, Hammadi, Warsame, and all future foreign enemy combatants belong in Guantanamo. They do not deserve the same rights and privileges as Americans. The administration’s actions are inexplicable, create unnecessary risks here at home, and do nothing to increase the security of the United States.



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