Senator Lindsey Graham doesn’t have a great track record, but when he’s right, he’s right, and in this case, he’s clearly right. Obama is subverting national security in every area that he can and trying to de-militarize the War on Terror by treating it like a civilian criminal matter is something that he has been trying to do for a while.
Even as government officials applauded the arrest of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and an al-Qaida spokesman, his transport to the United States stirred a debate among lawmakers who appeared caught by surprise by the news.
Abu Ghaith was apprehended, transported to New York and charged with conspiracy to kill Americans, according to court documents unsealed Thursday. Abu Ghaith appeared alongside his father-in-law in a 2001 video in which they took responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and warned of more.
Abu Ghaith’s trial will be one of the first prosecutions of senior al-Qaida leaders in the United States. Upon taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama said more foreign terror suspects should be charged in American federal courts, as part of his goal to close Guantanamo Bay.
Republicans in Congress would like to keep Guantanamo open and have strongly opposed bringing terror suspects on U.S. soil.
“We believe the administration’s decision here to bring this person to New York City, if that’s what’s happened, without letting Congress know is a very bad precedent to set,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who held a press conference with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H, Thursday.
“And when we find somebody like this, this close to bin Laden and the senior al-Qaida leadership, the last thing in the world we want to do, in my opinion, is put them in civilian court. This man should be in Guantanamo Bay,” Ayotte said.
“So we’re putting the administration on notice,” said Graham. “We think that sneaking this guy into the country, clearly going around the intent of Congress when it comes to enemy combatants, will be challenged.”
Republicans have been fumbling the foreign policy debate for a while by embracing the Arab Spring and refusing to take a position on Afghanistan.
This is a clear and simple area where Republicans can set themselves apart from the Democrats. Terrorism is not a crime problem. It is a war being carried out against America. And those who engage in it should not be given an ACLU limo, but a trip over near Cuba and all the water they can drink.