Green Room

They Came to Destroy America

posted at 9:45 pm on November 18, 2009 by

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the chief planner of the 9/11 attacks, was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003. KSM was shipped to a U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where other terrorists, enemy combatants and prisoners-of-war — most captured on the battlefield — were detained.

Jose Padilla, a convicted felon and former Chicago gang member, was arrested in May 2002 at O’Hare International Airport. Padilla had been under surveillance for months, since he’d arrived at the U.S. Consulate in Pakistan asking for a replacement passport.

The State Department asked other agencies to investigate why a man named Padilla was hanging around in Karachi. U.S. officials investigated and found that he had met with al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There, he’d learned to wire explosive devices and disperse radiological material. Padilla’s planned acts of sabotage were independently verified by Abu Zubaydah, the most senior al-Qaida figure captured by U.S. authorities.

KSM and Padilla could be held indefinitely as enemy combatants without being charged, according to John McGinnis, professor of constitutional law at Northwestern Law School. Enemy combatants, even if U.S. citizens, are no more subject to criminal law than were Wehrmacht troops on the beaches of Normandy.

The history of “enemy combatant” status lies in the tale of seven Nazi agents who came ashore in 1942. Their mission: sabotage the war effort through acts of terror. One agent, a man named Haupt, was also a U.S. citizen.

The Nazis were captured before they could launch their terrorist attacks against rail lines, waterways and factories. President Roosevelt ordered them tried by military commission, but the detainees filed a petition of habeus corpus to challenge their military detention using the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Could the president arrest and detain such persons in the United States without involving the judiciary?

Unanimously, the Supreme Court ruled that he could. Saboteurs without uniforms were “enemy combatants” and therefore subject to military jurisdiction. Even Haupt, the U.S. citizen, could be so held. The Supreme Court stated: “Citizens who … enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention …”

Thus, as far back as 1942, the Supreme Court clearly described the legal status of enemy combatants.

No President — not Lincoln, not Wilson, not Roosevelt, not Kennedy — no President has ever granted POWs and enemy combatants the rights of U.S. citizens and the comforts of the federal criminal justice system.

But this President permits the radical left trial bar — the ACLU and other avowed enemies of the Constitution — to pervert American law and tradition. Risking an acquittal on American soil. Risking disclosure of highly classified information that helps protect the U.S. homeland.

These acts desecrate the memories of 3,000 American souls who died at the hands of the most vicious terrorists in history. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, a Republican or Independent. It’s sickening.

Cross-posted at: Doug Ross @ Journal.

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Spot frickin’ on. Well said, Mr. Ross.

MadisonConservative on November 18, 2009 at 11:31 PM

Can the next AG reverse course? (This circus should still be in pretrial motions and discovery in 2012)

Robert17 on November 19, 2009 at 12:45 AM

Mr. Ross – I don’t know if you noticed but there was a headline here on HA that went largely uncommented on, the NPR story by Dina Temple-Raston, her empathetic profile of the early years of KSM.

Temple-Raston is the Author of “The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six” Which could have been subtitled “Some poor misunderstood immigrant kids who go on a terrorist misadventure and wind up tools of the Bush administration”. And she co-authored a book with the head of the ACLU about Bush stealing our souls or something.

Her NPR story about KSM is written like a subtle persuasion – propaganda. There will be many more of these no doubt before the trial.

batterup on November 19, 2009 at 1:48 AM

IF this travesty of justice actually occurs, and is not the Obamacare/Porkulus/Acorn Election Fraud distraction it appears to be, EVERY politician who supports this administration’s destructive socialist agenda will be held accountable by The People who empower this government.

Carter was a one term disaster as well.

Roy Rogers on November 19, 2009 at 12:07 PM

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