Until very recently, this was the stance of the Obama administration. Then a silver-spooned Nigerian man trained and equipped in “reformed”Yemen tried to blow up a plane with his panties. The government's plan was (and still kinda is) to make Islamists feel better about America by releasing terrorists, closing our only prison for terrorists and saying sorry a lot. Nothing defeats ideologically and religiously driven mass murderers like understanding, ya know?
This absolute stupidity comes from eight years of venomous hate directed at the Bush administration's ad hoc plan to deal with terrorists captured mid-plot or in the act. Strangely enough, government adapts to situations very slowly, especially in our system of checks and balances and especially with the egregious number of bureaucratic layers the feds have when it comes to national security. The first contestants in “Who Wants To Be An Enemy Combatant” were Richard “Shoe Bomber” Ried, the American Taliban John Walker Lindh and the 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui. All three men fit the profile to be tossed into Gitmo under the status of enemy combatants and interrogated, but the Bush administration was unsure about the legal issues and handed them over to the civilian courts for prosecution.
At the time, it seemed a good idea to toss these men to the courts. As Andy McCarthy says:
These cases happened very close to 9/11. I was still in government, so I know we were scrambling. The November 2001 executive order authorizing the military commissions did not get them up and running. That took time — and the Defense Department had to do it while trying to fight a war. The Justice Department circa 2001-03 was thus in a very strong position to argue that it had significant experience handling terrorism cases while DoD still hadn't gotten its act together. That was true, and remember that Reid and Lindh pled guilty, so the cases were basically over before you knew they were on. But Justice vastly overrated its ability to control the amount of intelligence that the courts would order disclosed in the Moussaoui case. It was a circus, and if he hadn't pled guilty it might have been a disaster.Moussaoui, already of questionable sanity, used the courtroom as a soapbox and pretty much everything else but a court of law. He ranted, raved, sang, switched lawyers, fired lawyers, defended himself, asked for witnesses that were either in Gitmo or still on the run from our troops. The man did all he could to screw up the legal system... and then he plead guilty, thank God.
The Moussaoui experience, along with the slew of arrests and need for intelligence secrecy and intelligence gathering, showed the Bush administration that tossing terrorists over to civilian courts wholly unsuited for a time of war would be a very, very bad idea. What if a saner terrorist got a sympathetic judge willing to expose state secrets so that an admitted terrorist can reap the treasures of American civil rights? It's not far fetched to think it would of happened, considering our courts have ruled that the civil rights of terrorists reach to the furthest observation post in the war zone. Shoot first, read rights later.
The fantasy land of the Left where we torture for fun, where we bomb for oil and where we are so racist that we corrupt the genetically imbued liberalism all minorities are born with doesn't match up with the reality of this nearly decade long war. Would it be nice if we could just prosecute the terrorists in civilian courts? Yes. Would it look better than military tribunals and Gitmo prisons? Yes. Would I like to have Lisa Edelstein and Jennifer Morrison as my personal french maids, outfits and all? Yes. Will it happen? Hell no.
Reality check: the civilian legal system, as well as the rules of modern warfare, DO NOT apply to trans-national terrorist groups like Al-Qeada or any other group who fight for the global or pan-Islamic caliphate. They do not fight for a country, they do not fight for a conquered country, they do not have uniforms, they do not have a recognized military structure, they do not fight by the rules of war and they do not care for the rules of war. They attack civilians en mass consistently as a overall strategy of political terror. They do not recognize the authority of the courts they may be prosecuted in. They are, pretty much, non-existent in any civilian or military legal sense. We could execute them on the spot and some court would have to make up a new law to prosecute the soldiers responsible. In fact, German saboteurs who landed in the US during WWII were picked up, tried in military tribunals, and then shot. Some even wore uniforms. The president at the time was liberal hero FDR. The same man who put hundreds of thousands of Japanese into concentration camps based on ethnic features.
But we don't do stuff like that in today's age of 24/7/365 coverage. A terrorist gets punched in the face during his capture and the soldiers who brought him in are the ones who get in trouble. An independent war journalist gets detained for not answering a non-security question for TSA, but the Pantybomber got through several layers of security in several different countries, including ours. You even think about doing secondary screenings of young men from Yemen, Iran, Lebanon or any other country crawling with Islamist terrorists, you're a racist and a profiler and you'll be getting a letter from CAIR and the ACLU. In today's world, real men placate the enemy, hoping that we won't piss them off more than they already are.
Bullsh!t. No one has ever won a war against savages such as the ones we fight with flowers and Christmas cards. Rome didn't defeat the Gauls with pots. Sparta didn't defeat Athens and Persia with politically correct security methods. The US didn't defeat Japan and Germany with stern words and international sanctions enforced by the United Nations.
This is sexist, but you can't call yourself a man if you're idea of winning a war is to fight it until everything is balanced out and fair. Real men kill the enemy. Real men interrogate at black sites around the world so that the enemy doesn't know what's what. Real men put dangerous terrorists with sensitive intelligence in military courts so to protect the country's intelligence apparatus.
Real men fight a war like a war, not like schoolyard misunderstanding.