Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Sudden Sense of Urgency - New York Times

A Sudden Sense of Urgency - New York Times: "Two months before a Congressional election in which voters are expressing serious doubts about the Republicans’ handling of national security, President Bush finally has some real terrorists in Guant�namo Bay.

Mr. Bush admitted yesterday that the Central Intelligence Agency has been secretly holding prisoners and said he was transferring 14 to Guant�namo Bay, including some believed to have been behind the 9/11 attacks. He said he was informing the Red Cross about the prisoners, placing them under the Geneva Conventions, and asking that Congress — right now — create military tribunals to try them.

Those are just the right steps. If Guant�namo Bay has any purpose, it is for men like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, considered key players in 9/11. They should go on trial. If convicted, they should be locked up for life.

But Mr. Bush’s urgency was phony, driven by the Supreme Court’s ruling, not principle. This should all have happened long ago. If the White House had not wanted to place terror suspects beyond the reach of the law, all 14 of these men could have been tried by now, and America’s reputation would have been spared some grievous damage. And there would be no need for Congress to rush through legislation if the White House had not stymied all of its attempts to do just that before."


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