Colleagues of Senator Lindsay Graham have leaked that he and the White House are negotiating over where and how to conduct the 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-conspirators. In additional, President Barack Obama will apparently take a personal role in the negotiations and may overrule Attorney General Eric Holder’s decisions to this point.
We need a statute, a ‘Rule of War Act’, with no special date, sunset provisions, or naming it after some personage or group.
It would be the civilian authority providing for the common defense, while informed by the governed.
First, the entire negotiation and [formalized, federal debate *] needs conducted in the open — televised on C-SPAN — over the course of this year.
The top issues should be placed in simply, uniform terms on the November 2 national election ballot to express the people’s will. Congress should then create the statute in 2011 and the President can veto or sign it.
We should learn from the past, cover those enemies we now detain, and keep in mind this war may take some time and there will be future wars.
Here is my further two cents, my general thoughts on the statute’s provisions, for what they are worth.
When enemy war criminals are captured, we should prosecute them by military tribunal solely based upon our national security, what protects our people;
Lawful enemy belligerents should be detained for as long as hostilities last;
Unlawful enemy belligerents should be detained for as long as each remains a threat;
America’s foreign enemies should be afforded none of our Constitutional rights;
The Judiciary’s sole role should be classified detention review akin to determining probable cause;
and all long-term enemy detentions should take place isolated far from the civilian populace.
Note: * revised text.