Tags: mccotter | holder | trials

McCotter: Holder's 9/11 Trials Dangerous

Wednesday, 25 Nov 2009 02:25 PM

By Rick Pedraza

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Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged terrorists in a New York civilian court sets a dangerous precedent that could even encourage additional attacks on U.S. soil, says Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.

One of Holder's fundamental mistakes in deciding to try them in the United States is that the war against terrorism should be a martial law matter, not a domestic criminal matter, the Michigan Republican said during an interview with Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter.

See Video: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter talks about the dangerous precedent being set with the 9/11 trials - Click Here Now

“I think that you see the troubles that come out of a potential civilian criminal trial,” said McCotter, who chairs the Republican House Policy Committee. “The evidentiary problems that people will have and the precedents that will be set –– it will not only apply to the terrorists themselves, but it could pose problems in the presentation of evidence for American citizens.”

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McCotter agreed with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that trying terror suspects on U.S. soil sends the wrong signal: that terrorists are better off attacking civilians in the United States than to engage them overseas. The logistics alone of housing detainees for trial poses tremendous national security problems, he said.

“The bottom line is that most Americans look at this and say, ‘This is not a sane decision,’” McCotter told Walter. “If you’re bringing [alleged terrorists] into civilian criminal court, you are going to have to treat them under the rules of evidence and under the rules and constitutional rights people are given. You are going to be bringing in the potential for the defense counsel to ask for the interrogators to come in, ask what was done to obtain a confession out of them, and whether that confession is admissible."

McCotter said he fears trying terrorist suspects in America also will unravel many of the national security safeguards that have been put in place to deal with people such as Mohammed.

McCotter, whose home state of Michigan has been named as a possible destination for Gitmo detainees, opposes that move, as well as housing them at any other site in the United States.

“You are seeing the same type of public objection to it" in Illinois, McCotter told Newsmax.TV. “They are being asked to accept these terrorists for the purposes of job creation. Let the American people grow their economy without having to have the choice of no jobs or prisoners like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”

The need for jobs should not tip the balance in favor over security of the country, he said.

“They are one and the same,” he said. “You have to have security or there will be no liberty. No liberty, no economy, no prosperity. It’s one of the fundamental things. I don’t see them in tension, I see them as harmonious, and you have to pursue policies that make them work.”

GM Still Bleeds, but May Start Paying

Addressing the government bailout of the auto industry, McCotter noted that General Motors still is bleeding, but the company recently said it might begin paying some of its government loans a little bit early.

“What we’ve seen with GM and Chrysler is that, at the worst possible moment, the financial crisis hit the credit right up, credit which is still not flowing to Americans, certainly not in the way that the TARP plan had been promoted to facilitate," said McCotter, who sits on the House Committee on Financial Services.

“But let’s remember Ford, which received no government assistance for its reporting profits. Ford had the chance to restructure faster because they were smaller and slightly ahead of the curve than Chrysler and GM.”

The auto industry restructuring was occurring before the federal government's loans, he said.

“When you see GM starting to pay back, it just goes to show the process that was in place. The bridge loan was there to help facilitate a company that can globally compete and put us back in a manufacturing position of dominance again, which is occurring.”

Michigan didn't want government assistance until the very last moment, McCotter said.

“The sooner we can pay that back and prove the critics wrong, the happier we are going to be,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has shown outstanding lapses in judgment, leaving questions about his suitability for the job, McCotter said.

“But I think it would be precipitous to demand a resignation until those are fully answered, and I don’t anticipate they’ll be particularly satisfactory ones.”

McCotter, who sits on both a conservative caucus and a moderate caucus, told Newsmax that a Republican can be both a conservative and a moderate.

“As a policy chair, you serve as a bridge. It’s like Teddy Roosevelt said: ‘I’m neither a half-breed nor a stalwart; I am a Republican pure and simple.' That is one of the things the party has to get back to. . . We try to focus on coming up with solutions that can unite the Republican Party and have five fundamental principles all of us agree on."

They are:

  • Liberty is from God, not the government

  • Sovereignty is in your soul, not the soil

  • Security comes from strength, not surrender

  • Prosperity comes from the private sector, not the public

  • And truths are self-evident, not relative

    “From that base, you can be a Republican,” McCotter said. “The applications may differ on one side of the spectrum or not, but far more unites us then divides us.”

    McCotter acknowledged the recent schisms within the Republican Party but said he believes the party is beginning to unite in resistance to President Obama's radical policies.

    “One of the things that happens to a majority — especially when you hear phrases such as ‘permanent majority,’ which I and others never believed — is that there tends to become an institutional inertia that becomes a sense of hubris. What happens then is stagnation. As the Republican Party started to stagnate, that’s when [it] start turning inward. That’s when a lot of the riffs and schisms we saw started to occur.”

    He listed recent examples of GOP solidarity in the House:

  • Zero Republican votes for the stimulus

  • Just one Republican vote for healthcare

  • Eight Republican votes for cap-and-trade

  • And only one vote on the recent doctor fix, which McCotter said “was not paid for and is a violation of fiscal responsibility and every promise that the Democrats ran on.”

    “You are seeing us unite,” McCotter said. “The transition will be in uniting the opposition to getting behind the promotion of the policies. But we have very good ones out there. Our stimulus package, which will allow the American people to keep their money and allow small businesses to grow and develop the economy, is still out there, and we’re demanding that they [the Democrats] try to come around and remove part of their stimulus spending and let people keep their own money.”

    McCotter said the GOP is focusing on an all-of-the-above energy policy in contrast to the Democrats’ cap-and-trade proposal, including maximum U.S. energy production, common-sense conservation, and free-market green innovations.

    “On healthcare, we put forth a plan that is simple, affordable, and common-sensical, that empowers the American people to tap into the innovation revolution. These are alternatives that are out there in the American public. Now that they are agreeing with us, I am confident that they will find the Republican way is actually the forward-looking way. The Democrats have the policies of the past.”

    See Video: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter talks about the dangerous precedent being set with the 9/11 trials - Click Here Now

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