The Nov. 20 editorial “ Congress’s overstep on terrorism ” got it mostly right. The Senate deal requiring military detention of suspected terrorists who are not U.S. citizens is deeply flawed and should be rejected. Federal law enforcement officials have been incredibly effective at investigating and prosecuting terrorism cases. Limiting the role of these talented, experienced professionals in the battle against terrorism makes no sense.
The Post missed the mark, however, when it accused the Obama administration of “reflexively turning to the federal courts before fully considering military options.” As evidence, The Post curiously cited the case of “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Yet that case demonstrated how well federal prosecutions and federal courts work.
Mr. Abdulmutallab was apprehended and interrogated by domestic law enforcement agents. Informed of his Miranda rights, he cooperated with police. And unlike the dozens of Guantanamo prisoners who have languished in legal limbo for years, Mr. Abdulmutallab was brought to trial less than two years after his crime. He pleaded guilty to all counts on the second day of his October trial and is awaiting sentencing. This case provides further evidence in support of The Post’s conclusion: Congress should not preclude reliance on federal courts as a tool in our counterterrorism efforts.
Virginia Sloan, Washington
The writer is president of the Constitution Project.
The Abdulmutallab case showed how well federal prosecutions work.