Attorney General Eric Holder, the country’s top cop, is getting pretty sick of members of the legislative branch telling him how to prosecute people.
The latest unsolicited advice came from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who went to the Senate floor earlier this week and urged the Justice Department to drop the planned trial of two terrorism suspects, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef, in Kentucky and instead prosecute the two men via military commission at Guantanamo.
This comes two month after Congress forced Holder to hold his nose and move the case against suspected 9-11 mastermind Khaleid Sheikh Muhammed out of the criminal justice system and back to Cuba.
“Every single suspected terrorist captured on American soil — before and after the the September 11th attacks — has first been taken into custody by law enforcement — not the United States military,” Holder said at a Thursday speech to the American Constitution Society. “Since 9-11, hundreds of individuals have been convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses in civilian courts. Not one of these individuals has escaped custody,” he noted. “Not one of the judicial districts involved has suffered retaliatory attacks.”
On the Senate floor on Wednesday, McConnell warned that people in Kentucky “don’t want their fellow citizens subjected to the risk of reprisal that is associated with these kinds of cases — reprisals against civilian judges, jurors, and the broader community in which civilian trials are held. That was one of the many reasons that residents and lawmakers in New York City rebelled against the administration’s equally foolhardy plan to try Khaleid Sheikh Mohammed in a courtroom in New York.”
Holder said his speech was intended to help “replace fear-mongering with fact.”