Pressures Reid to introduce legislation to prohibit access for unlawful enemy combatants
Las Vegas, NV – Former Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R-NV), a candidate running to unseat U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2010, took time during Pearl Harbor Day to hand deliver a letter of request to Reid’s office at the Lloyd D. George Building in Las Vegas. The letter, written by Angle, urged Reid to seek immediate legislation to reverse the ability to allow unlawful enemy combatants the right to access civilian federal courts in the U.S. “A terrorist should not fall within the same classification as that of an everyday common offender,” Angle stated after delivering the letter. “Let’s not blur the reality about the type of enemy that our country is dealing with here.”
In her letter [reprinted below], Angle advises Reid to act accordingly under Article I, Section 8 and Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution which enables the powers of Congress to establish military tribunals, and encourages Reid to request the introduction of legislation to require that enemy combatants be tried only by a military tribunal and not in a civilian court. “Letting enemy combatants take access of U.S. civilian courts is an ill-conceived idea,” emphasized Angle. “We do not need to prove anything to the outside world by granting foreign terrorists the same constitutional rights reserved for U.S citizens. It is unwarranted to say the least.”
Angle pointed out that many unseen consequences were looming, such as the exorbitant cost to taxpayers while the defense prolongs and delays, the exposure of classified information, and most importantly the safety and security of the public at home during a time of war. “The Attorney General cannot predict how a judge will decide in any of these decisions. After inviting combatants to our country will this administration then grant our enemy further rights under our immigration laws? Our citizens do not want these American-hating terrorists claiming asylum and learning new ways to abuse us here at home.”
Angle was dismayed that terrorists appear to earn more rights than those offered to U.S. Military soldiers who fight to protect us. “It’s almost foreseeable to presume what this administration might decide next. Will our soldiers be instructed to read Miranda rights on the battle fields? Our enemies are delighted in knowing that this misguided administration bows forward and bends backwards to find more ways to afford newborn rights to them. These terrorists understand that having access to our civilian courts permits them another avenue to impose additional economic injury on our soil and another platform to create notoriety-craving attention-grabbing headlines as they continue to recruit and plan against us. It’s heartbreaking for the victims of 9/11 and a risk to America’s safety and security.”
Angle plans to remind constituents during campaign stops that Reid voted to confirm the current Attorney General, and said she will promise to introduce the legislation herself if necessary to mend the language that allows terrorists the ability to take advantage of our justice system.
Senator Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Reid:
At the direction of my attorney, I am using my First Amendment right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” concerning the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York. As you know, Congress clearly has the power under Article 1, Section 8 “to constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court; to define and punish…Offenses against the Law of Nations;… and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” In the exercise of these powers, Congress has, in the Military commissions Act of 2006, established military commissions as the appropriate venue for bringing unlawful combatants and terrorists to trial and justice. This detailed plan to prosecute illegal enemy combatants captured since September 11 was passed by a bipartisan Congress in response to the Supreme Court’s Hamdan decision.
Military tribunals have been used in similar cases for over 200 years in America. In June 1942 eight Nazis who snuck into the United States were tried and most were hanged two months later. The tribunals at Guantanamo are being used by Mr. Holder to try the five detainees charged with the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole off Yemen. Because 3000 innocent civilians were killed in the New York attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four other Al Qaeda planners of 9/11 are accused of much more heinous acts of war. They should be tried in accordance with the 2006 Military Commissions Act and the Constitution. They should not be allowed to escape justice on technicalities within our criminal system reserved for United States citizens or to make a mockery and a spectacle of our rule of law.
This can easily be accomplished with further legislation. As you know, the power of Congress to create lower courts also includes, under Article III, Section 1, the power to “ordain” the jurisdiction of those courts, within constitutional limits. That means that Congress can also remove jurisdiction from the lower federal courts over specified matters, including prosecutions involving anyone who is, or has been, designated an enemy combatant, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow terrorists.
This is an urgent matter and I am petitioning you to act immediately within the power given expressly to you to introduce legislation to require that these enemy combatants be tried by a military tribunal, not in civilian courts on United States soil.
U.S. citizen and Nevada State Assemblywoman, Retired
P.O. Box 33058
Reno, NV 89533
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