President Obama wants to put at least some of the Guantanamo detainees in maximum-security prisons in the U.S. Assuming an ACLU lawyer doesn't win their release, these suspects might convert others in prison to their cause in order to recruit them for jihad should they be let out. Some of those New York terror suspects were converted to Islam and radicalized while in prison.
A more mature and sobering vision was offered by former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has emerged as the Republican Party's missing backbone.
In a well-crafted and powerful rebuke to President Obama's call for treating terrorists as criminals rather than enemy combatants, Cheney said, "Throughout the '90s, America had responded to these (terrorist) attacks, if at all, on an ad hoc basis ... with everything handled after the fact -- crime scene, arrests, indictments, convictions, prison sentences, case closed. ... 9/11 made necessary a shift of policy, aimed at a clear strategic threat -- what the Congress called 'an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.' From that moment forward, instead of merely preparing to round up the suspects and count up the victims after the next attack, we were determined to prevent attacks in the first place."
It worked. History will show this approach protected our "values" against those who would destroy them. If there is another attack, President Obama won't be able to blame it on the shortsightedness of the Bush-Cheney administration.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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