So how would these tribunals work? The legislation we are considering is based on rules and procedures from previous military commissions, international tribunals, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It provides basic fairness for accused terrorists by allowing them the opportunity to mount a full defense. It excludes statements by terrorists obtained through torture. And it would provide defense counsel to accused terrorists with the necessary clearances to review classified information on the accused terrorist's behalf.
This legislation will also allow us to continue to gather important intelligence information from foreign terrorists caught in battle or while plotting attacks on America. As President Bush has said, the information we've learned from captured terrorists "has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they were able to kill."
Not only does this legislation enjoy bipartisan support, but it helps us meet a 9/11 Commission recommendation that America "develop a common coalition approach toward the detention and humane treatment of captured terrorists."
Authorizing terrorist tribunals is part of our broader effort to strengthen national security. We are crafting a system that administers common sense justice to terrorists while protecting the American people and our men and women in uniform. Military tribunals can play an important role in the Global War on Terror, and will serve as a crucial tool for helping to prevent future terrorist attacks.
John Boehner represents the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio