With the news that the first Gitmo detainee has arrived in New York to be tried for his role in the African embassy bombings, House Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor have launched a false campaign to claim that no terror suspects have ever been tried on US soil. Have they forgotten about the first World Trade Center attacks, and the OKC bombing suspects?
Boehner called this the first step in the Democrats’ plan to import terrorists to America, “This is the first step in the Democrats’ plan to import terrorists into America. Without a plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, the Administration has made the decision to begin transferring these terrorists into the United States, in spite of the overwhelming opposition of the American people and serious questions from Members of Congress of both parties.”
Rep. Eric Cantor made the false claim that judicial precedent for the conviction of someone like this. Here is the video from Think Progress:
Cantor said on MSNBC, “Well, you know, Norah, it’s just counterintuitive. Why in the world would somebody be so focused on the rights of a terrorist instead of keeping Americans safe? There are so many unanswered questions about bringing these detainees on to U.S. soil. We have no judicial precedents for the conviction of someone like this. It is just wrong for us to be bringing these detainees here given the current situation and the unanswered questions. We ought to be putting the safety of American citizens first.”
There is no precedent? What about the four suspects who were convicted of the first World Trade Center bombing on March 4, 1994. The result of these convictions is that Muslim extremist terrorists are serving their sentences in the United States. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist who was tried convicted and executed in the United States. What about the four suspects serving life without parole for bombing of US embassies in Africa?
Cantor lied when he claimed that there was no precedent. There is precedent for al-Qaeda members being convicted and serving their sentences in the United States. Republicans are trying to play the fear card here. Their goal is to frighten the American people. They are still trying to scare the American people away from Obama. This is the same thing that they tried in the 2008 election, and they will probably try it again in 2010 and 2012.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association