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Grayson starts petition against terrorist trials in U.S.

by Joe Arnold


Posted on November 18, 2009 at 11:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 19 at 12:11 AM

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson is acting like the U.S. Senator he hopes to become by attempting a novel approach to a national issue.  On his Senate campaign website, Grayson has started an online petition opposed to terrorist trials being held in the U.S..

In the process, Grayson is also supporting South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, a key conservative whose endorsement could lend considerable credibility to any candidate seeking to prove their conservative credentials. 

(Grayson was called the "establishment moderate" by GOP stalwart Cathy Bailey of Louisville on Tuesday).

Here's the e-mail blast sent by Grayson on Wednesday:

Dear Friends,

I’m writing you today about an issue of great concern to me. The Obama Administration has announced plans to bring terrorists currently held safely at the $200 million plus detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several co-conspirators, to the United States to be tried in our civilian courts.

I disagree strongly with this decision and have launched a petition against this policy on my website. I hope you will sign the petition to President Obama today and join me in opposition to bringing captured terrorist suspects to U.S. soil for prosecution in civilian courts instead of prosecuting them using military commissions outside our borders. I see no need to threaten the security of Americans and spend untold additional millions of dollars trying to mitigate those risks on our own soil. If I am elected to the U. S. Senate I will support measures such as Sen. Jim DeMint’s legislation to extend the ban on moving Guantanamo detainees to the U.S.

You can read more about this situation on my website, but here’s what others are saying:

The Wall Street Journal on military commissions:

“ … Congressional action, court decisions and executive orders have added safeguards. Statements taken through torture are now inadmissible before military commissions, and defendants can appeal convictions to federal courts including, potentially, the Supreme Court. Moreover, in the handful of proceedings that have taken place at Guatanamo, military judges and juries have demonstrated independence from the government, returning acquittals on some charges and imposing at least one sentence far below the lengthy term sought by military prosecutors.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):

“like other Republicans and conservatives, he thinks the decision to hold civilian trials for suspected 9/11 conspirators in New York City is a poor one. Cornyn told David Shuster that the trial of self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad would be a ‘show trial’ that would "attract the attention of like-minded individuals" once Mohammad was given a ‘platform to spew his hate-filled ideology.’ Furthermore, Cornyn said, the trials carry the risk of increasing America's exposure to terrorism, and might very well burn intelligence sources. … Cornyn's proposed alternative? Military commissions and Guantanamo Bay, which he claimed could ‘protect[] the rights of terrorists.’”

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) on ‘Obama’s reckless Gitmo decision’:

"This senseless decision puts more Americans at risk for future terrorist attacks and is completely unnecessary. Americans have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Guantanamo Bay where these violent radicals can be detained and safely tried by military commissions away from our communities. Why would our President send terrorist masterminds away from an island fortress off our shores to trials in American courtrooms that will now become targets for enemy combatants? ... The President's decision is naïve and reckless."

I hope you will sign our petition opposing the Obama Administration’s policy on terrorist detainees today.

Trey Grayson