New York Times Editorial: The Phony Tough-on-Terror Crowd

By The New York Times
Editorial Page

Republicans and Democrats are championing bills to further militarize the prosecution of terrorists, beyond anything even President George W. Bush proposed.

They want Americans to believe the legislation will keep the country safer. In fact, these bills could end up tying the hands of F.B.I. agents and other law enforcement officials trying to disrupt terrorist plots. They are likely to deprive prosecutors of their most powerful weapons in bringing terrorists to justice. And they come perilously close to upending the prohibition, which dates back to Reconstruction, against the military’s operating as a police force within the United States.

There is no sign that the White House tried to stop the House from passing a particularly awful version of these bills, which would move most, if not all, terrorism cases from civilian courts to military tribunals. And there is no sign the White House tried to stop the Senate Armed Services Committee from approving only a slightly better one.

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