Ashcroft: Not So Good on Terrorism?
Recently Ashcroft deported a suspected terrorist to Syria rather than bring a case against him. Now both Republican and Democratic lawmakers want to know why. Especially since at one time, the suspect, Nabil Al-Marabh, was No 27 on the FBI Most Wanted list.
Justice spokesman Bryan Sierra said Wednesday the government has concerns about many people with suspected terror ties, including al-Marabh, but cannot effectively try them in court without giving away intelligence sources and methods.
"If the government cannot prosecute terrorism charges, another option is to remove the individual from the United States via deportation. After careful review, this was determined to be the best option available under the law to protect our national security," he said.
A Democratic senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee scoffed at that explanation. "It's hard to believe that the best way to deal with the FBI's 27th most wanted terrorist is to send him back to a terrorist-sponsoring country," Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said Wednesday night, claiming the Justice Department could have used a military tribunal or a classified criminal trial.
Today, the AP reports that both Sen Charles Grassley and Sen Orin Hatch have joined Schumer in these questions.
Is it true that in order to protect state secrets, Ashcroft's Justice Department thinks it is better to deport a suspected terrorist than to try him in the court of law? Even when there had been extensive evidence collected against the suspect? Methinks that the Bush administration is more protective of their secrets than they are of stopping terrorism by legal means.