Letter: Listen to Ayotte
Members of al-Qaida and its affiliated network have made it clear they are at war with the United States. This makes the administration’s decision to bring Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, to New York City for trial in a civilian court very disturbing. Abu Ghayth served as a top al-Qaida spokesman and fundraiser and was widely believed to be a strategic player in bin Laden’s inner circle. Therein lies the problem of trying America’s enemies in a civilian court.
Despite top-notch facility for holding enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the administration has vowed to close it and chooses to bring this al-Qaida member to a civilian courthouse in Manhattan, just blocks from Ground Zero. This course of action will jeopardize crucial intelligence, placing the men and women of our armed forces, our country and the interests and safety of our allies in even more grave danger. As a combat veteran with 31 years of service, I find the entire situation all too disquieting.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte has correctly raised the alarm about the administration’s lack of a coherent wartime detention policy for foreign members of al-Qaida. As she has said, “We are at war with al-Qaida, and America’s detention policy must reflect that reality.” As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former prosecutor, Ayotte has a unique perspective regarding this situation and we should all be listening!
KENNETH J. LULL