McKeon, Smith Letter to Gates, Holder:

Apr 7, 2011
Defense Drumbeat
"The victims of 9/11, their families and the American people deserve better."

Today’s “Inside the Ring” column in the Washington Times features a letter sent by Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon and Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith to Secretary of Defense Gates and Attorney General Holder regarding the Administration’s decision to try the 9/11 co-conspirators in military commissions. 

Key excerpts from the column include:     

  • "Instead of focusing on the path forward, Monday's announcement focused on casting blame, averting responsibility and did nothing to evoke confidence moving forward," Mr. McKeon and Mr. Smith said. "The victims of 9/11, their families and the American people deserve better."
  • The chairmen said the Obama administration appears to believe that congressional views on the forum for 9/11 trials are "illegitimate and an affront to the American system of government.”
  • "Yet Congress' role is just the opposite - it is precisely the role of the legislative branch to engage in vigorous oversight and debate," they said. "No decision of this level of importance to our national security should go without question or scrutiny."
  • "We must insure that this war-crimes trial is about the terrorists who murdered nearly 3,000 Americans and not about anything else," Mr. McKeon, California Republican, and Mr. Smith, Texas Republican, said, noting that it is time to focus on 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other terror suspects awaiting military tribunals.

A copy of the letter from Chairman McKeon and Chairman Smith can be viewed here.

112th Congress