WASHINGTON , DC – Today the House of Representatives considered legislation authorizing military tribunals for alleged terrorists. The following are views expressed by different members of the House Armed Services Committee who yesterday offered amendments before the Rules Committee.
Ranking Member Ike Skelton (MO):
“I have been calling for a tough, effective system of military tribunals for some time now. Although hailed as a compromise between the good language of Senators McCain and Warner and the President’s original request, I have serious concerns and I cannot support the bill the House will consider today.
“I predict that the system created by this bill will be successfully challenged in the courts. Our nation cannot afford to have any terrorist convictions overturned on judicial appeal. We should be taking the time to get this right, not rushing through the process in an election year frenzy.”
Representative Martin Meehan (MA), Ranking Member Terrorism and Unconventional Threats Subcommittee:
“By raising grave constitutional questions, this bill will likely be struck down again and we will be exactly where we are now, with no convictions and no system to prosecute alleged terrorists.”
Representative Ellen O. Tauscher (CA):
“I cannot support the current version of this legislation as I believe it both threatens the safety of our troops and compromises the values our military and our nation were built on. Agreeing to such an ambiguous compromise would allow the President to define torture when and how he sees fit and would undoubtedly put our Armed Forces at risk of abuse while doing little to obtain the intelligence we need from terrorists currently detained.”