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February 1st, 2010
02:34 PM ET

Obama's anti-terror policy is a mess

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/01/t1.obama.0224.jpg caption="Obama administration reconsidering plan to try 9/11 defendants in New York City." width=300 height=169]

David Frum
CNN Contributor

It took the United States government 18 months to capture Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - and seven years to figure out what to do with him.

The Bush administration wanted to try the organizer of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks before a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay. The Obama administration rejected that plan and decided instead on a civilian trial in federal court in lower Manhattan.

Whoops.

New York officials balked: The trial would snarl traffic, impose huge security costs on the city and incentivize terrorists to strike again while world media were conveniently concentrated on the spot.
The public balked too. Even in liberal Massachusetts, voters have rallied to the Republican anti-trial message. Scott Brown's campaign hammered the theme: "Our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop terrorists, not lawyers to defend them."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Barack Obama • Terrorism
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