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Ruling is in; expect next terror attack soon

Tribune Media Services
THOMAS COLUMN

When the terrorists attack again – as Homeland Security has repeatedly warned us they will – how many survivors will be consoled because the Supreme Court and the State Department looked out for the “rights” of terrorists before the rights of their dead loved ones?

Will the dead be wrapped in a copy of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling granting foreign detainees – whose mission is to destroy our Constitution, our country and way of life – the right to appeal to U.S. civilian courts to challenge their detention, a right that should be reserved only for American citizens?

Perhaps inside the caskets can go a statement by the State Department refusing to close Islamic schools underwritten by the government of Saudi Arabia, which teach visceral hatred of Jews, Christians and all things Western.

To the second issue first. Despite the recommendation from a federal panel that the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Va., be closed for promoting hate, the State Department won’t go along.

The State Department has jurisdiction because the school, as part of the Saudi government, is subject to the Foreign Missions Act.

A local Democratic politician running for Congress won’t support the closing of the school, either: Gerry Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, has reportedly called critics of the academy “bigots.”

Perhaps his position is related to a $2.2 million check he accepted from the Saudi Embassy to extend its lease.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom looked into reports that the school was teaching hate. The school promised to clean up the textbooks.

The commission looked again to see if the school had done so and concluded it had not.

In addition to vilifying Jews, the school’s children are taught it is permissible for a Muslim to kill a non-Muslim and those who convert from Islam. We are allowing a training ground for future terrorists on American soil.

In addition to whatever harm is caused by terrorists who manage to win their freedom, the Supreme Court decision will cause collateral damage.

Granting terrorists seized on the battlefield access to civilian courts sends another message: America is not serious about winning the war.

It tells them they can “game” the system, demanding rights and protections unknown in their countries of origin.

According to Justice Antonin Scalia, 30 former detainees have “allegedly” returned to the battlefield to kill American troops and others.

On whose hands should be their blood? Who should be held accountable for the blood of Americans killed by terrorists who have gained their freedom courtesy of a federal judge, a judge who has usurped the authority and judgment of the executive branch and the military?

This is bound to demoralize our soldiers, who will wonder why they should bother to seize terrorists at all if they are just going to be released. They might kill them all in the field, but then they would probably be court-martialed.

The U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 9) says, “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy, one of Ronald Reagan’s biggest mistakes (Justice David Souter being George H.W. Bush’s even bigger mistake) wrote that the same rights granted to American citizens also cover noncitizens by virtue of their presence on land controlled by the U.S. military, even though that land is Cuba.

Have we not been invaded? Didn’t the 9/11 terrorists “invade” America for the specific purpose of harming us?

What is the purpose of the Saudi Islamic Academy and similar religious sites around the country if not to serve as cover for terrorists intent on endangering the public safety?

The next attack probably won’t come by airplane. It will come in a shopping mall, or a school, or on Wall Street, or possibly all three. It will occur simultaneously in many places and probably kill more than the nearly 3,000 who died in 2001.

Perhaps someone who manages to extricate himself from Guantanamo, thanks to a liberal judge, will lead the attack. What will the Supreme Court and State Department say to cleanse the blood from their hands?

Cal Thomas is an author and broadcast commentator.

E-mail: CalThomas@tribune.com

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