The Battlefield or the Courtroom: Where Should We Fight the War on Terrorism to Win?

Julia Bertelsmann /

CHICAGO – This morning, the Chicago Committee for Heritage hosted a panel discussion titled “Lawyers, Terrorists, and the Common Defense: Has the Obama Administration Signaled Surrender to America’s Enemies?” The discussion featured Heritage policy expert Secretary Cully Stimson and Senator Jim Talent, and focused on the Obama Administration’s approach to foreign policy and terrorism.

Sen. Talent opened the discussion by stressing the U.S. Constitution’s emphasis on the government’s duty to provide for the common defense, to provide and maintain a Navy, and to raise and support Armies. He also pointed out that none of the provisions relating to the conduct of war are found in Article III., the article dealing with courts and judges. That is because courtrooms are not the appropriate forum for prosecuting wars.

Cully Stimson further argued that treating terrorism solely as a criminal act harms the rule of law, is insulting to the Geneva conventions, and rewards enemy combatants for violating the laws of war. It is a dangerous approach to winning wars and is regarded by our enemies as a sign of weakness. (more…)