Washington, DC — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement on President Bush’s announcement today about detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and new legislation to establish military commissions to try suspected terrorists for their crimes.
“Democrats welcome the Bush Administration’s long-overdue decision to try some of the alleged masterminds of the September 11th attacks and other hideous terrorist acts. For five years, Democrats have stood ready to work with the President and the Republican Congress to establish sound procedures to bring terrorists to justice. Unfortunately, President Bush ignored the advice of our uniformed military and set up a flawed system that failed to prosecute a single terrorist and was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court has said Congress should establish the rules for military commissions. To meet this challenge, the Armed Services Committee is drafting a bipartisan proposal that reflects the views of our senior uniformed military lawyers. Senator Frist must allow that process to move forward. The last thing we need is a repeat of the arrogant, go-it-alone behavior that has jeopardized and delayed efforts to bring these terrorists to justice for five years.”