News

Bush Wants Military Commissions to Try Terror Suspects

President Bush wants Congress to approve military commissions to try suspected terrorist leaders in U.S. custody. The president and opposition Democrats are both addressing national security ahead of Monday's fifth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

As Americans prepare to mark that anniversary, President Bush says they remember the brutality of the enemies who struck, and the nation's resolve to defeat them.

So, the president is asking Congress to approve military commissions to put suspected terrorists on trial.

"As soon as Congress acts to authorize these military commissions, we will prosecute these men, and send a clear message to those who kill Americans: 'No matter how long it takes, we will find you and bring you to justice,'" he said.

Among those the president wants tried before the commissions are 14 suspects previously held in secret by the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Bush publicly acknowledged that previously-classified program this past week, saying those suspects are now being held at the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"This program has been invaluable to the security of America and its allies, and helped us identify and capture men, who, our intelligence community believes, were key architects of the September the 11th attacks," he said.

Without the knowledge gained from secret CIA interrogations, President Bush says, U.S. intelligence officials believe al-Qaida terrorists would have succeeded in launching another attack inside the United States.

The president used his weekly radio address to recap a series of speeches he has given about terrorism ahead of the September 11th anniversary. Some opposition Democrats say Mr. Bush is politicizing the issue in hopes of helping Republicans in Congressional elections in November.

While public opinion polls show a majority of Americans support the president's handling of the fight against terrorism, they are far less supportive of the war in Iraq, which some Democrats say is a distraction from fighting terrorism.

In the Democratic radio address, Ohio Congressman Sherrod Brown criticized the president and Republican leaders in Congress for what he called inaction and delay in failing to better protect America's borders and nuclear facilities.

Brown says it is time to refocus on destroying al-Qaida by stopping what he calls the president's open-ended commitment in Iraq.

"While Iraq was not part of the war on terror before we invaded, it's now a training ground for terrorists and a recruiting tool for the leaders of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations," he said. "Our military readiness has plummeted to levels not seen since Vietnam, diverted resources from the war on terror and made America less safe."

President Bush says Iraq is the central front in the fight against terrorism. If U.S. troops do not defeat terrorists there, he says, Americans will be forced to fight them at home.

The president and Mrs. Bush will mark the September 11th anniversary by visiting each of the sites where Americans died - the World Trade Center in New York, a field in Pennsylvania where a hijacked jetliner crashed, and the Pentagon outside Washington.

President Bush will then address the nation from the White House in what officials say will not be a political speech, but will instead reflect on what September 11th has meant to the country and its fight against terrorism.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs