Retired Generals Backhandedly Respond To Toomey

Uh oh.

Remember how last night Pat Toomey played the “American courts suck; we need to try terrorists at Guantonamo Bay, else they’ll attack us again” card? Yeah, he did. This is another issue on which he and Rep. Joe Sestak differ.

About an hour ago, possibly in response to Toomey’s desperate, insatiable appetite to cave to the terrorists’ demands, Human Rights First hosted a conference call which featured General David M. Maddox USA (Ret.), Rear Admiral Don Guter USN (Ret.) and Major General USA (Ret.) Walter Stewart, all of whom are proponents of trying terrorists in federal courts, though, as a nonpartisan group, do not endorse any candidate. Yesterday, they released this ad:

Today, they had the perfect aforementioned opportunity to speak with the press.

All retired generals expressed the need to try terrorist suspects in federal courts, rather than military commissions because, among other things, trying the suspects in a military commission assumes they’re being treated as warriors – which is what they want – when, in fact, they’re simple criminals.

“Military courts grant warrior status to those they try,” said Stewart, speaking from Berks County. “The civil courts do not. The civil courts try these people as criminals, the mass murdering criminals that they are, and I believe that’s what they deserve.”

Stewart, a Pennsylvania native, is the former commander of the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. “It’s in our interest that Jihadi thugs and murderers be classified as Jihadi thugs and murderers,” said Stewart. “We need to classify them as criminals.”

Human Rights First has not met with either Senate candidate but says it has met with 11 congressional candidates in Pennsylvania from both parties.

Last night Toomey claimed trying terrorist suspects in federal court would be “a circus” and “very dangerous,” even though terrorists have already been tried in federal courts.

“Running a court system is not a core competency of the military,” said Stewart. “We are not good at it. The courts don’t fight our wars and we should not be running a court system. I find it both a moral and strategic imperative.”

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