Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,
On Trying Detainees In Federal Courts And Military Commissions
February 2, 2022
“Federal courts have proven time and again that they are capable of handling terrorism cases. They have successfully tried hundreds of terrorism cases, and nearly 350 terrorists are being held securely in our federal prisons today. In stark contrast to that record, very few of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay have been brought to justice through military commissions. I believe strongly in letting the Justice Department make prosecutorial decisions, and I support this administration’s decision to try detainees in federal courts when appropriate.
“Since 9/11, federal courts have tried more than 100 terrorism cases, including several high-profile cases with notorious terrorists, proving they can handle sensitive classified information, security, and other legal and logistical issues. I do not, and will not, support measures that will tie the hands of law enforcement and other security agencies as they move to bring these criminals to justice. Our courts, our legal system, and our prisons repeatedly have shown they are up to the task. Rather than playing politics with these questions or cowering from criminals, we should trust in the proven successes of a criminal justice system that has become the envy of the world.”