Never one to shy away from hyperbole, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) insisted on Friday that the Department of Justice's decision to try terrorist suspects in civilian court will result in a growth in domestic terrorism and the increased likelihood of American deaths.
Speaking on a conference call with reporters, the Iowa Republican called the Attorney General's decision to try five suspected terrorists, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in federal court in New York an incomprehensible legal and national security blunder.
"It's a complete show trial that will recruit al Qaeda all over the world," said King. "We have our own domestic homegrown terrorists [already]. We will have more here."
Despite assurances from the Obama White House that the case against KSM and others is airtight, King insisted that the administration's detainee-trial policy will result in terrorists being set free to roam the American countryside.
"It is likely that some of these terrorists will be released whether in the U.S. or someone else in the world," he said. "If they are, innocent people will die and some of them likely will be Americans."
Such dramatic language is to be expected from King, who has earned a reputation for some of the most bizarre histrionics in Congress. But it is also quite divorced from an honest debate. The past administration, for starters, tried terrorist suspects in federal court in Virginia. George W. Bush himself, stressed that these detainees "ought to be tried in courts here in the United States."
And yet, King insisted that he could not find "a way to justify any rationale" for sending KSM to New York and declared that the Obama administration's main intention was to "put president George Bush on trial."
He also, it should be noted, said that he didn't think that there had ever been a case were prisoners of war "have ever been treated as well" as those at Gitmo -- which, considering some of the early allegations of abuse at the facility, seems a bit confused.