... about being to soft on a terrorist. And it certainly appears they might have a point:
WASHINGTON - Key lawmakers, including a Republican committee chairmen, are asking the Justice Department (news - web sites) to explain why it released a terror suspect to Syria when several prosecutors and FBI (news - web sites) agents had collected evidence for possible criminal charges against the man.
The circumstances surrounding Nabil al-Marabh's release, detailed in a recent Associated Press story, are "of deep concern and appear to be a departure from an aggressive, proactive approach to the war on terrorism," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote Tuesday in a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites).
"Al-Marabh was at one time No. 27 on the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) list of Most Wanted Terrorists," wrote Grassley, who leads the committee that controls federal spending and also is a member of the Judiciary Committee (news - web sites) that oversees the Justice Department. "He appears to have links to a number of terrorists and suspected terrorists in several U.S. cities."
"The odd handling of this case raises questions that deserve answers from the Justice Department," Leahy said Tuesday. "Why was a suspected terrorist returned to a country that sponsors terrorism? We need to know that the safety of the American people and our strategic goals in countering terrorism are paramount factors when decisions like this are made."
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., another member of the Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday the Justice Department's explanation so far that al-Marabh's deportation was the best option does not make sense. "It seems that pursuing a military tribunal, a classified criminal trial or continued immigration proceedings would have made more sense than merely deporting a suspected terrorist."
I never thought I'd hear a bunch of liberals clamoring for secret tribunals, but there you are. Obviously not all the facts are available to the public, but they do seem to have some valid concerns. I hope that their concern is genuine and not just opportunistic sniping.