WFPL reports that Bowling Green Mayor Joe Denning has confidence that the civilian law enforcement and legal systems can safely try two men accused of plotting terror attacks. So do the city commissioners who voted 2-3 against asking US Attorney General Eric Holder to move the trial.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been saying for weeks that the trial should be moved and conducted by a military tribunal. He apparently does not have the faith in the federal court system or Kentucky's law enforcement agencies that the mayor of Bowling Green has.
As disappointing as is his dismissal of Kentucky's capabilities, even more disappointing is the nagging suspicion that Kentucky's interests never crossed Sen. McConnell's mind. At this point in his career, it is clear that his national, strategic responsibilities to the Republican Party outweigh whatever consideration he ever may have had in the past for Kentucky or, sadly, even the United States as a whole.
McConnell has clearly and publicly stated that his number one priority is to make President Barack Obama a one term president. And it is clear that he is willing to inflict tremendous harm on Americans and Kentuckians in his zeal to succeed in this.
Moving the terror trial out of Kentucky and the civilian court system serves his purpose nicely because it would bring a facade of legitimacy to a part of the Bush legacy that hangs like a cloud over the Republican Party -- Guantanamo Bay and the military tribunal system established to convict "enemy combatants." The damage it does to the credibility of the civilian court system and law enforcement agencies, along with the monstrous precedent such a move would make, is apparently of no consequence to McConnell. Certainly not in the face of turning a stinging Bush travesty into a prescient, permanent way of doing things.
Our hats should go off to Mayor Denning and the Bowling Green city commissioners who showed so much more confidence in the people and institutions of Kentucky than our senior senator.