Stand by my comments on dealing with terrorists



I hope the public pays attention to the differences highlighted in Orange County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro's May 14 commentary ("An open letter to Rohrabacher").

This controversy emerged from an April 17 Congressional hearing where Democrats praised a European Parliament report that called for the jailing of 26 Americans, including CIA agents, for engaging in anti-terrorism operations.

During that hearing, I suggested that those who demand that terrorists be given due process rights put American lives at risk.


At no time did I attack the witnesses but simply challenged their position by using the example of the extradition of [Nazi leader Adolf] Eichmann to Israel, which many Europeans would have opposed had the death penalty not been ruled out. This was a reasonable analogy.

I also suggested that anyone who advocates policies that would emasculate America's ability to protect our citizens from a terrorist attack should be prepared to reap the consequences of such a position.

I stand by that assertion. It is justified to suggest that those who want to neuter our defenses to save one or two people who may have been mistakenly targeted may be creating a scenario that could result in the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent lives.

If the Democratic Party disagrees with this, then I hope the American people recognize that. Democrats want terrorism treated as a law enforcement matter, but that only works after a crime has been committed.

It should be noted that Disneyland is a major terrorist target that has been spared because of our proactive due diligence against terrorism. Republicans rightfully support policies, like the rendition program, that prevent such acts.

I'm happy the Democratic chairman is making this distinction between our positions; however, it's easy to forget we are at war with an enemy whose murderous intentions do not discriminate based on political beliefs.

  • DANA ROHRABACHER represents the U.S. House in the 46th District, which includes Costa Mesa.

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