Mar 15 2007

Graham Interview on Fox News Channel on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

MEGYN KENDALL, FOX HOST: If he is telling the truth, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was planning a truly devastating series of attacks when he was arrested back in 2003. According to him, he was plotting to destroy the Empire State Building, the New York Stock Exchange and the Panama Canal. He also says he was trying to kill presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as Pope John Paul II. But can these claims be believed? Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina joins us now live from Capitol Hill. Hello, Senator. Thanks for being with us. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Good morning. KENDALL: OK. So here's the first question: Can these claims be believed? GRAHAM: I think we can believe the claim about 9/11. I can assure you that happened, and everybody in America knows it happened and the families know it happened. He listed a long list of terror enterprises that go back over a decade. Yes, I think we can believe that he considers us the enemy, that he considers anyone who disagrees with him religiously the enemy. I think we would be stupid not to believe that we're at war with these people. He is not a criminal; he's a warrior who's committed criminal acts. He should be treated as an enemy combatant, someone who's at war with the United States. And if we don't believe Al Qaida and their agenda, we do so at our own peril. It's time to wake up and realize that we are in a global war. They've been at war with us a lot longer than we've been at war with them, and we need to get with it and win this war. And he's in the right place -- a military prison. He should never be in a federal court or a federal civilian prison. He needs to be in a military court and a military prison. KENDALL: Senator, do you see this -- I mean, if you actually believe that he was planning on committing all of these atrocities, I mean, is this, is this -- what kind of a testament is this to the efforts of U.S. intelligence and anti-terror forces? GRAHAM: The only thing that one would question -- is he trying to embellish his role in Islamic jihadist history. I do believe that the details he's provided us will be corroborated. What it tells us -- that he has been at war with us and the Al Qaida network has been at war with us for a decade. And what did they say will happen next? They want to win in Iraq, drive us not just out of Iraq, but the Mideast; topple every moderate government in the Mideast. Set up a religious theocracy cruel in nature in Baghdad in the Iraq region and eventually destroy Israel. So this should be a wake-up call. We should understand that the intelligence agents who have captured this man, the military members who are detaining him, are doing us a great service; that we need the ability to interrogate in an effective manner people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And they ought to be in a military prison, not a civilian prison. KENDALL: Right. And on that score -- I mean, obviously, these admissions were made in the context of him defending his label of being an enemy combatant, and now the next step is a trial. What now for him? What do you expect is going to happen to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed now? GRAHAM: I think that based on the record that there will be a solid case that he is an enemy combatant, not a common criminal, but somebody who's at war with the United States, who has planed attacks against the United States in a military fashion with a military objective, who operates out of uniform; that the definition of enemy combatant used at Guantanamo Bay fits him to a tee. And the next thing awaiting him would be a war crimes trial, because the activity that he has confessed to is illegal activity under the law of armed conflict. I've been a military lawyer for 20-something years. We're at war, and the body of law we should apply to these people is the law of armed conflict, not domestic criminal law. So I expect him to be tried. KENDALL: It's pretty amazing that somebody like that in the United States of America gets even those rights, right, Senator? Thanks so much for being with us this morning. GRAHAM: Thank you.