The president took us back to 9/11 for a moment on Wednesday. Five years later, it's no easier.
President Bush reminded us of the gut-wrenching shock that hung over us as we watched the Towers tumble, the Pentagon burn and the black hole of smoke in the ground in Pennsylvania. We felt outraged that our country had been "invaded" by terrorists who wanted to kill anyone unlucky enough to hold the wrong boarding pass or work on the wrong floor.
In a speech in the East Room, he came out swinging. The president said, “Yes, we kept 14 high level terrorists in secret CIA prisons because we had to and now they are all at Gitmo, ready for prosecution.”
Once again, it was President Bush who laid his cards on the table and refused to back down. You either love him or hate him, but he is who he is. He said that everything that was done, was done to keep the U.S. safe.
While five years have dimmed the memories of many, the president reminded us why he empowered our intelligence agencies to do whatever it took, to keep it from happening again.
So now, these 14 have, likely, been exhausted of useful information and they are at Gitmo behind barbed wire. So what will the media and the politicians do? Will they condemn the secret prisons? Will they demand to know how the prisoners were treated? Will Congress take the baton that the president pressed firmly in their hands today and pass a law that allows for the trials of these men? Will we finally have laws on the books that make the rules of interrogation universally understood?
Congress has a month before they head back to campaign for the November elections. Will they take the bull by the horns or let this one lie while they go home to test the waters?
Stay tuned. We are in for an interesting fall. Watch it all unfold, every day, at 2:20 p.m. ET in our special series, "You Decide 2006."
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Martha MacCallum currently serves as the anchor of The Story with Martha MacCallum (weeknights 7PM/ET). She joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in January 2004 and is based in New York.