Americans' first line of defense against foreign terrorists is the military. Bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives understand that. Apparently, President Barack Obama does not.
In both houses, a bill involving custody of terrorists is moving toward passage. It would allow the military to take custody of any foreign terrorist, including those caught on U.S. soil.
Obama opposes the measure and says that if it passes, he will veto it. He claims it infringes upon the commander-in-chief's flexibility in dealing with accused terrorists.
It does no such thing. First, the bill specifically excludes U.S. citizens from being turned over immediately to the military if they are arrested on terrorism charges. That is proper, of course; citizens should not be deprived of the rights to due process in civil courts.
But the bill also contains a specification that if the White House determines there are good national security reasons to turn terrorist suspects over to civilian courts, that can be done.
The Obama administration has become notorious for viewing terrorists as criminals, not enemies waging war on Americans. But supporters of groups such as al-Qaida are doing just that. Congress is right to recognize that - and should pass the bill.