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Retired Army leaders defend Moran stance on terrorists

Two retired Army leaders on Thursday defended Jerry Moran's vote against 2006 legislation to continue allowing military tribunals to try suspected terrorists.

U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, Moran's chief opponent in the Republican primary for the open Senate seat in Kansas, attacked his congressional colleague on the subject during a debate earlier this week and in his most recent TV ad.

"Moran does support tribunals for prosecuting terrorists," Lt. Gen. Rich Keller and Sgt. Maj. Richard Young said in a joint statement issued by Moran's campaign. "The 2006 bill was not tough enough and had too many loopholes. He voted against it.

"Since then, new laws have revised tribunals to significantly reduce the likelihood of convictions being overturned."

In the TV ad that his campaign began broadcasting statewide Tuesday, Tiahrt said of Moran, "He votes to give terrorists constitutional rights. I believe terrorists deserve no rights."

Tiahrt voted for the 2006 legislation.

After Tuesday night's debate in Topeka, Moran told The Associated Press that he'd viewed the  legislation as flawed and unconstitutional.

"Let me categorically say I do not support constitutional rights for terrorists," he said.