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Wake-Up Call: Michael Bennet and the enemy within

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Timing is everything. On Thursday, Senator Michael Bennet voted against Lindsey Graham's amendment that would have barred the Obama administration from trying anyone accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks in federal district courts, instead using military commissions at Guantanamo. And Bennet wasn't alone: Graham's proposal was tabled by a vote of 54-45. But immediately afterward, the National Republican Senatorial Committee took aim at Colorado's newest senator, firing off a missive titled "Bennet Votes Against Barring Captured Terrorists from Coming to Colorado."

That was taking a hysterically broad view of the vote, but the NRSC's real focus quickly became clear: that Senate seat. "As he prepares to fight for his election in 2010, there's no doubt that Michael Bennet will be forced to answer for this misguided vote to weaken America's security," NRSC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand sniped." If he makes it to the November general election."

But timing is everything. Because even as the Senate was voting on Graham's amendment, terrifying events were unfolding in Texas: Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army doctor born in this country, had opened fire at a Fort Hood soldier readiness center, killing a dozen people.

"Michael Bennet voted to weaken American's national security tonight when he voted against a measure that would keep some of the world's deadliest terrorists out of Colorado's communities," Wilkerson said.

Whether Hasan was truly a home-grown terrorist, as Senator Joe Lieberman suggests, or a very troubled man who managed to elude every alarm, the NRSC might want to concentrate on the enemy already within.

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