It doesn’t matter that Obama never said, or even implied, that legal prosecution should be the sole method of preventing terrorism. The fact that he even mentioned prosecution apparently proves that he has what McCain’s campaign called a “September 10th mindset.”
Yet some logical flaws with this analysis present themselves. (And yes, I realize that the mere fact that I would intellectualize this issue, rather than understanding it in my gut, proves that I too have a September 10th mindset.) First, terrorists often operate in our country, or in friendly countries, which makes military action against them tricky. McCain (through his campaign blog) assailed Obama for favoring “prosecutors rather than predators.” But, when the terrorists are holed up in New York City, as was the case with the 1993 bombers Obama referred to, simply arresting them strikes me as more efficient than leveling their apartment with a drone-fired missile. Second, when terrorists can be found outside the reach of law enforcement, Obama has explicitly proposed to strike them militarily.
And of course this classic (always room for a shot at Giuliani)
I would have thought the example of Giuliani would be inconvenient enough that the McCain campaign would hide him in the closet while they bashed Obama for favoring the prosecution of terrorists. Instead, McCain’s campaign trotted Giuliani out for a press conference call and a round of talk show appearances, possibly because he seems to materialize out of thin air whenever the phrase “9/11” is uttered.