SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON TERROR PROSECUTIONS…. Whenever Republicans or their allies get hysterical about federal officials trying accused terrorists in the U.S. justice system, the Obama administration has a compelling retort: we’re just doing what Bush/Cheney did.

Indeed, several weeks ago, administration officials began using a specific number: more than 300 suspected terrorists have already gone through the civilian court system — with nary a complaint from Republicans.

Incredulous, far-right lawmakers and personalities have concluded that the number must be the result of Obama administration deception. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, called the number “unsubstantiated” and questioned its validity. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) called the number “disingenuous.” National Review called the figure “bogus.” Dana Perino concluded, “The 300 number is as false as false gets.”

Both sides can’t be right. Either Bush/Cheney did this or it didn’t. Either Obama’s detractors are right or wrong. Care to guess which side of the dispute is telling the truth?

An extensive new chart compiled by the Obama Justice Department, drawing on Bush administration records, shows hundreds of terror suspects have been convicted in civilian courts — directly contradicting claims by Bush/Cheney officials to the contrary. […]

[I]n its most comprehensive pushback to date, the Justice Department has produced a detailed accounting of hundreds of such prosecutions in chart form. It was sent over by a source and can be viewed right here.

I’m trying to think of the last time the right came up with criticism of Obama related to national security that proved to be accurate. I can’t think of anything.

Between lies and errors of fact and judgment, this is a crowd that has an uninterrupted track record of failure. Dems, in general, still seem hesitant about engaging on national security, even if that means hanging the White House out to dry, but the truth is, this is one of the Republicans’ weakest issues.

That the conventional wisdom suggests otherwise is a result of media laziness and Democratic reluctance.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.