Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Slate: Why Tsarnaev Should Not Be Held As an Enemy Combatant

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Slate's Emily Bazelon argues that the Obama Justice Department is right to ignore calls by Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain to hold Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an "enemy combatant":

None of the evidence so far suggests that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or his older brother, Tamerlan, are connected to al-Qaida or any group associated with it. To the contrary. Authorities keep stressing that the brothers appear to have acted alone. Yes, Tsarnaev and his brother are Muslims, and at some point they were radicalized, but Congress has never said that we are fighting Muslim extremists everywhere.

It’s also important that the key 2011 provision in which Congress said whom the president can detain “exempts U.S. citizens entirely,” as Benjamin Wittes explained at the time. Similarly the 2009 Military Commission Act—which Graham wrote—states that American citizens may not be tried by military commission.

Graham acknowledged as much in his press release: “As to any future trial, if this suspect is an American citizen he is not subject to military commission trial.” But he says this doesn’t matter for purposes of detention. Here’s his proposal: Throw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev into a military brig for some prolonged period of time, once his wounds heal sufficiently, and then hand him over to military and CIA interrogators, without a lawyer or any of the other rights criminal defendants are entitled to in American courts. Then turn him over to the court system later.

Graham asserts that the courts would go along with this approach, even though it’s not been used before, and Congress hasn’t authorized it. I’d like to think he’s wrong. Graham’s approach also insults the interrogation capabilities of the FBI for no particular reason. And it fails to address what happens if Tsarnaev refuses to answer questions: McCain and Graham are decent enough to say that Tsarnaev “must be humanely treated.”

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

Staff Pick

Center for Creative Photography

Performance: Contemporary Photography from the Douglas Nielsen Collection. Presenting more than 100 works from the private collection… More

@ Center for Creative Photography Aug. 9-Jan. 4 1030 N. Olive Road.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Arizona Is The 5th Worst State To Be Poor, Tax-Wise (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Grijalva Lands Post of Ranking Member on House Natural Resources Committee (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Watch Obama's Immigration Announcement at Southside Presbyterian (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Unplugged Wine Bar Hosting a "Cards Against Humanity" Tournament Monday Night (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. And The Award For Best Spin Of The Day Goes To . . . K12 Inc. (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2014 Tucson Weekly | 3725 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation