Should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be designated an enemy combatant?

Several Republican lawmakers believe the American citizen should be shipped off to Gitmo.

Politico:

Several Republican lawmakers are calling for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings to be tried as an enemy combatant, rather than as an ordinary criminal.

"It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city," read a Saturday statement from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). "The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans. The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent."

Their statement came after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody and sent to the hospital Friday night. The suspect had earlier spurred a Boston-wide lock-down as authorities searched for him Friday. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died earlier in clashes with authorities. The lawmakers argued that a criminal trial would move slowly at a time when information is needed fast.

"We should be focused on gathering intelligence from this suspect right now that can help our nation understand how this attack occurred and what may follow in the future. That should be our focus, not a future domestic criminal trial that may take years to complete," they said.

King told POLITICO on Saturday that Tsarnaev was operating on a "battleground."

"America is part of the battleground," he said. "If you capture someone on the battleground, they should not be given the privilege of a civilian trial where they are given different rights. He's going to be convicted one way or another. My concern is intelligence we can get from him, whether other people were involved, whether he's dealt with other Islamist terrorists in the past, is there a Chechen base overseas [the Tsarnaev family is from Chechnya], [ties] to the Mideast, other cells?

"The only way to get that is through extensive, intensive interrogation," he continued, adding that his "real concern is whether there are other sleepers around."

The Republican national security hawks cheered a law enforcement call to not read Tsarnaev his Miranda rights after he was apprehended under the public safety exception, but they said that might not go far enough, noting that "The public safety exception is a domestic criminal law doctrine that allows questioning of a criminal suspect without Miranda warnings for a limited time and purpose."

Tsarnaev was made a citizen on September 11, 2012. Does he or does he not have the same righs as you and  me?

The Constitution says nothing about the government being able to revoke someone's citizenship and it has a lot to say about violating an individual's rights. The debate over whether the "public safety exception" to reading the suspect his Miranda rights applies in this case should be over. It is imperative at the very least that we attempt to find out if there are any other conspirators or plots afoot.

But taking the drastic step of declaring the suspect an "enemy combatant" starts us down a slippery slope that we should pause long and hard before beginning the descent. Our rights are there to protect everyone - terrorists, murderers, child rapists, and of course, you and me. If it doesn't work for the dregs of society, it won't work for us if we should have need of protection from authorities.

This is not an abstract debate. Tossing aside Tsarnaev's rights because he may be guilty of terrorism will have real world consequences. I doubt whether President Obama is thinking along these lines, so the question is probably moot.

But what does it say about those Republicans who proposed the idea?

Several Republican lawmakers believe the American citizen should be shipped off to Gitmo.

Politico:

Several Republican lawmakers are calling for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings to be tried as an enemy combatant, rather than as an ordinary criminal.

"It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city," read a Saturday statement from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). "The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans. The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent."

Their statement came after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody and sent to the hospital Friday night. The suspect had earlier spurred a Boston-wide lock-down as authorities searched for him Friday. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died earlier in clashes with authorities. The lawmakers argued that a criminal trial would move slowly at a time when information is needed fast.

"We should be focused on gathering intelligence from this suspect right now that can help our nation understand how this attack occurred and what may follow in the future. That should be our focus, not a future domestic criminal trial that may take years to complete," they said.

King told POLITICO on Saturday that Tsarnaev was operating on a "battleground."

"America is part of the battleground," he said. "If you capture someone on the battleground, they should not be given the privilege of a civilian trial where they are given different rights. He's going to be convicted one way or another. My concern is intelligence we can get from him, whether other people were involved, whether he's dealt with other Islamist terrorists in the past, is there a Chechen base overseas [the Tsarnaev family is from Chechnya], [ties] to the Mideast, other cells?

"The only way to get that is through extensive, intensive interrogation," he continued, adding that his "real concern is whether there are other sleepers around."

The Republican national security hawks cheered a law enforcement call to not read Tsarnaev his Miranda rights after he was apprehended under the public safety exception, but they said that might not go far enough, noting that "The public safety exception is a domestic criminal law doctrine that allows questioning of a criminal suspect without Miranda warnings for a limited time and purpose."

Tsarnaev was made a citizen on September 11, 2012. Does he or does he not have the same righs as you and  me?

The Constitution says nothing about the government being able to revoke someone's citizenship and it has a lot to say about violating an individual's rights. The debate over whether the "public safety exception" to reading the suspect his Miranda rights applies in this case should be over. It is imperative at the very least that we attempt to find out if there are any other conspirators or plots afoot.

But taking the drastic step of declaring the suspect an "enemy combatant" starts us down a slippery slope that we should pause long and hard before beginning the descent. Our rights are there to protect everyone - terrorists, murderers, child rapists, and of course, you and me. If it doesn't work for the dregs of society, it won't work for us if we should have need of protection from authorities.

This is not an abstract debate. Tossing aside Tsarnaev's rights because he may be guilty of terrorism will have real world consequences. I doubt whether President Obama is thinking along these lines, so the question is probably moot.

But what does it say about those Republicans who proposed the idea?

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