Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is lucky there’s a Democrat in the White House because by now Republicans probably would have declared him an enemy combatant and whisked him off to a secret prison someplace. If he died while being waterboarded … too bad. What’s another dead terrorist. Never mind that he’s an American citizen on American soil, entitled to the full protection of the US Constitution.
It looked for a while as though Gitmo had come to the mainland when, under Miranda’s “public safety exception,” Tsarnaev was not immediately read his rights — even though law enforcement had already declared the danger over and the public safe.
Apparently when someone close to a case decides the situation warrants, Miranda and the Constitution can be suspended. Sort of. It’s complicated and subject to abuse. Tsarnaev’s rights today, yours tomorrow? Not a chance, you say? See: Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, TSA searches, etc.
In any case, President Obama announced Monday that despite Republican calls to try Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant in a military commission, he will be tried in our criminal justice system. Anyone who doubts this system can effectively deal with terrorists should check the guest list at ADX Florence.
Yes, it’s good to know Gitmo hasn’t come stateside. At least, not yet.
- The Bill Of Rights Was Written For Dzhokar Tsarnaev (libertycrier.com)
- Rand Paul Quiet on Tsarnaev’s Rights (drudge.com)
- Boston bomb suspect will not be designated an ‘enemy combatant’ (thehill.com)
- Read Him His Rights (prospect.org)
- Boston Marathon Suspect’s Treatment Shows How ‘War on Terror’ Has Killed Basic Rights (alternet.org)
- How the Media Have Misunderstood Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Miranda Rights (theatlantic.com)