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General Topics => General Non-Firearms Discussion => Topic started by: Coronach on April 20, 2013, 08:08:54 pm

Title: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Coronach on April 20, 2013, 08:08:54 pm
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/20/republican-lawmakers-urge-obama-to-use-combatant-status-for-bombing-suspect/ (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/20/republican-lawmakers-urge-obama-to-use-combatant-status-for-bombing-suspect/)
Quote
Top Republican senators urged President Obama on Saturday to hold the suspect captured in the Boston Marathon bombing as a potential enemy combatant -- denying him a government-appointed attorney and other legal rights under the “Law of War” so investigators can learn about other possible attacks.

After his capture Friday, bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not read his Miranda rights, which essentially state those arrested have a constitutional right to be told information they give to officials can be used against them. However, the public safety exception that allows suspects to be questioned without being read those rights expires 48 hours after the arrest. “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,” Sens. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina; John McCain, Arizona; and Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire, said. “The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent.” They were joined in the statement by New York Republican Rep. Peter King.

Tsarnaev, 19, was captured in Watertown, Mass., about eight miles from the bombing site. He remains in a hospital in serious-but-stable condition with two gunshot wounds. He will be interrogated by the Obama administration's High Value Interrogation Group. Justice Department officials tell Fox News they hope to file charges against Tsarnaev by the end of the day Saturday. Federal public defenders said they have agreed to represent Tsarnaev. Miriam Conrad, the federal defender for Massachusetts, says her office expects to represent Tsarnaev after he is charged. Conrad said Tsarnaev should have a lawyer appointed as soon as possible because there are "serious issues regarding possible interrogation."

 The Republican lawmakers also said: "We remain under threat from radical Islam and we hope the Obama administration will seriously consider the enemy combatant option. We are encouraged our high value detainee interrogation team is now involved … .A decision to not read Miranda rights to the suspect was sound and in our national security interests.”

President Obama in the immediate aftermath of the bombings declared them an “act of terrorism.” And he vowed after Tsarnaev’s capture Friday to get answers but has yet to say whether the administration will use the combatant status.

The second suspect, Tsarnaev’s 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed early Friday morning in Watertown in a shootout with police. Two bombs set off Monday afternoon near the marathon finish line killed three people and injured 176 others. The president on Friday night said the victims “deserve answers.” “We will determine what happened,” he said. “We will investigate any association that these terrorists may have had.”

The American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern about Tsarnaev being questioned without being read his Miranda rights. Group Executive Director Anthony Romero said Saturday the exception applies only when there's a continued threat to public safety and is "not an open-ended exception" to the Miranda rule.

The Obama administration has a range of legal options in the case, including seeking the death penalty. The administration has indicated it intends to move quickly to build a criminal case. Prosecution in federal court would seem a natural course for an administration that previously won a life sentence against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab of Nigeria for trying to blow up a packed jetliner using a bomb sewn into his underwear on Christmas Day 2009. The administration also will put Usama bin Laden's son-in-law on trial in January on charges that he conspired to kill Americans in his role as al Qaeda's chief spokesman.

As a U.S. citizen, Tsarnaev could not be tried by a military commission under current law; the only option for prosecuting an American is in civilian courts. A federal official with knowledge of the case said Tsarnaev was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in September 2012. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about details of the case and requested anonymity. King told Fox News before Tsarnaev’s capture that his Miranda Rights could be denied. “I believe he can be interrogated under the public safety exception of the Miranda ruling because clearly life and death can be involved here,” he said. “I feel confident the FBI has the right to interrogate him.” The lawmakers were followed by Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who said: "I am disappointed that it appears this administration is once again relying on Miranda's public safety exception."

But Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a former federal prosecutor and member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News the administration should ignore "hasty calls to treat the suspect as an enemy combatant."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Discuss.

 
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: FMJ on April 20, 2013, 09:16:29 pm
Wasn't he practically raised here?  And hasn't he lived here most of his life?

That's pretty simple, then.  No?
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Coronach on April 20, 2013, 09:44:32 pm
I have an opinion. I'm just seeing what others think. And yes, and yes. He is a naturalized US citizen.

Mike
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: freeman1685 on April 20, 2013, 09:51:21 pm
Wasn't he practically raised here?  And hasn't he lived here most of his life?

That's pretty simple, then.  No?

What's your point?  As far as I'm concerned, he forfeited any claim to the protections that even a resident alien would be entitled to, when he attacked peacefuly assembled Marathon spectators, in an outright terrorist action.

Raised here?  So Flippin' what!
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Kaso on April 20, 2013, 09:53:48 pm
Lived here, raised here... makes no difference.

BUT, he was naturalized as a US citizen, last year.  Period.  Full stop.

US citizen, guys... our rights are his rights.  :bash



Kaso

Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Lupinus on April 20, 2013, 10:02:36 pm
Picking someone up on a battlefield/war zone and tossing them into POW/enemy combatant status is one thing. It's part of the nature of war that people will be captured and you will need to do something with them or gather intel from them.

But someone who committed a criminal act, on American soil, and is an American citizen to boot(not that it's a big deal, just icing on the cake)? I call bull excrement on the very notion that his rights could essentially be stripped just because of the nature of his crimes. Charge him, try him, execute him if found guilty. Third world dictatorships pick people up, deny them rights or the benefit of consul and trial, and toss them away in to some hole for an undetermined length of time. Last I checked we aren't some third world s___ hole dictatorship, despite the best efforts of a few at the top. I sure wont rejoice at us acting like one. Rights are rights, not just nice things to give people when it's convenient.

That's one slippery slope NO sensible person should want to go near. Let alone down.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: luke213(adamsholsters) on April 20, 2013, 10:02:59 pm
I don't like what he did anymore than anyone else but he's a citizen as far as I'm concerned.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: JesseL on April 20, 2013, 10:14:43 pm
I'm not at all comfortable with the notion that if you're accused of something bad enough then your civil rights evaporate.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: NukMed on April 20, 2013, 10:42:46 pm
His citizenship status is irrelevant to the crimes of which he is accused.  He is not, as far as I have heard, been alleged to be working for any foreign government or organization with whom we might be at war.  I say no "enemy combatant" status.

Try him like anyone else and let the prosecutors of Mass. prove he is guilty of murder, attempted murder, vandalism, robbery, carjacking, failure to yield, speeding, resisting arrest, illegal discharge of a firearm within city limits, disturbing the piece, destruction of public property, and anything else they think he has done and punish him according to the laws of Mass.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 20, 2013, 11:10:32 pm
I agree: he's a citizen, and is due his full rights.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 20, 2013, 11:18:48 pm
We don't yet know enough to describe his status as an "enemy combatant" with certainty.  If we learn from existing evidence, or from interviews with him after he recovers sufficiently to be questioned, that he was working in concert with or under the direction of foreign interests then his status would be unquestioned.  Following that logic, it would be prudent to label him an enemy combatant until evidence proves otherwise.  The fact that he is technically an American citizen does not alter the fact that he brought the battlefield to the city of Boston. 

It also seems clear that he conspired to make war on the innocent citizens of that city and therefore is an oath breaker in regard to his citizenship.  Would that not affect his status as a naturalized cititizen?  I'm no Constitutional scholar but the weight of a person's actions would seem to determine what his status is re: the law.
 

Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: sqlbullet on April 20, 2013, 11:41:00 pm
My opinion may be a little un-popular.

But I firmly believe my grandfather many greats back fought the british under the idea that certain basic rights are the domain of all people, independent of of government.  One of those is the right to throw off old government and establish new if your government becomes destructive of basic rights.

Since he is a citizen he has the force of law on his side.  But the fact remains that certain rights should be afforded all people.  And high on that list should be the right to fair and impartial due process.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 20, 2013, 11:41:44 pm
Well, according to http://www.justice.gov/olc/ina340.htm (http://www.justice.gov/olc/ina340.htm)

Quote
  As we have noted, it is a requirement of being naturalized that the applicant be "a person of good moral character." INA § 316(a)(3), 8 U.S.C. § 1427(a)(3). As a matter of law, no applicant can be found to be "of good moral character" if he or she "at any time has been convicted of an aggravated felony." INA § 101(f)(8),8 U.S.C. § 1101(f)(8). (8) Similarly, as a matter of law, no applicant is "of good moral character" if he or she has been convicted of, or has admitting to committing, certain other offenses within a specified period of time. INA § 101(f)(3), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(f)(3). (9) Accordingly, should the INS discover that a naturalized person, as a matter of law, had not satisfied the "good moral character" requirement because of disqualifying criminal convictions or offenses that fell within INA § 101(f)(3) or (f)(8), it could seek revocation on the grounds that that person's citizenship was "illegally procured," INA § 340(a), 8 U.S.C. § 1451(a). No statute of limitations applies to a judicial denaturalization proceeding under section 340(a). (10) Nor would the INS be estopped from seeking denaturalization if naturalization was illegally procured because INS agents failed to exercise due diligence in examining the application for naturalization.

Though this does appear to be based more on the idea of discovering crimes that occurred before becoming a naturalized citizen, I doubt it's a far stretch for it cover the events of and following the bombing.

So, it appears I may have to change my answer: if he'd been born here, he should have his full rights. But as a naturalized citizen, there appears to be legal ground for revocation of those rights granted solely by citizenship.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Nick Cage on April 20, 2013, 11:48:41 pm
I don't care who he's working for.
He's a US citizen on US soil.

We are all owed to see this man gets full due process and has every single civil right observed carefully and fully.

For there still exists the presumption of innocence, he is as yet, innocent as he has not been proven guilty of any crime only accused and hunted.
This is a vital that the idea of the presumption of innocence be maintained at all costs. It is the core of what makes our justice system the best ever known in the world.

Power has to prove to normal people that the person they are accusing of whatever crime are actually guilty enough that other normal people will agree with the state and say he's guilty.

And to even consider revoking his citizenship is just beyond the pale.  :facepalm

Thought this was pretty good:

http://youtu.be/E_BPgG7M1R0 (http://youtu.be/E_BPgG7M1R0)
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 20, 2013, 11:56:48 pm
The legal process for it may be once proven guilty, citizenship is revoked on grounds.

Ask Panhead Bill - I ain't a lawyer.  :shrug
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 20, 2013, 11:57:06 pm
Anything obtained under false pretense is null and void.  No?   If it is found that you are an enemy agent who has brought the battle to these shores then you are no more entitled to the rights afforded a citizen of the United States than any other enemy soldier anywhere in the world.

By your own actions you have rendered yourself beyond these considerations.  If this is not true then the word "treason" has no meaning.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: freeman1685 on April 20, 2013, 11:59:39 pm
Anything obtained under false pretense is null and void.  No?   If it is found that you are an enemy agent who has brought the battle to these shores then you are no more entitled to the rights afforded a citizen of the United States than any other enemy soldier anywhere in the world.

By your own actions you have rendered yourself beyond these considerations.  If this is not true then the word "treason" has no meaning.

That was My thought.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 21, 2013, 12:02:03 am
A lawyerly type may well question intent: was there an intent to commit the crime before he was naturalized, so that the naturalization occurred under false pretenses, or was the intent to commit the crime conceived well after naturalization.

Personally, I don't think it matters, but lawyerly types may see it otherwise.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Nick Cage on April 21, 2013, 12:03:44 am
If he's treasonous, try him for treason and if found guilty hang his ass.
AFIK Citizenship is forever.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: NukMed on April 21, 2013, 12:07:35 am
We don't yet know enough to describe his status as an "enemy combatant" with certainty.  If we learn from existing evidence, or from interviews with him after he recovers sufficiently to be questioned, that he was working in concert with or under the direction of foreign interests then his status would be unquestioned.  Following that logic, it would be prudent to label him an enemy combatant until evidence proves otherwise.  The fact that he is technically an American citizen does not alter the fact that he brought the battlefield to the city of Boston. 

It also seems clear that he conspired to make war on the innocent citizens of that city and therefore is an oath breaker in regard to his citizenship.  Would that not affect his status as a naturalized cititizen?  I'm no Constitutional scholar but the weight of a person's actions would seem to determine what his status is re: the law.

Article III Sec. 3:  Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

If he in fact "conspired to make war on the innocent citizens of that city," then that would fall under the definition of treason and he would be tried as any other citizen who commits a crime, and not as an enemy combatant.

If he "was working in concert with or under the direction of foreign interests," that makes him a traitor (in addition to the other crimes he has committed), but it doesn't make him an enemy combatant.

U.S. citizens who commit espionage, sabotage, or any other crime at the behest of some foreign government are not enemy combatants.  They are traitors and guilty of treason in addition to their other crimes.

I'm not ruling out the involvement of a foreign power (however unlikely).  I'm just saying that I think the "enemy combatant" status is off the table.

In addition, I recognize that somewhere in the NDAA or elsewhere may be codified in federal law some definition of "enemy combatant" of which I am unaware.  The accused may very well fit that definition.  I would reject that definition, though, on the same grounds as I would reject a federal law that stated that the sky was down and the ground was up.  I reject the nonsensical.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 21, 2013, 12:08:25 am
That Justice.gov page I posted the link to has case law going back a stretch - 1917 being the earliest one I've seen yet...

Quote
   As we have noted above, an alien may be naturalized only upon "strict compliance with the . . . 'terms and conditions specified by Congress.'" INS v. Pangilinan, 486 U.S. 875, 884 (1988) (quoting United States v. Ginsberg, 243 U.S. 472, 474 (1917)). See also INA § 310(d), 8 U.S.C. § 1421(d) ("A person may only be naturalized as a citizen of the United States in the manner and under the conditions prescribed in this title and not otherwise") (emphasis added); Maney v. United States , 278 U.S. 17, 22 (1928) (Holmes, J.); Tutun v. United States, 270 U.S. 568, 578 (1926) (Brandeis, J.); Johannessen v. United States, 225 U.S. 227, 240-42 (1912); Schneiderman, 320 U.S. at 161-62 (Douglas, J., concurring); United States v. Beda, 118 F.2d 458, 459 (2d Cir. 1941) (A. Hand, J.). The ordinary prerequisites for naturalization are set forth in INA § 316, 8 U.S.C. § 1427 (1994), and include requirements as to lawful residence in the United States, (7) good moral character, attachment to the principles of the United States Constitution, and favorable disposition to the United States. At the time of applying for naturalization, the applicant bears the burden of establishing that he or she possesses the qualifications for citizenship. INA § 316(e), 8 U.S.C. § 1427(e); INA § 318, 8 U.S.C. § 1429 (1994). The standard of proof is whether the applicant has established the necessary facts by a preponderance of the evidence. See 8 C.F.R. § 316.2(b) (1997).

Emphasis mine.  :shrug
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Coronach on April 21, 2013, 06:29:29 am
My thoughts on it are pretty simple. He is a US citizen, on US soil. His actions can be identified as criminal, under both state code and US code. He should be prosecuted as a criminal. He is, prima facie, not an "enemy combatant", as it is not clear that he was engaging in any activity that can be defined as warfare, and is not in the service of a foreign power. Furthermore, if he was in the service of a foreign power, or could be defined as engaging in warfare against the nation of which he is a citizen, there is a legal remedy for that, as well; namely, the charge of treason and the punishment of the gallows.

We're wrangling about whether to afford him 5th Amendment protections, and I think it is actually moot. The Miranda case, AFAIK, does not protect him against "questioning"- he can be chatted up all day long- but rather against having his answers used against him in court. Looking at the evidence compiled against him, I would daresay that his self-incriminating testimony is not really necessary to obtain a conviction. He can spill the beans or clam up, and it won't make a bit of difference. More dicey is the use of his statements against others- I'll leave that to the lawyers. Add in the perfectly legit use of the safety exception in Quarles, and I think we can do quite a bit of talking with him without worrying overly much about the outcome of his case and the ones to follow.

I understand that there are distinctions between unformed soldiers of an enemy and "enemy combatants", and that they can and should be treated differently. There are, however, differences just as big between enemy combatants and treasonous US citizens, and they need to be treated differently, too. The law likes bright-line distinctions, and "US Citizen" is a pretty convenient bright line. Under the law, this clown is the same as me. I really don't think we want to travel very far down the road of "well, you're an enemy combatant because the Administration thinks what you're doing aids our global enemies or harms our global interests."

Mike
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Coronach on April 21, 2013, 06:44:11 am
Also, unlike Anwar Al-Awlaki and his ilk, Tsarnaev is not 1. engaging in ongoing activity that can place US citizens or US interests at risk and 2. is not hiding out of the reach of capture, he's in a hospital bed under guard. Al-Awlaki's assassination gave me a trifle of pause and can be debated as to its propriety (I'd like to see some sort of trial in absentia before we just toss US Citizens onto the "kill them if given the opportunity" list, but I'm old fashioned that way), but this is clearly not even that far into the grey area. He's in custody, we have a beautiful case against him, we don't need to color outside of the lines on this one.

Mike
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Lupinus on April 21, 2013, 07:23:45 am
US citizenship aside, he is entitled to due process. As I said initially, the fact his is a US citizen is just icing on the cake. Last I checked we gave resident aliens, tourists, etc. due process under the law just the same as a US citizen.

His actions were criminal, not an act of war. Charge and try him accordingly. The line between spy/saboteur/terrorist/traitor and enemy combatant may at times be fine and occasionally blurry, but it's a line. And one that shouldn't go away. Once it does, you've opened the door for tossing out due process in the name of "public safety". And the lengths some members of government would love to take things in the name of "public safety" that is one hell of a scary prospect with no clear end in sight.

As to Miranda, small potatoes to the idea he could be denied his due process. All it really means is that anything he says can't be used in court....and I doubt very highly they need him to say a damn thing to make it a five minute trial and all of 30 seconds for the jury to come back with a guilty verdict. Only issue I potentially see is if he does spill the beans about people that helped him, and that's the only thing that leads the feds to those persons, is if it could be argued as having been the fruits of a poisonous tree. I know that's typically related to fourth amendment violations, and I'm not a lawyer, but it's about the only issue I can see here arising from him having not been informed he can keep his trap shut.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Coronach on April 21, 2013, 08:14:38 am
I'll disagree a little, but this is "how I think it should be" as opposed to "how it actually works", partly because the latter is somewhat nebulous at the moment.

I look at it like a flow-chart, that goes somewhat like this:

Is the defendant a US citizen? Yes/No. If YES, then ask the following: can his actions be construed as waging war on the US, adhereing to or giving aid an comfort to its enemies? If YES, then charge with treason (per Article 3 of the Constitution). If NO, then charge with an appropriate crime in an appropriate jurisdiction.

If the defendant is NOT a US citizen, then ask the following question: can his status reasonably be described as an unlawful combatant, whose actions can be construed as waging war on the US? If YES, then remand the case to a military tribunal for due process. If NO, then charge with an appropriate crime in an appropriate jurisdiction.

Mike
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: sarge712 on April 21, 2013, 08:56:30 am
I'm not at all comfortable with the notion that if you're accused of something bad enough then your civil rights evaporate.

I agree. Tim McVeigh was afforded full due process and he killed many more that the Tsarnaevs.

That being said, I like Coronach's "Flow chart" approach to determining jurisdiction.

Lest we forget, it could be one of us accused of a crime one day and I intend to make use of every bit of due process I can. In my last LEO involved shooting, I was accused of stonewalling by an FBI agent because wanted to wait for my PBA attorney. I informed the fluffer that the criminals got to wait for attorneys and therefore so did I as my rights hadn't been suspended just because I wore a badge. I was so pissed I almost waited a day before i spoke to them but my attorney felt it was better to get it over with. So, no, we should not suspend due process. That's every bit as important a concept/right as the 2A.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Feud on April 21, 2013, 09:00:12 am
I dislike the right to due process being considered a right for citizens or tied to citizenship.  At its heart is the question of what kind of legal system and government we want. If fairness, equity, and proof is limited to this group or that, then we accept that it shouldn't be a fundamental characteristic of our society, or that government imprisonment of  enemies of the state based on accusation isn't a method inherently wrong for government to employ.

In this case, this isn't a grey area of international laws of war. If they acted under orders of foreign enemies, then perhaps military trials would be appropriate. Otherwise, this was a criminal act that should be treated as such. Absent an on going threat that necessitates suspension of civil liberties (as outlined under the constitution), there is neither reason nor justice in not affording them the right to a fair trial, whether citizens or not.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 21, 2013, 09:07:32 am
Yes, but McVeigh was a natural born citizen, not a naturalized citizen.

I agree that it shouldn't make a difference, but it likely will.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Lupinus on April 21, 2013, 10:06:03 am
I dislike the right to due process being considered a right for citizens or tied to citizenship.  At its heart is the question of what kind of legal system and government we want. If fairness, equity, and proof is limited to this group or that, then we accept that it shouldn't be a fundamental characteristic of our society, or that government imprisonment of  enemies of the state based on accusation isn't a method inherently wrong for government to employ.
Agreed. Natural born, naturalized, or not a citizen at all has no real bearing at all IMO how someone should be treated in regards to the law. I have a big problem with creating classes of people. Even people here illegally are afforded due process under the law, as it should be.

Quote
In this case, this isn't a grey area of international laws of war. If they acted under orders of foreign enemies, then perhaps military trials would be appropriate.
To an extent I agree with this. Obviously if we're at war with another nation there is no question. But the line can get mighty blurry if all we attribute this to is foreign enemies.  Who is that foreign enemy? How is it defined? A large foreign group? Meeting some random person for training or advice on his last trip to Russia? Those inspired by foreign nationals to commit acts? Personally, I think something that happens on American soil, baring perhaps an agent of a foreign government during a time of war, should be treated as a criminal matter in the courts with all due process in place.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 21, 2013, 10:16:12 am
If we suspend due process for ANYBODY as result of terrorist activity, then the terrorists have already won.

Any official trying to suspend due process, as result of terrorist activity, should be charged and tried (through due process) for conspiring with the terrorists to destroy liberty and the American way of life.

End of discussion.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: NukMed on April 21, 2013, 11:41:24 am
I dislike the right to due process being considered a right for citizens or tied to citizenship.  At its heart is the question of what kind of legal system and government we want. If fairness, equity, and proof is limited to this group or that, then we accept that it shouldn't be a fundamental characteristic of our society, or that government imprisonment of  enemies of the state based on accusation isn't a method inherently wrong for government to employ.

Amen.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: freeman1685 on April 21, 2013, 01:23:00 pm
The whole "Due Process/Miranda" thing might as well be a moot point.  From some of the reports I'm hearing from more than one of the large network news services, they already have a "Spontaneous Confession" uttered in the presence of a witness.

Any questioning I'm reasonably certain will be to glean intelligence as to the extent of the brother's involvement will a known Chechnian Islamic extremist.  And what, who, and how many others might be involved.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Lupinus on April 21, 2013, 01:39:10 pm
The whole "Due Process/Miranda" thing might as well be a moot point.  From some of the reports I'm hearing from more than one of the large network news services, they already have a "Spontaneous Confession" uttered in the presence of a witness.

Any questioning I'm reasonably certain will be to glean intelligence as to the extent of the brother's involvement will a known Chechnian Islamic extremist.  And what, who, and how many others might be involved.
Except that they are two separate issues entirely.

Failure to read him his miranda rights just means anything they get out of him wont be admissible in court. And frankly, they don't need him to say a word.

Slapping an enemy combatant tag on him and denying due process is a whole different ball game.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: freeman1685 on April 21, 2013, 01:53:10 pm
Slapping an enemy combatant tag on him and denying due process is a whole different ball game.

Indeed it is.  My point being, that if the brothers attained US citizenship under fraudulent circumstances, and it can be proven, the "enemy combatant" status is kinda a foregone conclusion.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: scarville on April 21, 2013, 02:17:45 pm
Regarding mirandizing:

An American citizen should damn well know his rights without some cop having to tell him. If I cannot leave anytime I want to, it is an arrest. If I ask, "Am I free to go?" and Officer Friendly doesn't immediately answer in the affirmative then I will assume I am under arrest and act accordingly. That means I don't talk without my attorney present.  I know the lawyers have created a mystical distinction between an "arrest" and a "detainment" but for an ordinary person like me that is just angels dancing on the head of pin.

You hear the mantra all the time: "Shut up and wait for your lawyer". Not always the best advice but is usually good advice.  In the United States, you have a legal and Constitutional right to not be forced to incriminate yourself and it does not matter whether some official told you so.  I understand the argument that not mirandizing a suspect may make anything he says inadmissible but the miranda warning is not a magical formula that converts him from a meat puppet to someone with rights.

That said, I do think that reading an arrestee his "miranda rights" is a good idea. If nothing else it might occasionally remind a cop that the guy or gal he just put in chains is innocent until proved guilty. However, the warning does not activate the rights, it merely reminds the arrestee of what his "rights" are.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Lupinus on April 21, 2013, 02:29:20 pm
Indeed it is.  My point being, that if the brothers attained US citizenship under fraudulent circumstances, and it can be proven, the "enemy combatant" status is kinda a foregone conclusion.
Not really. Due process has nothing to do with citizenship.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Coronach on April 21, 2013, 04:37:12 pm
The problem is that you end up with a continuum of how we treat people who have, in the eyes of our society, done wrong. One the one hand, you have the common, apolitical criminal. On the the extreme, you have the solider of the foreign power. How we address the extremes are easy. It's the people in the middle that are problematic- you're not a soldier of a foriegn power but you're plainly engaged in a use of force with a political end (terrorism). In this murky middle there are few bright lines, and it is probably advisable that we cling to the ones that are there and not further blur them. Citizenship is one, location is another

Mike
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Coronach on April 21, 2013, 04:38:53 pm
Quote
If I cannot leave anytime I want to, it is an arrest.
Uh. No.

Mike
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Splodge Of Doom on April 21, 2013, 04:53:50 pm
Just a thought, wasn't one of the very early presidents someone who defended enemy combatants (redcoats) in court?

I seem to remember he won, proving them to be acting in self defence - while the exact circumstances are different, doesn't that provide some precedent that enemy combatants have the right to fair trial, etc?
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coyotesfan97 on April 21, 2013, 06:19:17 pm
John Adams defended them but at the time they were his country's soldiers defending themselves against murder charges.  It wasn't very popular at the time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Feud on April 21, 2013, 06:29:09 pm
An American citizen should damn well know his rights without some cop having to tell him. If I cannot leave anytime I want to, it is an arrest. If I ask, "Am I free to go?" and Officer Friendly doesn't immediately answer in the affirmative then I will assume I am under arrest and act accordingly.

Not always.  If you get pulled over for a traffic violation, for example you are usually not under arrest, but you are not free to go until after you've been released.  Further, I believe there's a time limit in which you can be detained from leaving an area without an arrest being made.  If you're held there longer it counts though.

Indeed it is.  My point being, that if the brothers attained US citizenship under fraudulent circumstances, and it can be proven, the "enemy combatant" status is kinda a foregone conclusion.

I absolutely disagree. 

Even with fraudulent circumstances, I still think a civilian trial is most appropriate here barring some evidence of acting under orders of a foreign military. 

Ultimately, affording a civilian trial serves a great purpose. A civilian trial, unlike a military court or indefinite detention, holds those who have broken our laws and customs accountable before the highest authority and power that we have in our country: the people.

And there is no higher condemnation that we can give to heinous acts than to set aside the grand power of the state, and instead allow the people themselves to exercise our sovereign right to declare acts and behavior to be wrong, to be opposed to what we value, to be evil.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Lupinus on April 21, 2013, 07:18:42 pm
The problem is that you end up with a continuum of how we treat people who have, in the eyes of our society, done wrong. One the one hand, you have the common, apolitical criminal. On the the extreme, you have the solider of the foreign power. How we address the extremes are easy. It's the people in the middle that are problematic- you're not a soldier of a foriegn power but you're plainly engaged in a use of force with a political end (terrorism). In this murky middle there are few bright lines, and it is probably advisable that we cling to the ones that are there and not further blur them. Citizenship is one, location is another

Mike
I agree it's a blurred line, and when the line is blurred I think we should lean on the side of caution and not setting a potentially bad precedent.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Langenator on April 21, 2013, 10:36:27 pm
From Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:

Quote
nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This section has been used to, among other things, prohibit states from denying welfare benefits to illegal aliens, as SCOTUS has held that, simple by their physical presence in the United States, they are "within its jurisdiction" and thus cannot be denied "the equal protection of the laws.

It would logically apply to criminals as well, absent positive evidence that they are in the service of some outside power.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: RetroGrouch on April 22, 2013, 12:10:28 am
The phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." keeps coming to mind. 


He is a human being, detestable to be sure, he is a naturalized American citizen, he committed his crimes on American soil and was arrested by civilian police.


He gets treated the same as anyone else who has not been convicted of a crime.  End of discussion.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Thernlund on April 22, 2013, 01:17:43 am
Those calling for him to be treated differently that any other US citizen better think really carefully about that one, lest those exceptions you keep calling for be one day applied to you.

US citizen on US soil committed a criminal act.  He should be treated no differently than any other criminal would be treated here.


-T.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 11:53:08 am
Lest we get all high and mighty about the language the founders chose to delineate rights, remember the environment they lived in.  They also chose to provide for "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" which sanctioned private citizens to commit acts of war upon the enemies of our republic.  Make no mistake, they understood the ways and means of warfare - perhaps better than we do - and they undertook to make war on the Barbary Pirates as referred to in the Marine Corps Hymn.  They were at war with elements of Islam just as we are today.

The gist of this discussion seems to revolve around the "right" of the government to decide who and who is not an enemy of the republic vs a common criminal in a narrow civil sense.  I agree that our government is disinclined to respect the rights of its citizens these days but when you find yourself in a war not of your own making you must act in your own defense or perish.   I do not wish to look back on the events of April 2013 and acknowledge that we were yet again unprepared to take the necessary action to defend ourselves just as we were in September of 2001.   

I agree that Tsarnaev should stand trial in a federal court as a U.S. citizen but in the interim he should be held as an enemy combatant under the auspices of the U.S. military and interrogated as such.  If he is found to be a "lone wolf" and no part of a larger organized effort then so be it - let the federal civil prosecution begin.  If he is found to be a part of some organization known or previously unknown, sitting him down with a lawyer who will tell him what questions he should answer and what questions he should not is absurd.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Feud on April 22, 2013, 12:02:51 pm
I agree that Tsarnaev should stand trial in a federal court as a U.S. citizen but in the interim he should be held as an enemy combatant under the auspices of the U.S. military and interrogated as such.  If he is found to be a "lone wolf" and no part of a larger organized effort then so be it - let the federal civil prosecution begin.  If he is found to be a part of some organization known or previously unknown, sitting him down with a lawyer who will tell him what questions he should answer and what questions he should not is absurd.

If I understand you correctly: you want him held and interrogated by the military, but tried in civilian courts.  Does that mean you want the military to conduct domestic law enforcement functions?  That's what it sounds like.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 12:11:55 pm
Not at all.  I do expect the military to conduct such operations as necessary to defend the United States.  Nobody seriously expects the military to be "hands off" if a foreign power mounts a military operation on the territory of this country.  That is outside the purview of posse commitatus.   If you think we are not in a war with people who would see our country subjugated you have not been paying attention. 
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 22, 2013, 12:22:51 pm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/lindsey-graham-bombing-boston-suspect_n_3118731.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/lindsey-graham-bombing-boston-suspect_n_3118731.html)

Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Thernlund on April 22, 2013, 04:21:34 pm
I agree that Tsarnaev should stand trial in a federal court as a U.S. citizen but in the interim he should be held as an enemy combatant under the auspices of the U.S. military and interrogated as such.  If he is found to be a "lone wolf" and no part of a larger organized effort then so be it - let the federal civil prosecution begin.  If he is found to be a part of some organization known or previously unknown, sitting him down with a lawyer who will tell him what questions he should answer and what questions he should not is absurd.

If I understand you correctly: you want him held and interrogated by the military, but tried in civilian courts.  Does that mean you want the military to conduct domestic law enforcement functions?  That's what it sounds like.

That's how I read that as well.   :scrutiny


Realistically, the US military and the appropriate intelligence agencies should probably be allowed to submit lists of questions they need answered to the FBI and/or Boston PD who will surly be doing the questioning.  But in no way should said agencies or the military be directly involved in said questioning.  They shouldn't even be on-site.

I fail completely to see why Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be treated ANY different than Jared Loughner or James Holmes.  Someone care to explain to me how they are different?

(^^ Rhetorical question... they aren't different.)


-T.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: sqlbullet on April 22, 2013, 04:42:54 pm
What T said.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 04:55:11 pm
Loughner and Holmes were not operating under the broad blanket of "sanity" much less under any foreign control or influence AFAIK.  Given what we know about the Tsarnaev brothers it seems likely that there was or is involvement with an outside force or influence.  That may or may not turn out be be true but the activities of Al Quaeda, the Taliban in the Arabian Peninsula, CAIR, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood are well known and most if not all these groups are sponsors of terrorist activities.  Most if not all support the subjugation of all world governments to Islamic authority.    If a gunboat sailed into Boston harbor and lobbed an artillery shell into the city we would naturally expect the military to respond.  I don't see a homicide bomb attack being different in any material way.   If the gunboat was found to be manned by a mix of foreigners and Americans would it be any less an act of war?

There are conditions under which and actions which can result in the loss of American citizenship.  I would submit that the Tsarnaev brothers have crossed that line - perhaps many times over.   The older brother has been the subject of FBI investigation in the past and if news reports are to be believed was identified as a "person of interest" by a foreign government to federal officials.   I don't know where we dropped the ball or why in this instance - perhaps we still aren't good enough at "connecting the dots" as was found in the report of the 9-11 commission.

For the record, I do NOT support the intrusion of the U.S. military into matters reserved for the civilian justice system.  What I do support is the recognition that we are in an armed struggle.  The military is fighting an asymmetric battle in Afghjanistan and it looks increasingly likely that we are involved in one here at home.   An Islamic radical with no affiliation other than his own terrorist group is dealt with by the military elsewhere in the world as an enemy combatant.   If that radical brings the battlefield to the territory of the United States I see no obstacle, legal or otherwise to letting the military deal with that threat in a similar fashion.  Unless of course you wish to leave that to the milita.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Thernlund on April 22, 2013, 05:31:24 pm
I wish to leave it to our criminal justice system where it belongs.

I didn't hear all this jackassery about citizenship and enemy combatant status when Tim McVeigh did his thing.  He saw a trial, was convicted, and subsequently put to death.  And he killed a LOT more women and children than the Tsarnaev brothers.  The Tsarnaev's are clown hacks compared to Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.   

OHHHhhhh.... but Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is Muslim.  Ahhhhh!  Well then, that's different!  So now it's ok to strip him of due process afforded every other American citizen.  He's the exception!  I know... let's put him in a sack, bury him up to his chest, and throw rocks at him until he's dead!  Might as well.  As long as we're throwing out every other part of our justice system, why not just take that one last step?  They do it everywhere else in the world, don't they?! 



I admit that I'm getting pretty damn angry here, and I find it sickening that these kinds of debates are even happening; that there's even a question to as if an American citizen should be afforded his due process under the 5th and 14th Amendments.  It's absolutely disgusting.   :vomit


I'll leave it at this and reply no more:  I pray that the people calling for him to be stripped of his right to due process and his citizenship don't get their way.  Because if they do, and we cast aside everything we hold dear out of an emotional reaction, this nation is lost.


-T.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 22, 2013, 05:37:02 pm
(Edit: T squeezed his post in ahead of mine.  I'm not responding to his, but several posts preceding his)

Maybe, but some things are more important than "making sure the bad guy gets what's coming". Like protecting the soul of our nation.

Here's what I've never understood- 

If a boat full of terrorists (since you used a gunboat analogy) showed up on the coast and said "we're going to invade with the goal of screwing up your court system and undermining due process," I'd bet good money that thousands if not millions of American patriots would show up to fight and pay with their blood and lives to defend our liberty.

Those same terrorists show up and say "We're going to plant a couple of pissant pipe bombs and kill half a dozen people or so, and the only way you can stop us is to compromise your values and undermine the Fifth Amendment and punish people without concern for due process," and we start tripping over each other in the race to be first to call for the terrorist suspect to be punished outside the usual legal system. This is the ONLY reason to classify him an enemy combatant-to deprive him of the due process and protections afforded to those accused of crimes.

When DiFi calls for a gun ban, ultra-conservatives spout off about "those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither and will lose both", or however it goes, but as soon as there's a terrorist, they get all hard-ass about it and start trading in liberties for national security, all just so they can show that they've got a bigger jimdog than the terrorists. 

I mean, c'mon. Is it too much to ask for a little consistency?
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Harm on April 22, 2013, 05:38:43 pm
Haven't they already won with him declared an enemy combatant?   :facepalm
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 06:14:54 pm
T, not trying to light your fuse.  Seriously.   You do, however, seem to be skipping over a good bit of what I posted and picking an issue to hang your hat on.   I do not think having the military question Mr. Tsarnaev about the possibility of preventing subsequent attacks or his association with known terrorist groups is an abridgement of his constitutional rights.  As I said before, if he is found to be a "lone wolf" or perhaps just under the influence of his older brother with no other outside influence he should be turned over to the civilian authorities immediately.  Certainly none of what he said to a military interrogator would be admissable in a civilian court.

As far as his religion is concerned, if he were to be tried under some tenets of sharia law perhaps he would be treated as you suggested.  My point is only to recognize that we face a known threat from elements of Islam.  They are organized into military units in many parts of the world and clandestine terror cells where it would be unwise to operate openly.  Their stated goal is the eradication of at least one nation, the subjugation of every other religion and all world government under the control of an Islamic "caliphate".   They are known to use whatever means or tactics available to them to inflict death and destruction to anyone they oppose both military and civilian.   They are at war with us whether we acknowledge that fact or not.   

For the record, I don't consider either of us to be jackasses.    I didn't propose or write the law regarding citizenship and its revocation.  Its actually pretty hard to get that revoked - you have to work at it.  It seems that at least one of the Tsarnaev brothers did just that. 

As far as the Oklahoma City bombing, yes, a terrible day but subsequent investigation showed that McVeigh and Nichols were not involved with other co-conspirators foreign or domestic despite rumors to the contrary.  They had their day in court, were found guilty and sentenced in accord with our laws.   Laws which I hold no less dear than you do.

I regret that this discussion has made you angry.  That was not my intent.   The feeling is certainly not mutual.   
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Thernlund on April 22, 2013, 06:27:28 pm
I regret that this discussion has made you angry.  That was not my intent.   The feeling is certainly not mutual.   

I'm angry that the nation is having this debate.  Not angry at you.  I'm upset at the larger idea out there that we should actually proceed differently somehow with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev than we would with any other murdering criminal scum.  I submit that if we allow his ilk to change the way we do business, he/they win(s).

While I see how my commentary may have looked personally directed, trust that it wasn't. 


-T.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: luke213(adamsholsters) on April 22, 2013, 06:32:21 pm
I'm not really angry we're having a debate on this, really there are circumstances where I can see someone being treated as an enemy combatant however I don't think this is one of them.

Luke
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 06:36:16 pm
(Edit: T squeezed his post in ahead of mine.  I'm not responding to his, but several posts preceding his)

Maybe, but some things are more important than "making sure the bad guy gets what's coming". Like protecting the soul of our nation.

Here's what I've never understood- 

If a boat full of terrorists (since you used a gunboat analogy) showed up on the coast and said "we're going to invade with the goal of screwing up your court system and undermining due process," I'd bet good money that thousands if not millions of American patriots would show up to fight and pay with their blood and lives to defend our liberty.

Those same terrorists show up and say "We're going to plant a couple of pissant pipe bombs and kill half a dozen people or so, and the only way you can stop us is to compromise your values and undermine the Fifth Amendment and punish people without concern for due process," and we start tripping over each other in the race to be first to call for the terrorist suspect to be punished outside the usual legal system. This is the ONLY reason to classify him an enemy combatant-to deprive him of the due process and protections afforded to those accused of crimes.

When DiFi calls for a gun ban, ultra-conservatives spout off about "those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither and will lose both", or however it goes, but as soon as there's a terrorist, they get all hard-ass about it and start trading in liberties for national security, all just so they can show that they've got a bigger jimdog than the terrorists. 

I mean, c'mon. Is it too much to ask for a little consistency?
Thats a nice little straw man argument you've got going there, just don't attribute it to me because that is nothing like what I said.   It seems to me the only reason to classify him as an enemy combatant would be probable cause and to determine if he is one.  If so he probably has valuable intelligence information that could save a lot of death and destruction were it known.   If not then turn him over to the civilian authorities for whatever crimes he committed against the people of the Commonwealth of Massachussetts.   He can lawyer up tight as can be and none of the information he provided the military would be admissable in his civilian court procedings.   If there is a problem there re: due process I just don't see it. 

  When you take up arms against the territory and people of the United States of America under the auspices of her enemies you have called your own citizenship into question and probably guaranteed yourself an additional level of scrutiny by those sworn to protect us.
   I'm sorry if that rubs you the wrong way, thats just the way I see it.   And for the record, next time you want to accuse me of inconsistency at least try to use my own words instead of the ones you made up for me.    ;)
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 06:38:19 pm
I'm angry that the nation is having this debate.  Not angry at you.  I'm upset at the larger idea out there that we should actually proceed differently somehow with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev than we would with any other murdering criminal scum.  I submit that if we allow his ilk to change the way we do business, he/they win(s).

While I see how my commentary may have looked personally directed, trust that it wasn't. 


-T.
:thumbup1     :cool
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: NukMed on April 22, 2013, 06:53:02 pm
 Terrorism isn't the crime. It's the motive.

Anyone can write a manifesto and make a list of demands. That's not the crime.

The crime is using murder, assault, and acts of destruction to bring to fruition your manifesto and have your demands met.

Did these guys make any demands? Did they make their motivations known? Did they (or some group they represent) take credit for the actions in question? I don't know, I haven't heard. Just asking.

For those who think that any act of terror makes one an "enemy combatant," consider this:
1) There are environmental groups who commit acts of vandalism and sabotage for their political agenda that result in deaths and injuries. Are they enemy combatants?
2) The murder of an abortion doctor specifically because he is an abortionist can be described as an act of terror. Is the shooter an enemy combatant?
3) How about groups that oppose whaling? There's a whole TV show dedicated to documenting the harassment and property destruction they perpetrate putting lives at risk for the sake of their agenda. Are they enemy combatants, too?
4) What about a mob hit?  It would terrorize anyone who deals with organized crime.  Would it make a difference if it were ordered from offshore (say, by the Italian or Russian mob)?  Are these guys enemy combatants?

The point is that I believe it's a mistake to politicize motives. It leads to making thought and speech into crimes.

The real crime is the harm that is done to people and property.

Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 22, 2013, 07:19:21 pm
Thats a nice little straw man argument you've got going there, just don't attribute it to me because that is nothing like what I said.   

You're right, I ran off a little straw-man on you.  My apologies.  Also, I was rather hurriedly replying from my smartphone while sitting on the crapper at work, so I was somewhat less thorough in my line by line analysis of the entirety of the previous discussion than I usually am.  So I acknowledge that you did not say those things, and I will take this as a lesson to be more careful.

That said, I still think my comments stand as a valid criticism of the broader conversation initiated by Senators McCain and Graham.  They (my comments) were inspired by your gunboat analogy. 

More to your specific points-
Perhaps these two did do something deserving of the stripping of their citizenship.  The obvious one is acting as agents of foreign enemies of the United States.  If so, who?  I posit that "the Muslim terrorists" is not a specific enough answer to go depriving folks of citizenship, or to make them enemy combatants.  Even if we had a specific answer like "Al-Qaeda" or "Iran", is the Pandora's Box of declaring American citizens to be enemy combatants worth the risk to our national values, especially when we can get a perfectly good death sentence without it, and especially since there is already a mechanism to convict them of high treason through the normal system?  If committing treason was supposed to be just cause for depriving one of rights, why provide for the criminal prosecution of treason in the Constitution?

Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 07:20:09 pm
Terrorism isn't the crime. It's the motive.

Anyone can write a manifesto and make a list of demands. That's not the crime.

The crime is using murder, assault, and acts of destruction to bring to fruition your manifesto and have your demands met.

Did these guys make any demands? Did they make their motivations known? Did they (or some group they represent) take credit for the actions in question? I don't know, I haven't heard. Just asking.

For those who think that any act of terror makes one an "enemy combatant," consider this:
1) There are environmental groups who commit acts of vandalism and sabotage for their political agenda that result in deaths and injuries. Are they enemy combatants?
2) The murder of an abortion doctor specifically because he is an abortionist can be described as an act of terror. Is the shooter an enemy combatant?
3) How about groups that oppose whaling? There's a whole TV show dedicated to documenting the harassment and property destruction they perpetrate putting lives at risk for the sake of their agenda. Are they enemy combatants, too?
4) What about a mob hit?  It would terrorize anyone who deals with organized crime.  Would it make a difference if it were ordered from offshore (say, by the Italian or Russian mob)?  Are these guys enemy combatants?

The point is that I believe it's a mistake to politicize motives. It leads to making thought and speech into crimes.

The real crime is the harm that is done to people and property.


While I agree that making thought and speech into crimes is treading where we should not go, none of the groups you cite have done anything like what we have seen from Islamic jihadists.   We did not politicize this situation - we simply recognized what the reality was.  There is a crater where the World Trade Center buildings used to stand.   One or more of the state sponsors of terrorism either have nuclear weapons or are developing them.  This is not analagous to the examples you cite, IMHO.   

If the jihadis were simply asking for ransom or a list of demands to be met that might be close to what you describe but that is not the case. 

As I pointed out before, they seek the obliteration of at least one nation ( Israel ), the persecution of and subjugation of every other world religion and the eventual subjugation of every world government to an Islamic "caliphate".   

This isn't something I dreamed up - it is their stated goal.   To be achieved by any means necessary, for as long as it takes to succeed.

THAT is the motive.  Terrorism is simply the tool.   
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: coelacanth on April 22, 2013, 07:34:34 pm
You're right, I ran off a little straw-man on you.  My apologies.  Also, I was rather hurriedly replying from my smartphone while sitting on the crapper at work, so I was somewhat less thorough in my line by line analysis of the entirety of the previous discussion than I usually am.  So I acknowledge that you did not say those things, and I will take this as a lesson to be more careful.

That said, I still think my comments stand as a valid criticism of the broader conversation initiated by Senators McCain and Graham.  They (my comments) were inspired by your gunboat analogy. 

More to your specific points-
Perhaps these two did do something deserving of the stripping of their citizenship.  The obvious ones are acting as agents of foreign enemies of the United States.  If so, who?  I posit that "the Muslim terrorists" is not a specific enough answer to go depriving folks of citizenship, or to make them enemy combatants.  Even if we had a specific answer like "Al-Qaeda" or "Iran", is the Pandora's Box of declaring American citizens to be enemy combatants worth the risk to our national values, especially when we can get a perfectly good death sentence without it?


No apology necessary, but thanks.   :cool     I seem to have wet down more than one bowl of Cheerios with this discussion.   You are correct - "the Muslim terrorists" is not specific enough.  And yes, we may be able to "get a perfectly good death sentence without it." but not in Massachussetts and we certainly won't get any operable intel if the man's lawyer has anything to say about it and if we do it will become part of a court record open to public scrutiny - thereby reducing the value of said intel.   

I also stand by the points I made in earlier posts about not wanting the military to intervene in civilian courts but I don't think that having an enemy combatant ( if that's what he turns out to be ) interrogated by them abrogates his right to due process.  Rather, by being an enemy combatant ( even if you are a citizen ) you have insured yourself an additional level of scrutiny based solely upon your own actions.

I am not at all comfortable coming down on the same side of things as McCain and Graham but this isn't the first time I've stepped in something I had to clean off my shoe later.    :facepalm 

And, typing while on the crapper is an impressive bit of multi-tasking.   :thumbup1    I occasionally have to type with my feet to leave my hands free for beer and smokes.   :cool
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: Plebian on April 23, 2013, 02:13:21 pm
They must be tried as criminals, OR we are legitimizing them as soldiers of Islam. We are not fighting a war of arms here with another nation. We are fighting a war of ideals with a nebulous entity. In a war of ideals you choose your words and actions as carefully as you choose your weapons for armed conflict.

We must treat them as common street scum criminals to remove any pride they may gain being called combatants. If we label them enemy combatants we lose this battle. They can die proud being "Soldiers for Islam". We need to remove this pride and try the little buggers as common criminals.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 23, 2013, 02:39:52 pm
Which is what they're doing... https://wethearmed.com/general-non-firearms-discussion/all-hell-breaking-loose-in-boston/100/ (https://wethearmed.com/general-non-firearms-discussion/all-hell-breaking-loose-in-boston/100/)
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 23, 2013, 06:06:30 pm
And this is why we don't alter a suspects rights or designation just because the crime of which they are accused is associated with terrorism; this is why we must hold to "innocent until PROVEN guilty" no matter how heinous the crime- the government can in fact get it wrong.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/23/17880236-ricin-letter-suspect-released-fbi-searching-second-mississippi-mans-home?lite (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/23/17880236-ricin-letter-suspect-released-fbi-searching-second-mississippi-mans-home?lite)

Although all details are not out yet, the Ricin Suspect has been released, and they are investigating another man.

Edit: foxnews is now reporting that charges have been dropped.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: qwert65 on April 23, 2013, 11:00:12 pm
I don't post here often, to me if one country is at war with another, and a citizen of country A says I'm siding with country B and attacks his country that is an enemy combatant( or a traitor in war time which is the same thing minus semantics)
     Example, if during world war 2 some US citizen Nazis blew up a building that's war
If they did it in 2012 I'd say criminal case.
    However, these guys openly sided with an enemy we are in a shooting war with and further acted on it. To me that's cut and dry.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: scarville on April 23, 2013, 11:05:16 pm
Wait a minute. When did we declare war on Chechnya?
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: qwert65 on April 23, 2013, 11:11:27 pm
Apparently our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq motivated them(at least in part) to attack
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 23, 2013, 11:28:40 pm
So far as I know, while there's no love for us in Chechnya, to my knowledge there's not the deep and abiding hate that we get from Iran either.  Nor, to my knowledge, has the nation declared war on us.

There have been some Chechen terrorist plots against some other sporting events - one against the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics (considered foiled), and another in Gibraltar, IIRC.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-04-21/chechen-conflict-spawned-terrorism-with-separatist-jihad (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-04-21/chechen-conflict-spawned-terrorism-with-separatist-jihad)

http://paktribune.com/news/Russias-Islamist-rebels-say-not-at-war-with-Washington-259346.html (http://paktribune.com/news/Russias-Islamist-rebels-say-not-at-war-with-Washington-259346.html)

 :shrug
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 23, 2013, 11:49:57 pm
    However, these guys openly sided with an enemy we are in a shooting war with and further acted on it. To me that's cut and dry.

Perhaps, but also, perhaps, we should permit them a trial by which to establish these facts, instead of just taking the FBI's word for it.  They did just lock up the wrong Elvis in another "terrorist" attack.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 24, 2013, 07:31:02 am
Perhaps, but also, perhaps, we should permit them a trial by which to establish these facts, instead of just taking the FBI's word for it.  They did just lock up the wrong Elvis in another "terrorist" attack.

Well, to be fair the letters did include identical language to letters they had previously received from the guy - "I am KC and I approve this message," etc.

Which is why they picked him up so fast - he was a known entity.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 24, 2013, 08:36:33 am
Well, to be fair the letters did include identical language to letters they had previously received from the guy - "I am KC and I approve this message," etc.

Which is why they picked him up so fast - he was a known entity.

My post was criticizing the last guy's argument that its "cut and dry", and your rebuttal is essentially, "to be fair, it seemed cut and dry"? This is not a mitigating circumstance for law enforcement, rather, this is precisely my point. It was an entirely reasonable and obvious arrest, made, I'm sure, in good faith by entirely competent and well meaning cops.

And it was still wrong. 

Which only strengthens the case for full due process and full legal rights, no matter how "sure" we are we got the right dirtbag.

If this poor guy had been Muslim, the Senators and the country would have be hollering to ship him off to Guantanamo or some CIA interrogation facility too.  And they would have been wrong.

The Constitution can't do its job of protecting us from the government unless ALL of it applies ALL the time for EVERYBODY.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 24, 2013, 10:33:51 am
No need to yell, I agree with you. :cool
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 24, 2013, 10:37:01 am
No need to yell, I agree with you. :cool

Did that come across loudly?  Sorry. This is a topic about which I get...enthusiastic.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: LoneStarNational on April 24, 2013, 10:47:08 am
Also I have hearing damage from all the awesome guns I shoot. I yell at everybody.
Title: Re: Boston Bomber's legal status. Enemy combatant?
Post by: booksmart on April 24, 2013, 11:06:14 am
Did that come across loudly?  Sorry. This is a topic about which I get...enthusiastic.

No worries. We all do, in some form or another. Otherwise we wouldn't be here. ;)