Senator Lindsey Graham: Tsarnaev's Status As Citizen Doesn't Protect Him From The "Laws Of War"



From the Washington Free Beacon:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) continued to push for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be designated an enemy combatant Monday on “Fox and Friends,” saying a citizenship does not grant him “immunity from the law of war.”

“I want to gather intelligence,” Graham said. “What does he know about terrorist organizations within our country? Does he know of other terrorist activity coming our way? That’s a national security inquiry. He’s a potential enemy combatant. He has ties with overseas terrorists. He’s clearly a radical Islamist … This idea that the only way we can question him about national security matters is to go through his lawyer, turns over to the terrorist and their lawyer controlling information to protect us all. That’s crazy. That is absolutely crazy.”

The idea that we can only get solid intelligence out of this guy if we trample his constitutional rights is patently absurd. And if we did so, we’d only be confirming a lot of the things terrorists think about us anyway.

Tsarnaev wasn’t a uniformed soldier captured on some foreign battlefield. He was a US citizen arrested by domestic law enforcement here in the United States. If we treat him like an enemy combatant, we set a precedent whereby the government can dispense with our protections for citizenship if the crime reaches a certain level of seriousness.

I didn’t realize our constitutional rights came with a sliding scale which dictates when they do and do not kick in based on the severity of the crime.