Sen. Lindsey Graham under fire for suggesting bombing suspect be treated as enemy combatant

Amazingly, the “entirely hypothetical,” “unlikely” and “extraordinary” circumstance that inspired Sen. Rand Paul’s epic 13-hour filibuster in March demanding answers on the Obama administration’s domestic drone program is proving to have real-life repercussions just a month later. Would it be legal for the administration to use lethal military force against an American citizen in an emergency situation, such as to prevent a terrorist attack?

Sen. Lindsay Graham suggested such an approach today on Twitter, although he was careful to use words like “could” and “may.”

The backlash against Graham — some partisan, some not — was immediate.

Republicans? Even liberal Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald acknowledges that the Obama administration had argued that it had the right to use lethal military force against an American citizen involved in terrorist activity on American soil, and it took a filibuster by Republican senators (not Graham, however — he was at dinner with President Obama) to clarify Attorney General Holder’s position.

https://twitter.com/MKusiawski/status/325371476217843713

While Graham is taking a beating for his tweets, Obama is keeping relatively quiet. Is he considering Graham’s advice? Would he dare say so?

  • Cal

    Graham is SUCH a moron.

  • Michael R Bardsley

    Could someone please get Lindsay to go back to sleep and continue to remain irrelevant.

  • gregl311

    I don’t like Graham at all. But, I absolutely agree with him on this. The bombing suspect needs to be treated as a terrorist. American citizen or not.

    • GaryMc

      I’m curious what you mean by that. That guy is a terrorist. Any force necessary should be used to neutralize him. But what Graham is implying is taking him into custody and potentially to Gitmo and not giving him a trial or any type of due process. That is what Graham means.

      If Graham wants to believe that, fine. He’s Un-American. This isn’t Saudi Arabia or Venezuela. The worst scumbags get a trial and due process. OJ gets a trial and this terrorist gets a trial. Its kind of how a free society works.

      • Guest

        B I N G O !

      • Miss Clairee

        We’re not gonna be free for long if Obama has his way!

      • Canis Dirus

        military court, not civil.

        • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

          Because our military has earned it with the Nidal Hasan fiasco, right?

          • Canis Dirus

            No, because that is the procedure. If you want perfection, you had better find a different planet and a different species.

          • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

            @Canis Dirus No, because that is the procedure.

            So that makes it the best course of action?

            @Canis Dirus If you want perfection

            Is this is the best we can do?

        • Tyson Litz

          He’s a legal citizen. Civil, not military, is the procedure.

          • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

            I still say it is possible and acceptable that someone who is (or was) nominally a US citizen could be determined to be an enemy combatant and subject to military jurisdiction. I’m not sure if such a thing is applicable here — possibly — but it is NOT something which should be dismissed out-of-hand.

          • Canis Dirus

            I have thought about it, and I agree with you. Unless he can be directly tied to a terrorist group. Then, no dice.

      • deTocqueville1

        Not according to the new Legislation, it is now at the discretion of the administration it would seem. So Constitutional Rights are now apparently subject to arbitrary discretion. Oxymoronic perhaps.

    • DeBaliviere

      What do you mean by “treated as a terrorist”? Given tenure at University of Chicago?

      • Garth Haycock

        Best. Comment. In. This. Thread.

      • Shawn

        Bravo 😀

      • deTocqueville1

        Excellent! Hah! We could add Columbia.

        • trixiewoobeans

          TRUE Dat!

      • trixiewoobeans

        OHHHH! Two SNAPS and a twirl!

        • WWMD

          Well at this point they are I would think, they have not been read Miranda

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

        LOL, bravo!

      • Tspeak.us

        BOOOYAAAHHH!

    • Tyson Litz

      What you apparently miss, coveniently, is how Graham absolutely lies that reading the suspect his Miranda Rights “tells him to ‘remain silent’ ” Which it does not. Miranda only says you have THE RIGHT to remain silent. His choice. He has the RIGHT to an attorney too… or maybe you and Lindsay don’t think he should be allowed one? I mean, the kid is ONLY a US cictizen and all… How many rights are we REALLY supposed to have nowadays anyway?

  • Steve_J

    I’ve gotten to the point that I classify anything said by Graham or McCain in the same category as anything said by Schumer and Reid.

    • http://twitter.com/Gator_Country Stephen K

      My most fervent wish for 2014 is for the people of South Carolina to please, please please, PRIMARY THIS ASSHOLE!!

    • deTocqueville1

      Why did you leave out Obama?

  • TocksNedlog

    The clown hath spake — Send in the drones!

  • OneThinDime

    The older brother was a citizen, the younger one is not.

    • Clayton Grant

      Younger brother was granted citizenship in 2012.

      • Tyson Litz

        Even if you are a foreigner, if you are on US soil, you are automatically granted the same rights as a legal US citizen. That is the law. US Civics class, people!

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

          Not if you are deemed to be an enemy combatant. Ever hear about the German spies in WW2 who were caught on Long Island? A U-boat had dropped them off and they were here to gather intelligence and maybe bomb NYC. Believe me, they did NOT get a civil trial! Now — do you think it would have mattered if any of them had been US citizens?

  • ceemack

    I’d say we should hold Lindsey Graham as an enemy combatant, but there’s absolutely no intelligence to be gained from him.

    • DeBaliviere

      Lindsey has a map of all the showers and… oh nevermind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.dean.564 Lisa Dean

    Again, low information liberal voters at their finest. Obama has done so much and yet they know so little…

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.mount.33 Rick Mount

    So… I’m flipping here at the lack of ‘Question” . so we have this “Saudi” of interest who totally doesn’t have anything to do with it…who is a “student in Boston”…. who cant have anything to do with it, with these two “students in Boston”. we must figure out how they got radicalized… But first we have to rush this guy out of the country because …

  • J.N. Ashby

    Even if they’re a foreigner, if you capture them, GIVE THEM A TRIAL! Prove they did something. If they did it, it can’t be that damned hard! Jesus, the Constitution means nothing to politicians!
    Further, Lindsey Graham is the worst kind of guy to put in power: a coward. “Let’s do this to defend the country and liberty and what not.” No. You want to do this to defend you. You’re scared, Lindsey. There’s nothing noble about your intentions. They’re spawned entirely from cowardice. Liberty has an element of danger. GET OVER IT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.mount.33 Rick Mount

    Sorry if the last post came off as flip, but I’m honestly aghast, if these two guys are dupes, then we need to drop the puppet masters. if we don’t even ask the question then we’ll never know. so far, no one is asking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.mount.33 Rick Mount

    i’ll put my tin foil hat back on.

  • Lyle E Long

    we lose our ability to get important info once Miranda is read. Enemy combatants should be in military custody

    • $24698634

      Why? It’s not like we can force him to talk anyway. He’s an American citizen that may have committed a crime; innocent until proven guilty. How is he automatically an enemy combatant? Authorities can invoke special circumstances regarding Miranda in the case of imminent public danger, which they are doing in this case. What would be different about military custody? Enhanced interrogation perhaps?

      • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

        The trial of Nidal Hasan…..We want more of this ineptitude?

        • $24698634

          What ineptitude do you refer to?  Is Hasan walking, or something?

          • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

            @kellyslane What ineptitude do you refer to?

            That whole beard incident for one.

            @kellylane Is Hasan walking, or something?

            If I remember correctly: John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were both arrested October 2002. Muhammad was sentenced to death November 2003. Malvo was sentenced to life December 2003.

            Timothy McVeigh was arrested April 1995 and sentenced to death on June 2, 1997.

            Wouldn’t Hasan(slam dunk case against him) have been tried and convicted a long time ago in a civilian court?

          • $24698634

            Sorry our justice system is so messy for you.  Do you prefer a different one?

          • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

            @kellylane Sorry our justice system is so messy for you.

            If this ‘PC to the point of being crazy’ kangaroo court is the norm then our military justice system needs a complete overhaul.

            @kellylane Do you prefer a different one?

            Looking at how broken our military justice system has become(Nidal, Gitmo detainees, etc) and seeing as how he’s an American, I would prefer that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be tried in federal court. (Thankfully, reason has prevailed and he will be)

          • Minarchism Leads To Freedom

            @kellyslane What ineptitude do you refer to?

            That whole beard incident for one.

            @kellylane Is Hasan walking, or something?

            If I remember correctly: John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were both arrested October 2002. Muhammad was sentenced to death November 2003. Malvo was sentenced to life December 2003.

            Timothy McVeigh was arrested April 1995 and sentenced to death on June 2, 1997.

            Wouldn’t Hasan(slam dunk case against him) have been tried and convicted a long time ago in a civilian court?

    • Tyson Litz

      Reading a suspect their Miranda Rights does NOT mean we can’t still question them, unlike you and chinless-ineptitude Graham seem to think. They have to INVOKE their right to counsel first! Only then are detectives questions halted.

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

        Which is exactly why military treatment and detention is preferable, so they don’t clam up. And you are slightly mistaken — right to counsel and right to silence are related, Constitutionally, but they are NOT the same. Counsel or not , you do NOT have to say a thing, that doesn’t change once the lawyer is on scene.

  • wickedgoodboy

    @JasStanford they make bombs dumb ass.if its your neighborhood maybe reason with them that your glad they did not buy a gun at a flea market

  • maplebob23

    On the one hand, Graham wants to erase citizenship by erasing border. On the other hand, if one attacks and declares war on one’s country, doesn’t one forfeit one’s citizenship?

  • gregl311

    Sorry. I misunderstood what Graham was saying.

  • Bill Board

    I have heard NO reports that this Russian transplant IS an American citizen. Is he?

    • John (it true me am)

      Yes, he was naturalized in 2011 or 2012.

      • Tom Anderson

        9-11-12 I thought.

    • Tom Anderson

      There was a lot of confusion about whether either, one or the other or both of them had attained citizenship. For a long time they were saying it was the older dead brother, then that was corrected.

  • EastValleyConservative

    I agree with most of what people are tweeting–but when the one person pulled out the race card, they lost all credibility. Why even go there? It’s like an uncontrollable gag reflex for some of these morons. They know we don’t want to see their vomit, but it’s beyond their control and it just spills out!!

    • Tom Anderson

      Its the automatic default when you don’t have a clue.

  • Big Ed

    “Statement maker in Chief”….LMAO

  • neoface

    I think once you become a traitor, your citizenship rights need to be striped, especially this guy just became a citizen last year. He should be treated as a terrorist combatant. Most people think this is the end, I think there is more to it than this, we need to find who else is behind this attack. Even if Jahar refuse to talk, I’m certain they left a lot of paper trail, as well as electronic DNA behind. I could be wrong!

    • Tyson Litz

      You need to look up the definition of the word “traitor”

      • neoface

        a person who is not loyal to his or her own country, friends, etc. : a person who betrays a country or group of people by helping or supporting an enemy.

        In this case Jahar became a citizen of this country, then commits jihad against citizens of his new country in support of a warped religion. I would consider that a treason.

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

          Yes, that would be true regardless of his religion or motivation. But funny thing about treason or being a traitor, is that part of that definition means you belonged to the country you acted against: therefore such a person is entitled to all the rights and privileges of that country as prescribed by law. Only an American can commit treason against the USA.

          • neoface

            Jahar became a citizen last year, the bombing was against this country since it didn’t go after a specific person but again people who happens to be citizen of this country. So in my book he is a traitor to this country. He has no rights in this country.

  • Timothy Crenshaw

    The bomber committed treason and has no civil rights. If his ties with the Chechen Islamic extremists are what led to this bombing then, citizen or not, he is an enemy combatant. Traitor and/or enemy combatant it does not matter because in both cases Miranda rights do not apply. Those of you who cannot see this really need to spot bouncing those reality checks before your sanity becomes bankrupt.

    • Tyson Litz

      Miranda Rights ALWAYS APPLY on US soil. Citizen or not! That is the LAW. Nothing he did or may not have done is, as you claim, “treasonous.” As it was not aimed at the overthrow or undermining of our Gov’t.
      You don’t know much about law, do you? Oh wait, you’ve seen every episode of NCIS!!! Bwaahahahahahaaaaa!

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

        See my comments above, Miranda applies to criminal cases, whether or not the accused is a citizen or not, as you state. But I do believe there is a line where criminal activity pushes over the line into military activity, which justifies the application of military rather than civil treatment (which has its own strict code, of course, including provisions of the Geneva Convention.) I’m not saying I think Boston meets this standard, but I believe it is something which oughtn’t be ruled out.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

      No, treason is a very specific crime and is one of the very few crimes specifically treated of in the Constitution.

  • glamdeluxe

    and that is just what the government did.

  • Tom Anderson

    Reading twitter is sometimes shocking. I cant believe how uninformed so many are. I’m no fan of Graham, but good grief, buy a clue!

  • michael s

    I never thought i’d say this . I STAND WITH LINDSEY GRAHAM. He is absolutely correct on this.If other american citizens such as Jose Padilla can correctly be declared enemy combatants so should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    • Tyson Litz

      Then you are as wrong a GW Bush and Graham. Padilla ended up in dropped charges and wound up in civil/criminal court, not military.

      Even if you are a foreigner, if you are on US soil, you are automatically granted the same rights as a legal US citizen. That is the law. Take a US Civics class. You read a suspects Miranda Rights to them and ask if they understand them as they have been read to you/he/she FIRST and foremost. Otherwise you end up in countless, legitimate motions during, and appeals after trial. To not read them is absolutely idiotic and a waste of time & money

      • freeinaz

        So far your comments are the most reasonable. The other comments really scare the heck out of me.

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ IceColdTroll

        I agree though that there are circumstances when a US citizen in US territory could be acting as, and treated as, an enemy combatant. There are obvious hypotheticals, such as a WW2-era Japanese or German American who defected to his ancestral country and wound up in an actual assault on the US. One wonders if there may have been any US-born pilots dropping bombs over Pearl Harbor that day! In such a case, the question may be moot — wearing the uniform of a nation actively at war with the US theoretically forfeits your citizenship automatically.

        Of course what we have here is somewhat different. Neither the Taliban or al-qaida are actual national governments anywhere, and even Hamas is a political party, not the government itself. However, to again refer back to WW2 — France and Poland both fielded legitimate governments in exile, distinct from the occupational governments, and were so recognized by the Allies. In that way, some of these terror groups seem to consider themselves as similar shadow governments, representing a “true Islamist” state-in-waiting, and someone who has declared allegiance to such a group could therefore be considered an enemy combatant in a perfectly legitimate context.

  • DurkaDurka

    Lindsey is correct about the Enemy Combant part- IF! They can substantiate IN COURT that he was trained by, funded by, or working with a enemy of the United States.

    Otherwise, it’s civil/criminal. The US Citizen rulebook goes out the window when you are fighting for the NAZI’s. You are now an enemy combatant- but they NEED to substantiate that first in Court. Then they can move his ass over to a Military trial.

    Even though I agree with Lindsey here, I still think he’s a gay douchebag.

  • jb willikers

    Has Graham or McCain ever not wanted to treat anyone as an enemy combatant?

    • Wigglesworth

      Yes, illegal aliens. They want to give them amnesty for their crimes.

  • http://www.theretiredbabyboomer.net/ Dave

    It’s always hilarious to watch liberals talking about constitutional rights except when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. Then the constitution is an antiquated, out of date piece of parchment.