Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) took to the Senate floor today and offered his little thoughts.
"Here's what we're suggesting," he said, "that the surviving suspect -- due to the ties that these two have to radical Islamic thought and the ties to Chechnya, one of most radical countries in the world -- that the president declare preliminarily that the evidence suggests that this man should be treated as an enemy combatant."
Forget for a moment that the law doesn't allow that, that -- as a United States citizen -- the bombing suspect cannot be treated as an enemy combatant, unless it's been show that he has direct ties to al Qaeda or the Taliban, none of which exist. Forget that. It's just oh-so nice to see that the concept of The Thought Police is alive and well in Lindsay Graham, with the suspect's ties (or alleged ties, if you want to nitpick) to "radical Islamic thought."
Mr. Graham wasn't finished though and didn't stop there.
"We could hold him for a period of time, we could question him without a lawyer, and none of the evidence could be used against him in the criminal proceeding."
The senator is right. We could do all that. But then, we're America, and are governed by laws and the Constitution, which is why we don't.
"That's the best way to gather intelligence," Mr. Graham added. Forgetting again for the moment that there are actual, experienced interrogators who might disagree with the senator, saying that without having such protections as a lawyer, many suspects likely clam up and offer nothing. But forget that. More to the point, after reading his thoughts on the subject here, I'm not so sure that Lindsay Graham should be throwing around words like "intelligence."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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