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A Reminder on Tsarnaev



Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty in the Boston Marathon bombing.

At this point, it seems worth remembering that several prominent Republicans, including the 2008 Republican candidate for president, took the opportunity of Tsarnaev’s apprehension to try to read the Fifth and Sixth Amendments out of the Constitution:

Sens. Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte and Rep. Peter King argued against trying Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a criminal court, instead saying that he should be held as an enemy combatant and questioned.

“It is clear 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,” the four Republicans wrote in a joint statement. “The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.

In fairness, presumably King would grant any IRA terrorists captured on American soil their full due process rights.

The freakout over the Obama administration’s attempt to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a civilian court is a too-little-discussed and disgraceful episode. The idea that due process can’t handle the trial of suspected terrorists is wrong on multiple levels, and always has been. People who think that the Bill of Rights and counterterrorism are incompatible have always been wrong.

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