I heard a short audio clip on NPR yesterday concerning whether or not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be charged (or treated) as an “enemy combatant.” You can listen to the audio of this discussion HERE (on NPR).
Notwithstanding the debate on whether or not Tsarnaev should be treated as an enemy combatant, White House press secretary Jay Carney says Tsarnaev will not be charged as an enemy combatant and instead will face trial in a federal court.
The reasoning Carney gives has nothing to do with whether or not Tsarnaev meets the criteria of being an enemy combatant but instead focuses on the fact that “when it comes to United States citizens, it is against the law to try them in military commissions.” Carney’s answer is an interesting one considering that many are calling for Tsarnaev to be labeled as an enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes only and that he should still be tried in Federal Court (and not in a military commission). In other words, if Tsarnaev can be designated as an enemy combatant, and still be tried in Federal Court, then Carney’s answer doesn’t make much sense.
I stumbled upon the following quote and thought it was highly relevant to the study of the LOAC.
This week I have been doing some reading for a class I’m taking at ESR called Images of God. While studying the image of God as Warrior my class read an article by an Old Testament professor at Harvard, Paul Hanson, who wrote about the concept of Peace as Shalom in the early Old Testament. This concept doesn’t translate directly into the way we use the English version of it. Hanson said many interesting things -among them that the opposite of peace is not war. It is chaos. Webster’s Dictionary gives a definition of “chaos” as a word that means the disorder of formless matter and infinite space. Hanson described the ancient Israelites sharing with their neighbors over the cook pot, their basic view that the world was situated precariously between order and chaos. Order is defined as a life-enhancing condition which the creator God maintains by holding the unruly forces of chaos in check.