Tag Archives: Enemy Combatant

Tsarnaev as Enemy Combatant?

by Travis Normand

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.

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