For the record, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev IS a US citizen. He hasn’t been one for long, but it’s late to shut that door, he is a citizen.
Whether we need to be admitting Muslims to the US who may or may not wish us harm and allowing them to become citizens is something folks could argue, but the simple fact is this guy IS a citizen. Yet some say the actions he took against our country should allow us to just say he isn’t, and treat him to a different procedure than we would a US citizen.
Please recall we took no such action in the case of…
- Tim McVeigh when he bombed a federal building
- Unibomber (Ted Kaczinski) who committed domestic terrorism for decades
- The DC snipers
All were domestic terrorists. All were US citizens. All were accorded the normal routine of the criminal justice system. McVeigh paid with his life, the others are still in prison.
If you don’t want to do it, you’re soft on terrorism?
Many clamoring to send Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to Gitmo point out that we should not be “soft” on this guy. I do understand their anger, but I’m not sure how a capital murder charge with the prospect of execution qualifies as “soft. Slower than I’d like, yes, but not soft.
Fix immigration policy if you want, but where Tsarnaev is concerned, the citizenship cow is already outta the gate. A US citizen should be tried as a US citizen.
Let’s all hold hands and look at the fairy rainbow
Actually my point is in no way motivated by an abstract feelgood “can’t we all just get along” attitude. I’m as interested in seeing justice in this instance as the next guy. BUT… if we try a shortcut and pretend his claim to due process evaporated when he placed the bomb, that could come back to haunt you.
Hypothetical: Result of treating him as if NOT a citizen
We all know of the DHS memo director Janet Napolitano defended naming a whole class of citizens “rightwing extremists” and thereby potential terrorists. It included people who oppose abortion, people that believe in a literal interpretation of the bible, many veterans, gun rights activists, people that oppose Obama. Look it up. It’s real.
Now, let’s say tomorrow President Obama or even his successor is unhappy that Congress didn’t pass certain gun regulations, and decides to do an ILLEGAL executive order that usurps the legislative powers and infringes on the 2nd amendment. Something like telling you this gun or that is now illegal and you must turn it in or be branded a criminal.
To make it interesting, he declares that those who do NOT comply are a danger to the nation and shall be treated as terrorists. Do you want to be on record as having given the federal government the power to decide they can unilaterally treat “terrorists” as if they are not US citizens at that point?
As always, good cases can be used to make very bad law. It is a simple fact that granting the government the power to just decide to deny citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed rights based on them being considered a “terrorist” is power could be used in a VERY bad way.
There’s a saying in rural areas… Never remove a fence until you know why it’s there.