Rick Ungar contributed a very insightful and well written piece to Forbes.com describing the hypocrisy of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s call for a suspension of the U.S. Constitution as it applies to accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, would like the 19-year old Chechen declared an enemy combatant and probably tried in a military tribunal.
This is definitely an example of jumping the gun; the same gun jumping that led us to labeling our adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq as wars even though there was no evidence that those two states were behind the murders of 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Were the acts of violence properly labeled as murders, the negative economic impact the U.S. sustained from its misadventures abroad would have been avoided while maintaining the certainty afforded by our legal system, the certainty that Mr. Graham seems intent on disrupting.
We have already stretched the legal fabric way too thin as a result of our decisions after the September 11th attacks. We now appear to have at least a three-prong test for determining when someone is a terrorist and is not afforded due process under American law. For example, if you are an American citizen and kill ten to twenty school children with an automatic assault rifle on American soil, you are not a terrorist and will be read your Miranda rights.
However, if you are an American and kill three people with a bomb on American soil, you are a terrorist, unless, and here is the third prong which amounts to an exception, you are an American overseas who is plotting to kill Americans, then you should be granted your rights of due process by at least not being a target of a drone attack.
Under Mr. Graham’s hypocritical view of the world, he would rather inject uncertainty into our legal system in order to satisfy his blood lust, or maybe to satisfy a lust of creating political and jurisprudential upheaval for the sake of it.
Neither our markets or our society can afford the uncertainty of his intent.