Skip to comments.White House: Boston Bombing Suspect Won’t Be Charged as ‘Enemy Combatant’
Posted on 04/22/2013 12:15:05 PM PDT by Mozilla
heBlazes Jon Seidl and Becket Adams contributed to this report.
The White House has announced how it plans to deal with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, the 19-year-old alleged terrorist will not be treated as an enemy combatant. The governments official complaint was also released today (embedded below).
We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilians system of justice, Carney told reporters. Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be tried in military commissions.
The information was announced this afternoon, just one week after the horrific terror attack unfolded. The reasoning for the designation is that American citizens cannot be tried through military commissions.
There is not an alternative for a U.S. citizen to be tried by a military commission, he added.
The Washington Post has more about the charges filed against Dzhokhar:
Federal authorities Monday charged the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings with using a weapon of mass destruction against people and property, and the White House rejected demands by some congressional Republicans that he be tried before a military tribunal as an enemy combatant.
The Justice Department said Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. It said he is specifically charged with one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. The department said in a news released that the bombings resulted in the death of three people and injuries to more than 200 others.
During todays press conference Carney went on to say that the entire national security team supports the decision and that the matter was decided by the U.S. Department of Justice, which Attorney General Eric Holder oversees.
After reporters questioned the decision not to read Tsarnaev his Miranda rights, Carney cited a public safety exemption, although he did not tie it directly to this case. It seems Carney was merely making the point that there are times in which it is appropriate, as per the exemption, to withhold Miranda rights.
Tsarnaev was charged from his hospital bed today. The announcement comes as U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, the prosecutor handling the case, is gaining media attention as well. Reuters notes that she is known for being tough to a fault by critics and for coming down too hard on some defendants.
This, of course, may be a benefit in this case, though, for those who believe that the suspect should be held to the highest levels of scrutiny.
Although our investigation is ongoing, todays charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country, Holder said in a statement issued this afternoon.
Dzhokhar could face the death penalty for his alleged actions.
If you think categorizing US citizens as enemy combatants while on US soil is a good idea, you trust our government more than I do. Because I don’t understand where the line is drawn with regard to who gets that designation.
Well that is your choice of course, to give up your constitutional rights in the name of this larger threat. I am not willing to go down that road without a fight.
Furthermore, you sound like those crying for gun bans. There ought to be a law! I'm a citizen! Any regime corrupt enough to label a non enemy combatant an enemy combatant is corrupt enough to plant evidence, or launch a drone strike and get it over with. Citizen or not. All rights must be guarded with vigilance.
It's so obvious that this adminditation is hell bent on NOT labeling ANY terrorist as Islamic. That's what's behind this move.
“I’m not giving up Constitutional rights. The Court has ruled on that one.”
Really? What court? What case?
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
No. He was not on US soil.
Yes, that’s true. On the other hand, he was working for a known enemy with whom we had declared war. The current situation would require some review to determine who he was working with and whether we are at war with that group. Furthermore, Haupt was afforded counsel and a right of review. I assume you want this Russian guy to be declared an enemy combatant so we can torture him and deny him counsel. That would be unprecedented. And the Court never reached that type of review in Haupt, Hamdi or Padilla.
Why would you assume that?