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.
Yeah, it's not like he was a Tea Partier or a Pro-Life activist.
How was McVeigh charged?
After all, prisoners have rights ~ one of them is to not be locked up with a cannibal. One of the others is to not be locked up with a mad bomber who blows children to pieces.
Sorry our judges and politicians aren't as advanced as prisoners in their understanding of justice.
It’s pretty simple. Try for treason, strip of American citizenship then off to gitmo or firing squad.
I wonder if they Mirandized him before they started questioning him. If not (as they said they wouldn’t), then any confession he made will not be admissible.
I have to say, I do agree that American citizens should not be tried as enemy combatants. However, he should be tried for Treason.
What year was that?
The criminal path leads to Saudi Arabia AND
the White House.
The DO”J” MUST insure that the path is NEVER followed.
Carney called an Islamic terrorist a terrorist??? Someone's gonna get a strongly worded memo!
What about the citizens of Boston?:
‘95 or ‘96
That is the correct way to do it, the constitutional way!
“How was McVeigh charged?”
Not as an enemy combatant. Citizens should not be charged as such, it’s a slippery slope. At some point, just anyone the party in power doesn’t like, who commits a large scale, or even small scale crime based on political beliefs, will be charged as an enemy combatant and tortured. I think this is the right move from a Constitutional perspective.
According to Wikipedia,
Three hots and an air-conditioned cot for life, coutesy of Uncle Sugar.
I, for one, don’t want any Gov’t official having the power to decide if a particular crime warrants stripping someone of their rights as an American citizen.
The fact is these Chechen swine should have never been allowed into the country in the first place, but our PC, leftist Gov’t stupidly gave them American citizenship, so now we deal with them as American citizens.
“I wonder if they Mirandized him before they started questioning him. If not (as they said they wouldnt), then any confession he made will not be admissible.”
Exactly. The other interesting issue that will be raised by the Fed Defenders in his case will be the fact that this public safety exception has never been imposed this far out. In other words, I think 48 hours is the longest they have pushed it. With this guy’s medical status, they are really pushing it. I think it’s better to simply Mirandize him so they can use it against him. Barring that, just don’t ask him anything beyond, “are there more explosives besides these that we found?”
He shouldn’t be charged as an enemy combatant. He is the enemy, but he’s a citizen.
Sorry, we don’t want to start a precedent of the White House/Congress/arm chair lawyers, deciding which U.S. citizens should become an enemy of the state. Today it could be a Muslim/Chechen, but tomorrow it could be a Christian/Texan.
We can fix this with a Republican administration.
“Not as an enemy combatant. Citizens should not be charged as such, its a slippery slope. “
Already been done, 71 years ago.
On August 10, 1995, McVeigh was indicted on 11 federal counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives and eight counts of first-degree murder.
On June 2, 1997, McVeigh was found guilty on all 11 counts of the federal indictment.
Count 1 — Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
G U I L T Y
Count 2 — Use of a weapon of mass destruction.
G U I L T Y
Count 3 — Destruction by explosive of government property.
G U I L T Y
Counts 4 -11 — First degree murder for each of eight federal agents killed in the explosion.
G U I L T Y
With a guilty verdict in the first three counts, they then had to answer this question:
“Do you find that the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime or crimes committed by the defendant, Timothy James McVeigh, as found above resulted in the death of one or more of the persons named in the indictment?”
Answering yes, the jurors then had to answer this question:
“Was the death of such person or persons a foreseeable result of the defendant’s criminal conduct?”
On June 13, 1997, the jury recommended that McVeigh receive the death penalty.
The U.S. Department of Justice brought federal charges against McVeigh for causing the deaths of eight federal officers leading to a possible death penalty for McVeigh; they could not bring charges against McVeigh for the remaining 160 murders in federal court because those deaths fell under the jurisdiction of the State of Oklahoma. Because McVeigh was convicted and sentenced to death, the State of Oklahoma did not file murder charges against McVeigh for the other 160 deaths.
I’m not sure I have an issue with this as he is an American citizen. The funny thing is that, according to Obama, we could drop him off somewhere and then use a drone to kill him and that’s okay...
As a common criminal.
I understand the visceral desire to see this guy labeled a combatant, but the term “enemy combatant” has a specific legal meaning.
An illegal combatant is not accorded Geneva Convention protections until his or her surrender is accepted. The Geneva Convention specifically allows soldiers to reject the surrender of an illegal combatant (armed and engaging in combat without wearing a uniform and not part of an organized military unit) at which point he could be summarily executed on the battlefield.
Once the surrender of an illegal combatant is accepted he becomes subject to due process of law — either military or
civil, including provisions accorded a regular enemy combatant.
A simple enemy combatant is accorded legal protections. He must be released at the end of the conflict, is not subject to criminal prosecution for battlefield actions consistent with prosecution of a war (killing another soldier in combat) and must be fed, sheltered, and protected.
In exchange for surrender that combatant becomes a prisoner of war, forfeiting combatant priviliges. (One example: an escaping POW who kills or injures someone while escaping can be tried and punished for that.)
These guys should not be dignified with the title of combatant. Technically they are filibusters — the land-going equivalent of pirates. They can be shot out of hand, but once they have surrendered they receive the same rights as any criminal.
Personally, I don't see a dime's worth of difference between these two and any other mass murderer, including Kermit Gossnell. Treat them the same as McVeigh. Give the surviving one a fair trial, convict him, strap him to a gurney and put a needle in his arm.
Works for me because we are a nation of laws, not a place where the king makes the rules.
How many charges and convictions for Janet Reno and gang for the human bar-b-que she had over a cult which never threatened the US Citizens until the government went after them?
Sounds good to me. I was really surprised at how fast McVeigh was executed. Let’s hope this is the same.
Don’t hold your breath.
Muslims have a special status in this country courtesy of king obama and his buddy eric holder.
McVeigh was tried convicted and executed quickly.
Major nidal hassan is still breathing air.
The muslim kid will get a pass as well.
Any reason why the FBI waited from April 18th to April 21st to search his dormitory room? Did Obama give the FBI orders to stay away for a few days so TSARNAEV’s handlers could remove incriminating evidence?
“”On April 21, 2013, the FBI searched DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV’s dormitory
room at 7341 Pine Dale Hall at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, pursuant to a search
warrant. The FBI seized from his room, among other things, a large pyrotechnic, a black jacket
and a white hat of the same general appearance as those worn by Bomber Two at the Boston
Marathon on April 15,2013, and BBs.””
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Would they prefer if he was charged as a follower of BObama?...
I learned something today- thank you. I would've guessed it meant that they wouldn't shut up. :-)
Interesting selection of words. Criminal negligence or conspiracy designed to facilitate political correctness, or political correctness used to cover criminal negligence and conspiracy.
So it's "all clear," eh? If so, then Boston Perp 2 can't rightly be held under the public safety exception.
All day we've been hearing "Boston officials" claim the brother perps "acted alone."
Does any rational person believe this? Even if the weight of evidence were leaning that way, could it be anything other than premature to announce such unlikely nonsense?
The administration is mad.
It was also done recently with Jose Padilla. But it’s a bad idea.
“Sounds good to me. I was really surprised at how fast McVeigh was executed.”
I hope they first felt all efforts had been exhausted to learn of any collaborators he may have had.
There is suspicion he was executed fast, to avoid him later telling more.
That’s what I thought at the time
I’m sure terrorists everywhere are thinking — that was so freakin easy man, why did we wait so long.
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?