Lindsey Graham: Treat Boston Bombing Suspect as Enemy Combatant

A tense Friday finds suspect in marathon bombings still at large.

While the nation followed the manhunt for the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings the political ramification were already beginning.

On his Twitter feed Sen. Lindsey Graham drew criticism for suggesting that the suspect be treated as an enemy combatant and not be granted his Miranda rights.

When the second bombing suspect was captured in Watertown around 9 p.m. Friday, intelligence experts and media said there was no way the suspect would not be given his Miranda rights. The Obama Administration has a clear policy of treating suspects on American soil with the normal judicial process, they said.

However, the AP reported that the Department of Justice is invoking the "public safety exception" with regard to the suspect. 

Treating the suspect as a combatant would allow intelligence officers to get more information from him.

"If the Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove of information," read a tweet from his account, GrahamBlog.

He said via the Twitter account:

"The least of my worries is a criminal trial which will likely be held years from now." 

"It is vital he be questioned for intelligence gathering purposes about possible future plots."

"Now that the suspect is in custody, the last thing I want is for him to remain silent."

Graham later released a statement on the enemy combatant question:

“We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement and intelligence communities. 

"It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorist trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.

"Now that the suspect is in custody, the last thing we should want is for him to remain silent. It is absolutely vital the suspect be questioned for intelligence gathering purposes. We need to know about any possible future attacks which could take additional American lives. The least of our worries is a criminal trial which will likely be held years from now.

"Under the Law of War we can hold this suspect as a potential enemy combatant not entitled to Miranda warnings or the appointment of counsel. Our goal at this critical juncture should be to gather intelligence and protect our nation from further attacks.

"We remain under threat from radical Islam and we hope the Obama Administration will seriously consider the enemy combatant option. 

“We will stand behind the Administration if they decide to hold this suspect as an enemy combatant.”

As word came from officials in Massachusetts that the two suspects were a pair of brothers who born in Checnhya, questions also began about how the events may affect immigration reform.

Chechnya is a republic of Russia and located in the southwestern portion of the country next to several Eastern European countries. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Chechnya has been in continual struggle. There have been two wars with Russia in the last 20 years for the purpose of attempting to achieve independence.

Speaking with Politico today, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Chechen fighters are among the “most involved” in supporting “international jihad.”

“Chechen fighters are some of the most involved in international jihad throughout the globe. We’ve seen them in Afghanistan, we’ve seen them in Iraq, they show up all over the place,” Graham told the publication.

Graham cautioned against drawing any conclusions about national security noting that there had been no evidence linking the suspects in the Boston bombings to terrorist organizations.

Just as prominent will be how the events will impact immigration reform, an effort to which Graham was central.

The brothers were in the country legally and the one taken into custody was made a naturalized citizen in September 2012.

Some legislators called for greater emphasis on security in the immigration overhaul.

Graham told the Washington Post he was in favor of a push for more biometric identification as part of the reform. "The more the better," Graham told the paper. But he added. "You can't just say no one can ever come to the country,'' he said. "So, if they came here legally and they got radicalized, that's no different to me than being born here and getting radicalized."

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Ken April 20, 2013 at 05:14 AM
What enemy? all we have right now are two men who took it upon themselves to do an extremely destructive thing for reasons currently unknown. There is no current evidence that any "enemy" was involved, just two stupid morons.
Patrick Riordan April 22, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Gee, how does Lindsey square this with his stance against better gun control??? Does he realize that these individuals has a mass of guns that were ILLEGAL and they did not pass any background checks. Hey Lindsey, do you realize that you voted for terrorists to have better access to weapons??


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