Lawyers for Terrorists?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One of the themes we should expect to hear in the 2010 election is that "Obama" gave a terrorist a taxpayer-funded lawyer hours after he tried to blow up a plane over Detroit.

Please can a lawyer tell me, once the guy landed in Detroit, wouldn't we be required to give him a lawyer? What were our other options?


B Mac 3:31 PM  

From my understanding of a set of Supreme Court cases (Hamdi/Hamdan/Boumedian, if you're interested), if we hold him on American soil, he gets a lawyer, habeus rights... the whole shebang.

HOWEVER, if we send his underwear bombing ass to Gitmo, the Ukraine, or the Moon, or if they decide to try him in a military tribunal, it gets a little squishier. I'd guess that in theory, he should probably get a lawyer, but courts would be unlikely to step in.

steves 4:46 PM  

My interpretation is basically the same, though this gets muddy with the whole war on terror.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to treat this as a criminal act and let our justice system handle it.

Rickey Henderson 7:13 PM  

As usual, Rickey doesn't get the right-wing furor over all this. Hamdi was questioned for something like 30 hours before being given access to a lawyer. He probably won't be classified as an enemy combatant, but the Obama Administration certainly pushed the limits of things nonetheless.

steves 11:45 AM  

Under a "normal" war, if a combatant or agent were captured on US soil, then that person could be tried through a military tribunal, as was done during WWII. The problem occurs when we have some kind of nebulous, neverending war on terror where things aren't always that clear.

Personally, I think Mr. Underwear should be tried in a court. There are adequate safeguards in place to protect sensitive information and ensure that he receives due process and an appropriate punishment.

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