TAMPA, April 22, 2013 – Predictably, neoconservative politicians have already called for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be treated as an enemy combatant, meaning that he would not enjoy the constitutional protections afforded criminal defendants in civilian courts. Pundits and blog commenters have echoed the sentiment that “terrorists don’t deserve due process” or other constitutional protections. According to this argument, they forfeited them when they decided to wage war against Americans.
This begs an obvious question. How do we know Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed the crime and therefore doesn’t deserve due process, when due process is the means by which we make that determination?
Neoconservative logic isn’t much better than Sir Bedevere’s in the witch scenein Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sadly, many Americans are acting every bit the mob depicted in that satire.