Shorter Lindsey Graham: Constitution? What Constitution?

The South Carolina senator wants Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an American citizen, to be held as an enemy combatant.
More

Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, sent these two fascinating tweets this afternoon:

This is pretty breathtaking. Graham (no relation) is suggesting that an American citizen, captured on American soil, should be deprived of basic constitutional rights.

Keep in mind that Graham isn't just an angry citizen; he's not even just a U.S. senator. He is also a trained lawyer, a colonel in Air Force Reserve, and a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, the legal arm of the Air Force.

In fairness, the senator is consistent. "It has been the law of the United States for decades that an American citizen on our soil who collaborates with the enemy has committed an act of war and will be held under the law of war, not domestic criminal law," he said in 2011. But that was in the context of Americans collaborating with al-Qaeda, a link that hasn't been drawn here. Graham also lamented to the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin that there wasn't a drone tracking the suspect.

Jump to comments
Presented by

David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Death of Film: After Hollywood Goes Digital, What Happens to Movies?

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In