No Lawyers In Foxholes


January 10, 2003, 08:20 AM



January 10, 2003 -- Congratulations to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for its common-sense ruling in the case of Yasser Hamdi - the American-born Saudi who was captured while fighting alongside Taliban militiamen and al Qaeda terrorists.
Overruling a Federal District Court, the appellate court held that U.S. citizens can indeed be detained by the government as enemy combatants without any of the constitutional protections normally afforded Americans in criminal prosecutions if - and it's a big if - they are captured on the battlefield.

As was Hamdi.

Furthermore, the court ruled, the military's determination that such a battlefield captive is an enemy combatant is sufficient to justify such detention

The civil-rights alarmists say that this gives a license to the government to detain any American citizen anywhere as an enemy combatant, hold him indefinitely and deprive him of access to a lawyer.


Wrote the court: "Hamdi is not any American citizen alleged to be an enemy combatant by the government; he is an American citizen captured and detained by American allied forces in a foreign theater during active hostilities and determined by the United States to have been indeed allied with enemy forces."

And not a suspect - even a suspected terrorist - caught on American soil.

There's a big difference.

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4v50 Gary
January 10, 2003, 05:55 PM
Concur. Just like the fellow who was in the company of Al Quaeda operatives and got blown up. It had not to do with his citizenship. Just to be fair, John Walker should be accorded the same treatment. He's a combatant & as a U.S. citizen, a traitor. In the Civil War, either side would have had the band play Saul's Dead March and he would follow his coffin to the execution grounds.

January 10, 2003, 10:48 PM
I concur. If you are captured fighting for an enemy of your country I think reasonably you can be detained as an enemy combatant.
The fighting and capture in this case took place overseas.

Marko Kloos
January 11, 2003, 09:00 AM
I have to ask again...what about Jose Padilla? He sits in a Navy brig, arrested and detained as an "enemy combatant". He was arrested on U.S. soil, and he's a U.S. citizen.

Is his detention under the "enemy combatant" clause unconstitutional? If not, how does his detention jive with the 4th's ruling?

January 11, 2003, 10:22 AM
I agree with this ruling. In both of the Great Unpleasantnesses of the previous century, US citizens fought in the armies of our foes. If a guy was found in a Wehrmacht uniform with a rifle outside of St. Lo, does he get a bye because he was born outside of St. Louis?

On the other hand, pointing a finger at somebody in the US and saying "He was/is planning to aid our foes!", then the needs to prove its case, same as any other time.

January 12, 2003, 12:43 PM
Foreign and domestic."

Some parts of the oath I took really come into their own.

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