The Case To Impeach: Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.)
By now all of us, I am sure, are intimately acquainted with the events that transpired on Boylston Street, in Boston, on Monday, April 15, Patriots Day.
We are acquainted with the twin bombs and everything that came after: the intense investigation, the photographs, the shootout, the lockdown of a major metropolitan area and the intense manhunt.
We are acquainted with the victims: Krystle Campbell, 29; Martin Richard, 8; Lingzi Lu, 23, and MIT officer Sean Collier, 26.
We know that each of these human beings died as a result of the callus actions of two men, and we know this because of extensive photographic evidence. We now know who they are, and we know one of them is dead, and the other is in custody.
And Finally, we know that four members of Congress did issue a statement calling for the surviving perpetrator to be turned over to military authority.
“The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans. The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent,”
Joint statement by: Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.)
No doubt, all of us are by now well acquainted with the suspect in question. His name is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he is 19, and a citizen of these United States. Naturalized to be sure, but he is a citizen, having lived among us since the age of nine, having gone to our schools, lived and played along side our children. He is, without any question, one of us.
What these legislators have proposed is that this young man, this citizen, be classified as an enemy combatant, and be turned over to military authority, for an indefinite period, as a response to his criminal conduct. Most of us are well aware that any of our children may fall victim to the process of radicalization today. It is a prospect that none of us would wish, for anyone. Yet it can, and it has, happened, many times in recent memory. Never once has such a suggestion been made. Until now. That it has been made, on this occasion, seems so incredulous, that many of us may be apt to think to ourselves, they must be joking.
But this is no joke. By weight of their authority alone, such a statement becomes credible. This then is a very serious matter, and we must devote our undivided attention. We must do so now, for if it is acceptable for one of our children to be so declared and held indefinitely, then any of our children may treated in like manner under similar circumstance, and we do not perceive clearly where all of this may end.
The current President has insisted that we will not engage in enhanced interrogation. Let us be frank. What he has said is that we will not permit torture to remain as a matter of state policy, under any circumstances. He has also dispensed with the term: enemy combatant. The legislative actions that produced such terms and instituted torture as a matter of state policy may, perhaps, be forgiven, in that they were a response to an event that shook this nation, overwhelmed it with grief, inspired not only the imperative of response, but also an outpouring of rage.
What this President has done is to have stepped this nation back from the abyss where only darkness and tyranny rule.
What these four legislators have proposed is to propel us back toward that darkness.
We have, in this nation, erected long standing curbs to such action. They come to us in the form of our Constitution, wherein the right of due process has been enshrined.
The rights granted the People of these United States come to us at high cost, they were not easily won, and we see they are not easily maintained. We see that in time of war we may set them aside, however briefly. We have seen war waged between brothers, between father and son, and we have seen this nation torn in half in that dark hour. Yet we did emerge the stronger, with steps toward the promise of equality for all. Each step bore with it a heavy price, the price of American blood. Our fathers’, and our grandfathers’ blood.
We cannot today, take this most recent, most heinous criminal act, and convert it into an alter of war, whereon the memory, and the blood of three American children and one foreign national - a guest in our house - may be sacrificed. If we are to preserve all that has been purchased at great sorrow and great cost, from that day to this, we must hold these four legislators accountable to their sworn oath, to uphold the United States Constitution.
This they have not done, and so must be impeached.
Maddow: The legal process ahead for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Gothamist: Can The Boston Bombing Suspect Be Deemed An "Enemy Combatant?"
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