Lindsey Graham presents the worst response to Boston so far, elected official edition

Senator also wishes we had some drones on the case

Topics: Lindsey Graham, boston marathon bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Terror, Civil Liberties, Editor's Picks,

Lindsey Graham presents the worst response to Boston so far, elected official edition (Credit: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-The Worst) has some helpful suggestions for the Obama administration and, I guess, the thousands of FBI agents and police officers currently searching for Boston Marathon bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in case any of them follow him on Twitter: Don’t read Tsarnaev his rights, if you catch him alive, because terror:



Graham wasn’t done, telling the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin (sigh): “This is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield.”

That is just the worst, dumbest, least helpful, wonderful (and totally predictable) response to a terror attack, Senator Graham. Making America “the battlefield” is sort of the point of terrorism (well, the point is also “killing Americans” and often “somehow causing America’s foreign policy to change in a way that is actually the opposite of the way that terrorism always makes America’s foreign policy change” but most terrorists aren’t great strategic thinkers, that is why they fucking bomb civilians).

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So Tzarnaev is an American citizen, and while he may be a terrorist, terrorism is a crime. In America, when we arrest people for crimes we are required to inform the criminals that they have certain rights under the Constitution — the Constitution is this old list of rules that people like Sen. Lindsey Graham claim to revere — and we do this not just to make the criminal justice process fairer but also so that prosecutions don’t fall apart because of police misconduct.

This “don’t read terrorists their rights” line is weird nonsense even if you do think “terrorism” is a magical word that turns crime into super-crime-where-the-Constitution-doesn’t-count. Tsarnaev may be doing poorly in college, but he’s presumably watched enough television that if police tell him his rights he will be be surprised to hear them.

Anyway, Graham doesn’t even have to worry because the Supreme Court and the Justice Department have already basically rolled back Miranda to the point where once you say “terror” you basically only have to read someone their rights if you feel like it.)

Graham also told Rubin that it would be “nice to have a drone up there” because yeah what is impeding this investigation so far is that no one has access to any airborne cameras. IF ONLY WE HAD AIRBORNE CAMERAS.

This will remain the dumbest response to this week’s chaos until John McCain urges war with Russia and/or Liz Cheney urges war on Chechnya.

Alex Pareene
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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