Clarity

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Monday, June 24, 2002

Clarity

Finally, after weeks of debate about the supposed rights of people arrested for trying to destroy the United States, some clarity! In a brief filed with an appeals court, the Justice Department argues that prisoners declared enemy combatants do not have the right to a lawyer and the American judiciary cannot second-guess the military's classification of such detainees.

The filing is in the case of a man, born in America, who was captured with Taliban forces and is being held at a Navy brig in Norfolk, Virginia. The filing raises the likelihood that similar authority will be sought in the case of Jose Padilla, a Brooklyn native who was arrested in Chicago last month on suspicions that he was planning to participate in a "dirty bomb" attack.

Court rulings in the past have said that such people do not enjoy the rights of other U.S. citizens if they are seeking to undermine the very system that preserves the rights of most Americans. It is a good way to fight and find these terrorists who, among other things, want to use the goodness of our way of government and way of life, against us. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.

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