clap clap blog: we have moved
Monday, June 23, 2003
A very good post at Reason giving us a good, concrete example why that whole "classify anyone we want as enemy combatants" thing might be problematic:
The administration's defenders say we shouldn't worry, because this power has been used only a couple of times (that we know of). But the case of Iyman Faris, the would-be Brooklyn Bridge saboteur, suggests how this end run around the justice system can have an effect far beyond the people who are officially labeled enemy combatants.
According to The New York Times, "Prosecutors discussed the idea of declaring Mr. Faris an enemy combatant...and that may have influenced his decision to admit guilt to avoid the prospect of indefinite detention." I have no reason to doubt that Faris, who pleaded guilty and faces a 20-year prison sentence, really did discuss the Brooklyn Bridge's vulnerability to blowtorches with members of Al Qaeda. But it's not hard to see how someone who was mistakenly accused of terrorism might choose a finite prison sentence over "enemy combatant" limbo.
Reason also points out that there is a bill under consideration to have the FBI investivate and prosecute illegal P2P transactions.
Which begs the question: what else is the FBI going to have jurisdiction over? Library fines? Take-a-penny trays? The "lentil fund" we have in our apartment?