The worst idea to emerge from the Boston bombings is to treat Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as a foreign enemy combatant. He’s an American citizen believed to have committed a crime that occurred domestically — there’s no reason to treat the 19-year-old as anything other than a criminal suspect.
To do otherwise would immediately raise questions of unfair treatment and a double-standard of justice for suspects of immigrant origin, especially Muslims. That’s the last thing the United States needs at this moment.
This is a teachable moment. The Tsarnaev case offers a fresh opportunity for the United States to show that the justice system is perfectly capable of handling terror suspects, even in a high-profile case like the terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon that captured the world’s attention.
The system has meted out justice in hundreds of terrorism-related cases since 9/11 and can do so again if the Justice Department does its job properly.