Sales Comments on Marathon Bombing Interrogation

Commenting on the detention and questioning of a suspected Boston Marathon bomber, Professor Nathan Sales credits the government for using its "high-value detainee interrogation group" for questioning but expresses his concern that interrogation may have concluded prematurely.

"Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may not be an enemy soldier, but he's not a common criminal, either," Sales explains. "The proper place for him is a civilian court, but authorities should have interrogated him more fully to help thwart future atrocities." 

Rejecting the argument that Tsarnaev should have been held by the military as an enemy combatant, Sales concedes that military interrogation is an effective way to determine intelligence that could help prevent a future terrorist attack. 

"But based on what we know today, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shouldn't be held by the military. There's no evidence he's affiliated with al-Qaida or any other foreign terrorist groups," Sales says.

Boston bomber should have been interrogated more thoroughly, U.S. News Debate Club, U.S. News & World Report, April 24, 2013. By Nathan Sales.

"Military interrogation is an effective way to get answers to these questions. And the Supreme Court has held that the military can detain those who fight for the enemy—even if, like Dzhokhar, they're citizens who were arrested in this country.

"In World War II, the Court unanimously blessed Franklin Roosevelt's decision to transfer eight nazi saboteurs, including an American, to military custody after they were captured by the FBI. Federal cours likewise upheld the miliary detention of two citizens suspected of being al Qaeda operatives, including one arrested in Chicago."

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