Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | July 16, 2002

More on Lindh

Yesterday I suggested that Lindh was railroaded into a plea agreement, even though the government's case was falling apart. A provision in the plea agreement seems to support my theory:

The agreement says that for the rest of his life the government may immediately and unilaterally capture and detain Mr. Lindh as an "enemy combatant" should it determine that he has engaged in any of a score of crimes of terrorism. The government has said that such detentions, which are military rather than criminal, are beyond the power of the courts to second-guess.

Legal experts said the reference to enemy combatant status in the plea agreement, along with the government's recent decisions to detain Yasser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla as combatants without filing charges against them, suggests that the government now prefers detentions to trials.

As the article makes clear, the US no longer wants to deal with the hassles of criminal trials, what with those pesky constitutional rights and all. There was nothing to prevent the government, seeing its case falling apart and ripped to shreds both internally and in the media, from telling Lindh and his lawyers: "Plead or we will relabel you an 'enemy combatant'." It's obvious the issue arose, since the government included language to that effect in the plea.

TalkLeft has some good commentary on the Lindh case. The person behind TalkLeft is a criminal defense lawyer, and I am eagerly awaiting more of her analysis on the plea agreement.

Posted July 16, 2002 07:48 AM | Comments (2)


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