Kenneth (kensmind) wrote in polloftheday,


Hypothetical: A foreign man (let's say he's an Iranian citizen) boards a commercial airliner in Chicago, having managed to conceal explosives on his person (in an amount capable of blowing up the plane). The flight is destined for New York City. He is discovered mid-flight attempting to use the explosives and is subdued by passengers before he can detonate them. He is taken into custody by authorities and he volunteers (without any coercion) that he had planned to set off the explosives when the plane was above Manhattan. He volunteers that he is a member of an organization whose goal is to commit terrorist acts against the United States, and he adds "death to all Americans!"

A debate ensues about whether the man should be tried in criminal courts, where he would be afforded the same rights as all accused criminals (e.g. a right to silence, a right to a lawyer, the presumption of innocence) or whether he should be treated as an enemy combatant, in which case he would be dealt with as a prisoner of war and afforded the rights given under the Geneva Convention.

Poll #1535991 Terrorist or Criminal?

In the hypothetical above, should the person be treated as a criminal or as an enemy combatant?

As a criminal
As an enemy combatant
I'm not sure
Something else (what?)
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