Lindsey Graham’s predictable argument post-Marathon bombing that the suspects should be treated as enemy combatants and tried in military commissions was the sort of role we have come to expect him to play. He is perhaps the foremost jingo in the US Senate and is radically disinclined to even acknowledge constitutional restraints on government.
But Alex Seitz-wald at Salon.com caught something that is even more revealing of Graham’s impenetrable psychosis: suspected terrorists should be deprived of due process, but their Second Amendment rights should not be infringed.
At a press conference he set up this afternoon to slam the White House on the enemy combatant decision, he was asked about legislation that would stop people on the Terrorist Watch List from buying guns. Here’s his response:
GRAHAM: “I think, anyone who’s on the Terrorist Watch List should not lose their Second Amendment right without the ability to challenge that determination. I think, Senator Kennedy was on the Terrorist Watch List. There’ve been people come up on the watch list. I did not want to make that a — the basis to take someone’s Second Amendment rights away. What I would suggest, is that if you come up on the Terrorist Watch List, you have the ability to say, “No, I’m not a terrorist.” And that would be the proper way to do that.
…Contrast his opposition to closing the “terror gap” with this, from a 2011 New York Times article:
Citizens who are suspected of joining Al Qaeda are opening themselves up “to imprisonment and death,” Mr. Graham said, adding, “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them: ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer. You are an enemy combatant, and we are going to talk to you about why you joined Al Qaeda.’ ”
There you have it. Senator Graham has become the full picture of a self-parody. I cannot tell difference between the Senator’s actual words, and those that might be written for his imitators on Saturday Night Live.