Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel said he agrees with the federal government’s decision not to treat surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant.
“He’s an American citizen, correct? Then he should be treated like any American citizen and that means due process, and yes civilian [court]. As much as it may be painstaking for the American people, it’s what’s right for all Americans,” Radel told PJ Media on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Republicans on the Hill, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), have advocated for enemy combatant status that would not see Tsarnaev tried outside federal court but would have given officials more time to mine him for intelligence.
The Obama administration opted against enemy combatant status this week and read Tsarnaev his Miranda rights, after which he reportedly stopped talking to authorities.
Boston marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed during a shootout with police, was put on two government watch lists in 2011.
Tsarnaev was also interviewed by the FBI but they did not connect him with terrorism. Despite this, Rep. Radel remains “proud” of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
“I am absolutely not going to sit here and criticize the FBI or any law enforcement that was involved in this. They did a great job. I’m confident that if the FBI find missed gaps in what happened in the past, that they’ll correct it in the future,” said Radel, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“As we understand it now, it’s a shame but I’m proud of what law enforcement did from the federal side to the local side, as local as Watertown, what they did not only to help that area but to help our country in general.”
Radel is a radio host who was supported by the Tea Party in his bid for Congress.