The John Adams Society

Mark S. Sanquist

Michael Katch

G. Larry Colson, Jr.
Chief Whip

Susan Smith

May 2011

Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful.

- The United State Supreme Court, July 1942

SINCE 9/11, we have detained 558 people accused of being enemy combatants, but we continue to deny them a trial. The only trials currently planned are military tribunals rather than open trials in federal court. Most detainees aren’t even scheduled for trial; they will be held until the end of the never-ending war-on-terror. They have been sentenced to life in prison without being charged, without a trial, and without any appeal.

These foreigners deserve fair and open trials. We must lead by example as well as by word. We must abide by our own laws. We cannot hope others will embrace democracy and justice if we consider ourselves to be above our own laws. We cannot be for truth, justice and the American Way without being for justice for our enemies, too.

ON THE OTHER HAND, even the Supreme Court has recognized that combatants are subject to capture and detention. While unlawful combatants, like those being held at Gitmo, may be subject to military tribunals for their unlawful belligerency, they are not guaranteed a trial. They may be held until the war is over. If they had been fighting for any country or government, or had some formal chain of command, we might know when our enemy wishes to call an end to the war. Without that, perhaps those terrorists will continue to enjoy a Caribbean vacation, generously provided by their former targets.

THE CHAIRMAN, whose TV was declared an enemy combatant after he accidentally left MSNBC on while dosing, has called a debate to settle the question:

RESOLVED:Even the Devil deserves a fair trial!

The Debate will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, in Saint Paul. The Chancellor will preside over drinks beginning at seven o'clock p.m. The debate will begin at half past seven. While there is no dress code for attendance, gentlemen who wish to speak must wear a tie; ladies should adhere to a similar sartorial standard. For those gentlemen who arrive tieless yet wish to speak, fret not: the Purveyor of Ties will keep on hand at least one of his quite remarkable ties for just such an eventuality. Questions about debate caucus procedures or about the John Adams Society itself may be directed to the Chairman at (952) 887-2553 or the Secretary at (612) 310-1582.