As the manhunt for a Boston Marathon bombing suspect continues in Massachusetts, high-level politicians are already weighing in on the events. Speaking to The Washington Post, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that "this is exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield," and that "it's a battlefield because the terrorists think it is."
"Here is what we're up against," Graham told the Post, referring to the events in Boston. "It sure would be nice to have a drone up there [to track the suspect.]"
"It sure would be nice to have a drone up there."
In-step with his comments about a homeland battlefield, Graham also suggested that the bombing suspect should be treated as an "enemy combatant," and that his Miranda Rights should be suspended. In public comments on Twitter, Graham wrote that "the last thing we want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to 'remain silent.'"
If captured, I hope Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes.— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) April 19, 2013
If the #Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove ofinformation.— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) April 19, 2013
The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to "remain silent."— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) April 19, 2013
The topic of domestic drone use has reached national publicity this year, thanks in part to the US Senate. In March, Senator Rand Paul (R, KY) made headlines after filibustering the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director due to the Obama administration's comments on domestic drone policies. As The Washington Post notes, Graham visited the Senate floor during the filibuster to challenge Rand's claim that there is no domestic battlefield. (The senator has been a vocal supporter of US drone use, crossing party lines to praise Obama for using the government's drone program for targeted killings.) Congress has also taken up the drone issue more broadly, with hearings held in late March about domestic drone surveillance by law enforcement and emergency responders. While Graham's comments today don't indicate Congress' direction on drone policy, it's clear that domestic drone use is a subject on the minds of lawmakers at the highest levels.