An Analysis of the essay “Can U.S. Citizens Be Held as Enemy Combatants”

An Analysis of the essay “Can U.S. Citizens Be Held as Enemy Combatants”

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In her essay Can U.S. Citizens Be Held as Enemy Combatants, Jennifer Vanklausen explores the ethical question of our government’s policy to hold American citizens suspected of terrorist activity against the United States as enemy combatants, withholding their constitutional rights as provided in the fifth and sixth amendments, during an undeclared war.
Ms. Vanklausen relies on primary and secondary sources with strong credentials in the realm of the constitution, law, public policy, and Americans’ right to freedom (Cato Inst., n.d.; Wikipedia, 2010) to support her argument. The authors have been published in a variety of respected periodicals as well as writing books on these topics. Her sources cite the expert opinions of Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Antonin Scalia (“Can U.S. Citizens Be Held as Enemy Combatants”, Reinking & von der Osten, 2007, pp. 228, 231-233), who are entrusted with the ultimate responsibility to interpret our nation’s constitution and apply this standard to arguments brought before the Court when the rule of law is in question. Ms. Vanklausen also employs excerpts from the Bill of Rights to clarify the protections these individuals are not permitted in this situation. She provides a quotation by Thomas Jefferson, and notes decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court, and Federal Court Judge Mukasey. She also refers to established truths upon which Americans depend as signs of their freedom, such as “The foundation of liberty has always rested on the resistance to the idea of arbitrary imprisonment by an executive. (Reinking & von der Osten, 2007)
This essay first focuses on the reasoning for finding Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi to be enemy combatants to establi...

... middle of paper ...

...ty and possibly violating the rights of the people who put gave them their power. However, it seems she does not fully comprehend all of the concepts involved in this issue to project her opinion with the utmost clarity.

Works Cited

Cato Institute (n.d.). [profile]. Retrieved April 3, 2010 from
Cato Institute (n.d.). [profile]. Retrieved April 3, 2010 from
J. A. Reinking & R. von der Osten, R. (2007). Strategies for successful writing: A rhetoric, research guide, reader, and handbook (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentiss Hall. ISBN: 0-13-189195-2.
Wikipedia (2010). [profile]. Retrieved April 3, 2010 from
Wikipedia (2010). [profile]. Retrieved April 3, 2010 from

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