Enemy Combatants

[Sent to the Cambodia Daily in March 2004.]

You have reported concerns about the US imprisoning without trial those it terms “enemy combatants” in the war on terrorism. These worries overlook previous experience.

If those being held were to be tried, the outcome would not likely be different. Four decades ago, President Johnson declared a war on poverty, and today the US has imprisoned, nearly always after a trial, a greater percentage of enemy combatants – the poor – from that war than any other country in the world.

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