Argument: US Constitution does not apply to enemy combatants

Issue Report: Enhanced interrogation techniques


A US Department of Justice Memo written on March 14, 2003 read: “we conclude that the Fifth and Eighth Amendments, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, do not extend to· alien enemy combatants held abroad. In Part IT, we examine federal criminal law. We explain that several canons of construction apply here. Those canons of construction indicate that federal criminal laws of general applicability do not apply to·properly~authorized interrogations of enemy combatants, undertaken by military personnel in the course of an armed conflict. Such criminal statutes, if they were misconstrued to apply to the interrogation of enemy combatants, would conflict with the Constitution’s. grant of the Commander in Chiefpower solely to the President.”[1]