BBC’s North American editor, Mark Mardell, offers his analysis of the Boston bombing and notes that “President Obama made it clear shortly after he came to office that people would no longer be treated as unlawful enemy combatants – a term invented by the Bush administration as a new category for terrorists and al-Qaeda supporters fighting in Afghanistan who were not to be given the rights of either prisoners of war or criminals. ”
The term “enemy combatant” is not just some obscure historical reference. It is in reference to Operation Pastorius, which is very well known even among those with very cursory knowledge of WW2. The key points to note are that the German saboteurs were denied the prisoner of war classification even though they landed in military uniforms and later changed to civilian uniforms. This was all decided in the Supreme Court way back in 1942. There was no sympathy at all for them and even though two of the Germans defected they were still sentenced to death. FBI Director Hoover and Attorney General Biddle appealed to President Roosevelt who commuted their sentence.
But hey, why let facts get in the way of some Bush bashing?