Thursday, September 28, 2006


Bruce Ackerman writes about the 'enemy combatant' legislation currently pending before Congress (and most likely about to be passed):

[It] not only authorizes the president to seize and hold terrorists who have fought against our troops 'during an armed conflict,' it also allows him to seize anybody who has 'purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.' This grants the president enormous power over citizens and legal residents. They can be designated as enemy combatants if they have contributed money to a Middle Eastern charity, and they can be held indefinitely in a military prison."

From wiktionary, we find the following definition of "material", the adjective which gives rise to the adverb "materially":

material (comparative more material, superlative most material)

1. Having to do with matter.

This compound has a number of interesting material properties.

2. Worldly, as opposed to spiritual.

Don't let material concerns get in the way of living a good life.

3. significant

You've made several material contributions to this project.
This is the most material fact in this lawsuit.

So, assuming that the third definition is the one meant (and I find it hard to understand how either of the first two makes sense in this context), the bill designates as an enemy combatant...

anybody who has purposefully and significantly supported hostilities against the United States.

It's good to know where we stand in October 2006 in the USA.


Post a Comment

<< Home