Seminole Tribe comparison to terrorists still in Pentagon brief

The Department of Defense won't remove portions of a brief that compares ancestors of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

The tribe asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to change the brief. But government lawyers say the comparison will stay in even though an apology of sorts has been offered.

“I regret any larger suggestion that the Seminole Tribe should be equated with al Qaeda,” Defense general counsel Jeh Johnson wrote in a letter to the tribe, The Miami Herald reported. “I understand why the members of the Tribe and many others would take offense at the suggestion.”

The comparison showed up in a case in the U.S. Court of Military Commissions Review. Government lawyers likened the situation to the treatment of two British men who were hanged in 1818 for helping the Seminoles resist the U.S. military.

“Not only was the Seminole belligerency unlawful, but, much like modern-day al Qaeda, the very way in which the Seminoles waged war against U.S. targets itself violate the customs and usages of war," the brief stated.

Get the Story:
Pentagon lawyer regrets Seminole-al Qaeda analogy (The Miami Herald 4/8)

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