Theodore's World: Miranda Rights for Terrorists

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June 11, 2009

Miranda Rights for Terrorists

The Weekly Standard

When 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was captured on March 1, 2003, he was not cooperative. “I’ll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer,” he said, according to former CIA Director George Tenet.

Of course, KSM did not get a lawyer until months later, after his interrogation was completed, and Tenet says that the information the CIA obtained from him disrupted plots and saved lives. “I believe none of these successes would have happened if we had had to treat KSM like a white-collar criminal – read him his Miranda rights and get him a lawyer who surely would have insisted that his client simply shut up,” Tenet wrote in his memoirs.

If Tenet is right, it’s a good thing KSM was captured before Barack Obama became president.

For, the Obama Justice Department has quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, according a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

“The administration has decided to change the focus to law enforcement. Here’s the problem. You have foreign fighters who are targeting US troops today – foreign fighters who go to another country to kill Americans. We capture them…and they’re reading them their rights – Mirandizing these foreign fighters,” says Representative Mike Rogers, who recently met with military, intelligence and law enforcement officials on a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan.
Rogers, a former FBI special agent and U.S. Army officer, says the Obama administration has not briefed Congress on the new policy. “I was a little surprised to find it taking place when I showed up because we hadn’t been briefed on it, I didn’t know about it. We’re still trying to get to the bottom of it, but it is clearly a part of this new global justice initiative.”

That effort, which elevates the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and diminishes the role of intelligence and military officials, was described in a May 28 Los Angeles Times article.

"The FBI and Justice Department plan to significantly expand their role in global counter-terrorism operations, part of a U.S. policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions.
Under the "global justice" initiative, which has been in the works for several months, FBI agents will have a central role in overseas counter-terrorism cases. They will expand their questioning of suspects and evidence-gathering to try to ensure that criminal prosecutions are an option, officials familiar with the effort said."

Thanks in part to the popularity of law and order television shows and movies, many Americans are familiar with the Miranda warning – so named because of the landmark 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda vs. Arizona that required police officers and other law enforcement officials to advise suspected criminals of their rights.

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense."

A lawyer who has worked on detainee issues for the U.S. government offers this rationale for the Obama administration’s approach. “If the US is mirandizing certain suspects in Afghanistan, they’re likely doing it to ensure that the treatment of the suspect and the collection of information is done in a manner that will ensure the suspect can be prosecuted in a US court at some point in the future.”
But Republicans on Capitol Hill are not happy. “When they mirandize a suspect, the first thing they do is warn them that they have the 'right to remain silent,’” says Representative Pete Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. “It would seem the last thing we want is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or any other al-Qaeda terrorist to remain silent. Our focus should be on preventing the next attack, not giving radical jihadists a new tactic to resist interrogation--lawyering up.”
According to Mike Rogers, that is precisely what some human rights organizations are advising detainees to do. “The International Red Cross, when they go into these detention facilities, has now started telling people – ‘Take the option. You want a lawyer.’”

Rogers adds: “The problem is you take that guy at three in the morning off of a compound right outside of Kabul where he’s building bomb materials to kill US soldiers, and read him his rights by four, and the Red Cross is saying take the lawyer – you have now created quite a confusion amongst the FBI, the CIA and the United States military. And confusion is the last thing you want in a combat zone.”

“The administration has decided to change the focus to law enforcement. Here’s the problem. You have foreign fighters who are targeting US troops today – foreign fighters who go to another country to kill Americans. We capture them…and they’re reading them their rights – Mirandizing these foreign fighters,” says Representative Mike Rogers, who recently met with military, intelligence and law enforcement officials on a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan.

One thing is clear, though. A detainee who is not talking cannot provide information about future attacks. Had Khalid Sheikh Mohammad had a lawyer, Tenet wrote, “I am confident that we would have obtained none of the information he had in his head about imminent threats against the American people.”

In a March 2003 interview aired on CBS' "60 Minutes" President Obama said Guantanamo detainees do not "deserve" to be read Miranda rights.

KROFT: Some of it being organized by a few people who were released from Guantanamo.

OBAMA: Well, there is no doubt that we have not done a particularly effective job in sorting rough who are truly dangerous individuals that weve got to make sure are not a threat to us, who are folks that we just swept up. The whole premise of Guantanamo promoted by Vice President Cheney was that, somehow, the American system of justice was not up to the task of dealing with these terrorists. I fundamentally disagree with that. Now, do these folks deserve miranda rights? Do they deserve to be treated like a shoplifter down the block? Of course not.

Wild Thing's comment.........

The media and the WH know this is not going to go over very well with the American people and were purposely trying to hide it. He hides almost everything. He is still hiding his so called statement about the terrorist attack in Little Rock at the Recruiting office. How crazy is that! It is NOT there! I have decided it was all BS that he made a statement even though so many of us had a link to what was supposed to be the statement. Obama absolutely hates our military PERIOD!

While working on this post, I have heard on the radio now during the news breaks three different times about this as well and each one said.....the troops are very confused about thie miranda rights and how the hell are they supposed to fight this war. My heart breaks, it hurts for how our troops are being treated by Obama.

So now we’ll have F.B.I. agents embedded with special forces every time we go after “high value” suspects.... I wonder if the F.B.I. agents are going to be ordered to write reports on the special forces operations- and will those reports be used to discipline or prosecute military personnel that kill or harm “high value” suspects they’re trying to capture?

Posted by Wild Thing at June 11, 2009 06:55 AM


They aren't American citizens--they don't get Miranda rights! Do you know how much time it's going to take for each soldier who arrests a terror suspect over there to read him his Miranda rights? Most of them aren't even going to understand them in English, so does each and every group have to have a translator? This is so nuts in the head! The don't even follow the Geneva Convention rules, so why should we give them any rights at all?

Posted by: Lynn at June 11, 2009 08:09 AM

Can you imagine FBI agents being called into court to testify against American GI's for what Obama may consider overuse of force on the battlefield?

Posted by: BobF at June 11, 2009 08:36 AM

Lynn, BobF, I agree with both of you.

This is assinine at the very least. Don't take any prisoners and you won't have to read anybody their "rights".

Obama is very scary and what's just as scary is congress and the judiciary allowing this thief to steal our freedoms. They are deafening in their silence.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at June 11, 2009 09:48 AM

Whew!!! For a second there I thought they were going to become Czars for Obama, still, they could become second string headcutters in the administration. Will someone please send Obama a set of ja-naymaz knee pads.

Posted by: Jack at June 11, 2009 09:51 AM

Better yet Jack, maybe we should take it upon ourselves to construct a gallows outside the fence of the Black House. If O'Vomit were to see it, he may get a clue as to how 1/2 of the country feel about him. Fuck that bastard!

Posted by: cuchieddie (DHS suspected terrorist)) at June 11, 2009 11:02 AM

They do not have uniforms, usually they are in someone elses country killing or trying to kill American Soldiers. If I remember right only a Uniformed soldier is a pow. Insurgents are not considered a pow but an insurgent and are afforded no Rights under The Geneva Convention.

So obama has redefined the protocol for capturing insurgents. Makes as much sense as American families who lost family members in the 9-11 attacks can no longer sue Saudi Arabia. Obama put the Kybash on that too.

If there is another attack prez or not he will be hunted down. And if it is of the magnitude that that one shit-bag of osamas said, obama may as well sneak out of the country.

This is doing nothing but making us look weak and very vulnerable. We really need some grown up's in Washington.

Posted by: Mark at June 11, 2009 11:47 AM

Lynn, I agree, I do not understand this
at all. They are not American citizens,
and if they do the Miranda Rights I would
think they would also have to gather up
evidence and treat what the whole war zone
as a crime scene????

This is stupid and dangerous for our

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 11, 2009 07:11 PM

BobF., that gives me chills, your right
that is what would be next, we have seen
how they go after our troops now for
defending themselves.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 11, 2009 07:14 PM

Bob A., your right that would be the only
thing they could do to avoid this baloney
that is totally dangerous to our troops
and insane is right.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 11, 2009 07:16 PM

Jack, good one. Maybe Obama wants them
for his bodyguards or something. Naw, but
that would be as stupid as it is to Miranda
Rights for them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 11, 2009 07:20 PM

cuchieddie (DHS suspected terrorist)),
I really believe he could care less if
he is ticking people off even though he
whines about being picked on, he only
cares about himself.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 11, 2009 07:24 PM

Mark,yes all you said,and I bet Obama will
somehow be in Hawaii during the attack.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 11, 2009 07:29 PM


General Petraeus is obeying.

I think it's up to the FAMILIES of the soldiers to start banding together and make a huge noise.
We can all help them do this.
Who is going to bell the cat ?

This President is a 5th Column. Now we know how Hitler got away with it. Nobody said "no" to him until it was too late.
Get the soldiers units, and contact military families. I think there is an association of military families. that would be a place to start.
This man HATES AMERICA and HATES OUR MILITARY. He is unfit for any public office, let alone the Presidency. OBAMA=One Big Ass Mistake 4 America

Posted by: ava at June 12, 2009 11:52 AM