Miranda rights

After Boston, Senators Aim to Deny Your Rights

In a statement released via Facebook, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) made the case for (1) denying the Miranda rights of the Boston marathon bomber and (2) to hold him without trial as an enemy combatant, regardless of his status as a US citizen.

“Nonsense!” you may say, “They don’t want to deny my rights, just those of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.” While this Dzhokhar guy is truly a first class piece of crap, selectively denying the rights of one US citizen “just because two Senators say so” is an affront to the liberties we all enjoy.

The statement, posted on Senator Graham’s Facebook page, reads in full (with emphasis added in bold):

Just put out this statement with John McCain about the suspect captured in Boston and whether they should be held as an enemy combatant.

“We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement and intelligence communities.

“It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.

Justice Department Will Not Try Boston Bomber as an Enemy Combatant

Tsarnaev brothers

Much to the chagrin of Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ), the White House announced yesterday that the Justice Department would not try Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing:

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill three people and injure more than 200, would be tried as a terrorist in the federal court system.

“This is absolutely the right way to go and the appropriate way to go,” Carney said at Monday’s White House press briefing.

Carney said the department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder, as well the entire national security team, support not trying the terror suspect as an enemy combatant.

You can read the complaint against Tsarnaev here and the transcript from the court hearing held in his hospital room yesterday here.

Graham, McCain, and other Senators believe that Tsarnaev should not be read his Miranda rights and instead be held as an enemy combatant so that interrogators can gather more information about any other explosives he may have left, any affiliations with foreign terrorist organizations, and the possibility of other attacks.

Obama “Open” To Postponing Miranda Rights

Obama’s approach to civil liberties is looking a little too much like his predecessor:

President Obama is “open to looking at” a new rule that would allow terror suspects to be questioned for longer periods before they’re notified of their Miranda rights, White House adviser David Axelrod told CNN on Monday. The change, called for by Attorney General Eric Holder, comes in the wake of outcry that the accused Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad and attempted underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab were being treated as criminal defendants rather than as military detainees under wartime rules. Axelrod said the administration was willing to look at a change to the rule, but would make adjustments, not a wholesale revision.

This is pretty convenient for the inflated ego of Glenn Beck, who came out and said that we should declare any war on terrorism and said that Abdulmutallab, as a US citizen, should be mirandized. (The suspecting side of me wonders if someone told Beck that Obama would take a Bush-like approach, and that taking the opposite approach would help increase his power and influence with conservatives.) I hate to be in agreement with him but I am. Terrorism is a crime, and treating a criminal like a prisoner of war, without ever declaring war or even calling him a prisoner of war, sets a horrible precedent.

Glenn Beck defends mirandizing Times Square bomber

As Doug noted yesterday, some Republicans are questioning whether the indvidual that tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square should be read his Miranda rights. Apparently, the fact that Faisal Shahzad is an American citizen guaranteed basic civil liberties under the Constitution and Bill of Rights shouldn’t matter.

Appearing on Fox and Friends on Tuesday morning, Glenn Beck said, “We don’t shred the Constitution when it’s popular,” explaining that since Shahzad cannont be treated differently because of the protections afforded to him.

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