Miranda Rights and Wrongs

It seems like every week there’s a new episode of political “gotcha”. This week features the Democrats and Republicans arguing over reading suspected terrorists their Miranda Rights, specifically regarding the dust-up over the “Christmas Bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (remember: even if a whole plane of people watched you try to ignite a bomb in your underwear, you are still considered a suspect until you’ve been convicted).

When he was pulled off of the flight to Detroit and handed over to the FBI, Abdulmutallab was Mirandized. In other words, he was advised of his right to remain silent, and how his words could be used against him, and that he had the right to speak with an attorney before answering any questions for his own protection (you can read the actual Miranda warnings guidelines here). This sent all the politicians into major spin mode:

GOP: We can’t give terrorists the same rights as regular criminals!

DEMS: But Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist and he was Mirandized!

GOP: Yeah but he was an AMERICAN terrorist!

DEMS: But W’s FBI read Shoe Bomber Richard Reid his Miranda rights!

GOP: Reid was an American! (Newt Gingrich actually said this)

DEMS: No he wasn’t–he was British!

GOP: Was not!

DEMS: Was so!

GOP: Nya-nya-nya!

DEMS: Up yours!

(Okay, so that ending is not an actual transcript of an actual dialogue, but to most Americans that’s what the constant partisan bickering sounds like.)

Bottom line: your Miranda Rights are guaranteed when you are taken into custody for interrogation by the cops or the FBI, whether you are a US citizen or a foreigner. Don’t believe me? Well here’s a link to the US Constitution and the Bill Of Rights where you can see for yourself (trust me, I read it).

And here’s the punchline: after being Mirandized, Abdulmutallab sang like a bird and gave the FBI all sorts of juicy information such as the names and locations of key players in Al Qaeda. The FBI did the right thing and got the kind of information that we actually need to fight the war on terror.

If you don’t like the rules, then amend the Constitution. Otherwise shut the hell up. After all, you have the right to do so.

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4 Responses to “Miranda Rights and Wrongs”

  1. Andrew Pelt Says:

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  2. votingmad Says:

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  3. Matthew C. Krian Says:

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  4. votingmad Says:

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