Thursday, May 13, 2010
Those Pesky Miranda Warnings
Miranda Rights warnings...they are all the news this week, as Attorney General Eric Holder stated on the weekend Obama administration propaganda shows that he is open to modifying when the warnings are required. The question seems to be centered around these questions: A) Should we give foreign terrorists a Miranda Warning? B) Should we give a U.S. citizen Miranda warnings if they have been deemed a "terrorist?" C) When should law enforcement officials be required to give Miranda Warnings?
Disturbingly, I have heard a lot of commentary from the conservative crowd that immediately provided a blanket answer to the debated questions. Their minds still fresh with the anger of the Obama administration ordering law enforcement officials to Mirandize captured terrorists last year, upon taking office. Allow me to explain my position on these questions and hopefully prevent some from thinking too much on an emotional level regarding these matters.
First a little background. I am a U.S. Marine, but I am also a law enforcement official in the U.S.M.C. so I have a bit of experience regarding Miranda rights, which differ slightly from the Article 31 rights that we use in the military; nonetheless, are in place for the same purpose.
Okay, let's begin with question "C"...I know, an organized person would have started with question "A" and gone in order...I gues you now know something more else about my personality. When do we read Miranda warnings? Without getting into a big legal discussion and boring the pants off of the 30 or so people (I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm kind of a big deal) who read my blog, I will briefly explain:
Miranda rights are required by law enforcement if they are going to ask incriminating questions of a person they suspect of committing a crime who also is in custody. If I wanted to go legal mumbo jumbo I could go on about the specific definitions of "incriminating" "suspect" and especially "custody" but I enjoy my 30 or so readers and wouldn't do that to you, so let's move on.
Many would ask why then, could authorities question our Times Square bombing suspect for multiple hours without advising him? There is a "public safety" clause which was added in 1984 (I think) that allowed for law enforcement officials to question suspects if there was an immediate danger and they could show that the immediate questioning was required for public safety; i.e., a bomb was found in a building and a suspect was identified. Law enforcement officials can question the suspect immediately regarding any other bombs that may be in the building and any other questions necessary to prevent harm to society without stopping and advising the suspect of their rights. So, for the ACLU and any other radical fringe leftist organization that wants to come to the aid of Faisal Shahzad and state that his rights were violated, you are wrong. Eric Holder is correct on his statements from Sunday.
Now to the other two questions, which; unfortunately, many conservatives are bleeding together and referring to as if they are the same. This can happen when people think emotionally instead of logically...we've all been there.
A) Should we give foreign terrorists a Miranda Warning?
HELL NO!!! Any questions??? Seriously, Miranda rights fall under the 5th amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. A foreign individual does not rate the rights of a document drafted by our nation if he/she is not a member of our nation. It's really not that difficult.
B) Should we give a U.S. citizen Miranda warnings if they have been deemed a "terrorist?"
Now here is where it gets interesting. Many are merely blanketing these questions with an overall, emotionally driven opinion that says HELL NO!!! Terrorists don't deserve Miranda rights!! The problem with that answer regarding this question is it is simply incorrect. Any U.S. citizen, whether they be charged with a terrorist act or not, has constitutional rights, which the government has no right to infringe upon. Liberals love when they can get the conservatives thinking on an emotional plane instead of a logical one. Liberals live on an emotional plane and every misguided regulation or bill they introduce is fueled by getting Americans to view it from emotional standpoint. You need look no further than the healthcare debacle from last year. They, rather than debate the logical issues and problems with the bill, attempted to cover them up with emotional stories about little Timmy who suffers from a rare form of some crazy disease, who lives his life in pain every day because his parents can't afford healthcare. The saddest part of that was they made up a large number of the stories. Back to the point.
If there is one thing conservatives must stick to, in order to be successful, they must stay strictly within the confines of the Constitution. By stating that you don't think any terrorist should be allowed their Miranda rights, you are (1) violating the Constitution, and (2) opening a very scary new door which would give the government even more power over your daily life.
I don't know very many people who trust the government with much of anything anymore. Why would we trust them on this one? Anything coming from this administration that sounds good on the surface needs to be examined in depth. It doesn't take much of an investigation of this to see a possible motive for it.
If we remove the requirement for the government to Mirandize a U.S. citizen suspected of terrorism, it may look like a good idea on the surface, but we have to dig a little deeper. Tell me this, who defines "terrorist" or "terrorism"? What is to prevent the administration from later passing an executive order to the effect that any protests or anti-administration rhetoric will be deemed "terrorism"? Now the Tea Party would be a terrorist organization. You don't think that's possible. Obama is already hinting at tightening the grip on free speech in this nation. He just spoke this weekend about the problem with too much information being available to people these days. This, at the same time as his administration is attempting to regulate the internet and talk radio. There are clues everywhere when we stop watching stupid TLC television shows that talk about strange addictions like girls who are addicted to tanning beds or eating chalk (thanks for the material on that one Sharon from The Liberal Heretic) , and get involved in where our nation is headed.
Yes, that's right...I am not lauding the administration today for allegedly moving more to the "right" on terrorists rights because I see their motive in this, and it is certainly not become more "moderate." Call me cynical.