Question: Does the Obama Administration view high-value terrorists picked up on foreign battlefields as regular criminals or enemy combatants at war with the United States? Because if it’s the latter, why are we reading these guys Miranda Rights?
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.”
As The Weekly Standard points out, there were warning signs in the May 28th edition of the Los Angeles Times. There were plans to turn the war on terror into a criminal investigation:
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.
Anyone with a functioning brain should be concerned with this development. Not only is the president turning a war between the free world and jihadists into a criminal investigation, but the rights terrorists are read can prove dangerous.
“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.”
And yet the administration and lefty groups are more interested in ensuring terrorists are read their rights than a future terrorist attack is prevented. In fact, according to Mike Rogers, groups such as The International Red Cross go into detention facilities and advise the detained terrorists to fully utilize their rights.
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.”
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.”
I recall scoffing from the left at the mere suggestion during the campaign that a President Obama and Democratic Congress would be reading terrorists their rights. In fact, I recall President Obama brushing off the claim:
“Now, do these folks deserve miranda rights? Do they deserve to be treated like a shoplifter down the block? Of course not.”
And yet here we are, reading terrorists their Miranda rights like a shoplifter down the block. Every promise has an expiration date.