Miranda warnings for captured terrorists?

Posted on June 10, 2009

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Rep. Mike Rogers went on a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and and apparently discovered that FBI agents have been ordered to read high-value detainees their Miranda rights when they are captured on the battlefield. The rationale given is to prepare the detainees for eventual trial in the US court system, but it signals an ever-obvious regression to the Clinton-era method of combating terror: law enforcement, as opposed to military action, which supposedly fits in with Obama’s Global Justice Initiative.

Several folks are pointing out that Sarah Palin, who caught hell for suggesting Obama was overly concerned with reading terrorists their rights, actually turned out be correct on this issue. It’s interesting that Rep. Rogers had to find out about it on the Afghan battlefield, as Congress has evidently not been briefed by the administration on the policy shift that essentially puts Attorney General Eric Holder in charge of the War on Terror (sorry … overseas contingency operation).

To be blunt, I don’t believe that foreign fighters endeavoring to kill American soldiers need to be told their US court rights. I can’t imagine how this is called for in the Geneva Convention, and it hasn’t been found to be necessary by the Supreme Court. Those of a legal mindset might say that this assures better chance of a conviction in American courts, but it all comes back to the fact that foreign enemy combatants simply do not and should not enjoy the same rights and privileges as the family down the street.

I’m hoping that Rep. Rogers was merely misinformed, but if this is true, it’s a signal to anyone watching that we’re resorting to the same tactics that failed to prevent terror attacks (sorry … man-caused disasters) like Khobar Towers, the embassy bombings, the USS Cole, and ultimately 9/11. We don’t need to feel guilty about not telling high-level terrorists they have a “right to remain silent” – these same terrorists, none of whom are citizens of this nation, have no compunction of denying that most basic right to Americans, servicmen and civilians alike – life. Acting in our own self-interest doesn’t diminish us as a nation.

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Posted in: News, Politics