Do Obama, Holder Disagree On Miranda Rights In Terror Cases?


Attorney General Eric Holder has acted in the Christmas Day bombing case in contradiction to a policy position of President Obama, Stephen Hayes argues in the Weekly Standard. In a “60 Minutes” interview last spring, Obama discussed the handling of captured terrorists and said,
“Do these folks deserve Miranda rights? Do they deserve to be treated like a shoplifter — down the block? Of course not.”

Holder, in a letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) previously reported here, lays out in exhaustive detail exactly why such suspects do deserve Miranda rights. Hayes says that suspect Umar Abdulmutallab spoke openly to FBI agents in his initial 50-minute interrogation — questioning that took place before he was Mirandized. Later, a second team of interrogators was brought in. These interrogators were part of a “clean team” to interrogate him after he was read his Miranda rights. The previous interrogation, while potentially helpful in obtaining intelligence, was “dirty” because he had not yet been Mirandized and thus unusable in his prosecution. The “clean team” began by reading Abdulmutallab his rights. Abdulmutallab, advised of his right to remain silent, chose to exercise it.

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