New rules allow federal investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, expanding exceptions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades, the Wall Street Journal reports. It is one of the Obama administration’s most significant revisions to rules on the investigation of terror suspects in the U.S. It could open a new political tussle over national security policy, as the administration marks another step back from pre-election criticism of unorthodox counterterror methods.
The Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda ruling obligates law-enforcement officials to advise suspects of their rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present for questioning. A 1984 decision amended that by allowing the questioning of suspects for a limited time before issuing the warning in cases where public safety was at issue. An FBI memo says the policy applies to “exceptional cases” where investigators “conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to an immediate threat.