Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on April 22, 2013 by Allahpundit

A row has broken out over whether the Obama Administration is violating the legal due process of Boston terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by not reading him his Miranda rights before questioning. The more relevant question for the safety of the U.S. homeland is why the Administration has declined to designate him as a terrorist enemy combatant…

Boylston Street sure looked like a battlefield on Monday, and so did Watertown on Thursday night… The vital distinction for public safety is between common criminals, who deserve due process protections, and enemy combatants at war with the U.S., wherever they are.

As for due process, the greatest danger to liberty would be to allow more such attacks that would inspire an even greater public backlash against Muslims or free speech or worse. The anti-antiterror types on the left and GOP Senators who agree that the U.S. isn’t part of the battlefield are making the U.S. more vulnerable.

***

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) countered he’s “not aware of any legal basis at this point for such a designation” of enemy combatant status in this case.

“I am not aware of any evidence so far that the Boston suspect is part of any organized group, let alone al Qaeda, the Taliban, or one of their affiliates — the only organizations whose members are subject to detention under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, as it has been consistently interpreted by all three branches of our government. In the absence of such evidence I know of no legal basis for his detention as an enemy combatant,” Levin continued. “To hold the suspect as an enemy combatant under these circumstances would be contrary to our laws and may even jeopardize our efforts to prosecute him for his crimes.”…

[Peter] King said people need to get off the argument that the criminal courts system is adequate because it’s successfully prosecuted terrorists before. “I don’t worry about conviction. I don’t worry about a conviction. He’s going to be convicted,” he stressed. “I want the intelligence so we can save American lives. And that can only be done I believe, effectively, if he’s treated as an enemy combatant” without access to a lawyer.

“When the public safety exception expires and it will here soon, this man in my view should be designated as a potential enemy combatant and we should be allowed to question him for intelligence gathering purposes to find out about future attacks and terrorist organizations that may exist that he has knowledge of. And that evidence cannot be used against him in trial. That evidence is used to protect us as a nation,” Graham said on CNN’s State of the Union.

***

Note that the law doesn’t characterize every terrorist an enemy combatant, only those who are involved with specific, identifiable enemies: Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Someone who commits an act of terror on behalf of any other group or movement cannot be designated an enemy combatant. It doesn’t matter if that other group is made up of leftist revolutionaries or radical jihadists, the law only permits the enemy combatant designation for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their minions.

As of today, there is no publicly available information to suggest that one or either of the Tsarnaevs were trained by Al Qaeda or the Taliban, received any material support from Al Qaeda or the Taliban, or in any way associated with those groups. They may have shared with Al Qaeda and the Taliban a hatred of America and a desire to kill our citizens, but that’s not enough under federal law…

The administration could do what the Bush Administration did and declare a new, untested legal status and deny Tsarnaev a lawyer and access to the courts. It would take several years before the courts ultimately sorted out whether this is appropriate, and presumably some information might be gained from him about other terrorist activities in the meantime. Yet the results of the Bush approach were less than ideal. Two terrorists, Yasir Hamdi and Jose Padilla, were subject to what the federal courts indicated was unconstitutional treatment, and both received much shorter sentences than these terrorists warranted. Indeed, Hamdi today is living abroad, free of U.S. detention.

***

Graham acknowledged as much in his press release: “As to any future trial, if this suspect is an American citizen he is not subject to military commission trial.” But he says this doesn’t matter for purposes of detention. Here’s his proposal: Throw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev into a military brig for some prolonged period of time, once his wounds heal sufficiently, and then hand him over to military and CIA interrogators, without a lawyer or any of the other rights criminal defendants are entitled to in American courts. Then turn him over to the court system later.

Graham asserts that the courts would go along with this approach, even though it’s not been used before, and Congress hasn’t authorized it. I’d like to think he’s wrong. Graham’s approach also insults the interrogation capabilities of the FBI for no particular reason. And it fails to address what happens if Tsarnaev refuses to answer questions: McCain and Graham are decent enough to say that Tsarnaev “must be humanely treated.”

It’s the American way to extend to whatever suspect is currently the most hated man in the country the protections of our laws.

***

The best solution would simply be for the Supreme Court to change course and allow the admission of all evidence gathered as a result of a civilized compulsory interrogation. Under current law, a suspect can be forced to hand over a blood sample or a fingerprint, because these items are reliable physical evidence, and they don’t violate Fifth Amendment, because blood and prints are not “witnesses,” strictly speaking, and because they are reliable in a way that pure words are not. The same logic holds for admitting all fruit and leads generated by compelled interrogation.

But even if the court won’t go that far, it should hold that in compelled interrogations involving serious and ongoing threats to public safety, evidence and leads obtained by interrogation of the suspect should always be admissible. Let’s bring coffee, donuts, and yes, lawyers, into the interrogation room. But the law should also require the suspect to answer all questions under pain of contempt—meaning he can be jailed if he refuses—and under penalty of perjury. His lawyer should understand that her job is not to aid the suspect in lying or stonewalling. Suspects will of course be tempted to lie in some situations. But even lies can often provide cues and clues to trained investigators, and interrogators should also be able to give lie-detector tests with the oversight of a judge. This is the right balance for public safety and a defendant’s rights—and the Fifth Amendment, properly understood, allows it.

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Click the image to listen.

ml


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Breaking:

Spain arrests 2 suspected Al Qaeda members, government says – @AFP via @AlArabiya_Eng

1 min ago by editor
========================

Canada terror arrests April 2013

Iran denies any link with 2 suspects charged with plotting a terrorist attack against a Canadian passenger train – @AP

17 mins ago by editor
=========================

canopfor on April 23, 2013 at 4:56 AM

GM is alive. Bin Laden is dead. Al Qaeda is on the run.

Wait …. maybe not.

And again.

White House was unavailable for comment.

fred5678 on April 23, 2013 at 5:09 AM

so the cute bomber says the brothers were alone and the msm swallow it hook line and sinker.

how many teenage daughters of liberals are lying in their beds dreaming of wearing a hijab for whitehat?

i need some coffee.

renalin on April 23, 2013 at 5:47 AM

Joe Scarborough has gone INSANE. INSANE RANTS over that gun bill over a week later.

He’s mad at the Alaska Senators voting against him so Joe Scarborough is screaming that “Obama should send bulldozers to Alaska to tear up the roads! Then say ‘Do you need me now?!’ ”

Everyone at that table is looking at him like he’s a loon.

WTG, Joe, start the meme that Obama would actually willfully destroy the redstates with bulldozers!

Marcus on April 23, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Oh, and the reason according to Scarborough that Mark Sanford is behind in SC: the Republicans there are furious over the gun registration Senate vote.

I had to turn him off.

Marcus on April 23, 2013 at 6:32 AM

“Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”” – “Obama: Man of the World”, Nicholas D. Kristof, 3/6/2007, newyorktimes.com. My take.

kingsjester on April 23, 2013 at 6:35 AM

turn on the tv and joe is still griping about criminal background checks…dude, you lost, get off your high horse, that 90% poll is mute, actually look at new polls

acknowledge move on

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Marcus on April 23, 2013 at 6:32 AM

so that is what i missed…

he really is off his rocker, but mika is right there with him eh

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 6:39 AM

EXCELLENT take KJ

watched alittle bit of tingles last night, he sure sounded despressed actually talking about jihadists but will still defend dear leader to the bitter end…couldn’t bring up nazi or right wing at all heh

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 6:42 AM

new squirrel this week, bashing bush with the opening of his library, what do you think?

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 6:43 AM

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 6:42 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

kingsjester on April 23, 2013 at 6:44 AM

Excellent column today, KJ. Read it folks, he’s fired up!

Naturally Curly on April 23, 2013 at 6:56 AM

kingsjester on April 23, 2013 at 6:35 AM

Spot on, KJ. Here’s the problem: to Barry, the average American is not the one being defended. We are the enemy. He is NOT one of us.

indypat on April 23, 2013 at 6:57 AM

Naturally Curly on April 23, 2013 at 6:56 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

kingsjester on April 23, 2013 at 6:58 AM

turn on the tv and joe is still griping about criminal background checks…dude, you lost, get off your high horse, that 90% poll is mute, actually look at new polls

acknowledge move on

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 6:37 AM

I turned it on for a minute, thought I had fallen into a time warp. “And I’m a 2nd Ammendment guy!” LOLOL

Naturally Curly on April 23, 2013 at 6:59 AM

indypat on April 23, 2013 at 6:57 AM

Thank you!

kingsjester on April 23, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Naturally Curly on April 23, 2013 at 6:59 AM

now they have eugene on with this hypocritical take on gun control…he really thinks criminals would go to gun shows and buy guns…

what an idiot…

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 7:03 AM

what an idiot…

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 7:03 AM

This level of idiocy doesn’t just occur in nature. It has to be nurtured over a lifetime of liberalism.

Naturally Curly on April 23, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Naturally Curly on April 23, 2013 at 7:08 AM

indeed

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 7:11 AM

joe thinks there will be another gun control vote…

don’t hold your breath there buddy

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 7:13 AM

pete williams is reporting that the brothers had no outside help, they did this for their religion…

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 7:16 AM

Mourning Joke was ranting about the gun bill this morning? Glad I don’t watch his crappy show. The Left is at the point of nagging about the issue, like the joke of a kid who keeps asking, Are We there, yet?”

They have become frighteningly obsessed.

The LSM must be tied in knots over the Tsaraev brothers. They were so certain the bombings this time had to be Tea Party inspired. If I recall, sesqui said he’s going to gloat and needle us when when we find out the truth of who really did it (Tea Party). Except he hasn’t been around since.

But they’re going to make the surviving Tsaraev into some kind of dark folk hero. The Left needs one, very badly. Worldwide, all their promises are failing. Here at home, their precious Obama is adding more baggage every day; he hasn’t delivered, either. So, they need a hero especially after they couldn’t get enough Senate Democrats to pass their gun bill.

Desperation, anyone?

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 7:42 AM

pete williams is reporting that the brothers had no outside help, they did this for their religion…

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 7:16 AM

And ABC is reporting that this had absolutely nothing to do with Chechnya or Islam. This was nothing more than a poor soul misguided by his evil older brother.

I’m pissed. It is clear that the narrative is on track that we didn’t actually have a terror attack last Monday. Can’t mess with the rat-eared coward’s claim that we haven’t had terrorism on American soil since his super smart administration took over. The victims of Fort Hood and Boston would disagree.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 7:43 AM

joe thinks there will be another gun control vote…

don’t hold your breath there buddy

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 7:13 AM

Oh good lord! You’d think that even Mika would lean over and tell Joe to give it a rest. Gun control is so two weeks ago. We’re on to the illegals now with the gays on deck.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Oh, and the reason according to Scarborough that Mark Sanford is behind in SC: the Republicans there are furious over the gun registration Senate vote.

I had to turn him off.

Marcus on April 23, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Why I never turn him on. Morning Joke is entertainment but they are so delightfully biased you can’t take them seriously. It is like watching lab rats. They go about spouting their stupid leftist ideology completely oblivious to just how stupid they are.

Oh, and as for Sanford. The stalking his ex might have something to do with his poll numbers.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 7:49 AM

OT-

Election in DC today for city council (thanks to yet another criminal having to resign in disgrace). Leading contenders are a white Republican endorsed by the WaPo and a black woman who actually ran on the platform “vote for me because I’m black.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 7:55 AM

They go about spouting their stupid leftist ideology completely oblivious to just how stupid they are.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 7:49 AM

Not just stupidity, I think, but also a serious lack of awareness of the how the Universe works, with a huge dollop if genuine indifference to their fellow man; it’s all about them and their world. I see liberals like the character Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, without his ability to rattle off Physics theories. Otherwise, his narcissism and self-centered arrogance fits liberals to a tee.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Sanford should actually USE Schmoe Scarborough saying his numbers are down because South Carolina Republicans are “furious over the Senate gun registration vote”. He’d come back roaring.

Scarborough is seriously deranged. I think MSNBC is literally paying him by the # of “gun sermons” he gives.

Marcus on April 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Not just stupidity, I think, but also a serious lack of awareness of the how the Universe works

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Given that Mika’s daddy helped Jimmy Carter with foreign affairs and national security, you may have something there.

Happy Nomad on April 23, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Great takes Liam and happy nomad

cmsinaz on April 23, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Axe on April 23, 2013 at 2:28 AM

Friends don’t worry. Cheers!

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

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