• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Mukasey Ends Obama's Miranda Misinformation

    Homeland Security Adviser John Brennan (l) and Attorney General Eric Holder (r)

    The Obama administration has been excoriated by Democrats, Republicans, and the media for their myopic, irresponsible, potentially dangerous, and amateur handling of Failed Flight 253 Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Refusing to acknowledge the reality of their failure, the Obama administration has instead chosen to make a series of fantastic claims that have no basis in reality.

    In a letter dated February 3, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder writes:  “Across many Administrations, both before and after 9/11, the consistent, well-known, lawful, and publicly-stated policy of the FBI has been to provide Miranda warnings prior to any custodial interrogation conducted inside the United States. The FBI’s current Miranda policy, adopted during the prior Administration, provides explicitly that ‘[w]ithin the United States, Miranda warnings are required to be given prior to custodial interviews . . . .’”

    The Obama administration repeated this claim in a USA Today op-ed by Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan who claimed: “The most important breakthrough occurred after Abdulmutallab was read his rights, a long-standing FBI policy that was reaffirmed under Michael Mukasey, President Bush’s attorney general.”

    As former Attorney General Mukasey details in today’s Washington Post these claims are false:

    Contrary to what the White House homeland security adviser and the attorney general have suggested, if not said outright, not only was there no authority or policy in place under the Bush administration requiring that all those detained in the United States be treated as criminal defendants, but relevant authority was and is the opposite. The Supreme Court held in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld that “indefinite detention for the purpose of interrogation is not authorized” but also said in the same case that detention for the purpose of neutralizing an unlawful enemy combatant is permissible and that the only right of such a combatant — even if he is a citizen, and Abdulmutallab is not — is to challenge his classification as such a combatant in a habeas corpus proceeding. This does not include the right to remain silent or the right to a lawyer, but only such legal assistance as may be necessary to file a habeas corpus petition within a reasonable time. That was the basis for my ruling in Padilla v. Rumsfeld that, as a convenience to the court and not for any constitutionally based reason, he had to consult with a lawyer for the limited purpose of filing a habeas petition, but that interrogation need not stop.

    Stuart Taylor of National Journal has also reviewed the facts and law and concludes in an article title More Miranda Idiocy:

    Reasonable people disagree about how much coercion interrogators should use to extract potentially lifesaving information from terrorists. (None at all, President Obama unwisely ordered soon after taking office.)

    But no reasonable person could doubt that starting out with “you have the right to remain silent” is not the way to save lives.

    Yet this is essentially the policy into which the Obama administration has locked itself by insisting that it did the right thing when it read Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas Day bomber, his Miranda rights after only 50 minutes of questioning and a hospital visit.

    Holder claimed in a February 3 letter to Senate Republicans that it is “far from clear” that the government has the legal authority to hold a suspected enemy combatant captured in the United States without access to an attorney. He said that Mukasey, in his previous role as a U.S. District judge, had ruled that a detainee named Jose Padilla “must be allowed to meet with his lawyer,” and that a federal Appeals Court in New York had later found the military detention of Padilla to be unlawful.

    Holder misleadingly omitted critical facts. First, Padilla was a U.S. citizen. Second, Mukasey’s ruling did not involve Padilla’s initial interrogation but rather his right — after more than eight months in military detention — to have a lawyer’s help in petitioning for release. Third, the Supreme Court reversed the Appeals Court ruling for Padilla on jurisdictional grounds in 2004. Fourth, the justices held the same day, in the case of Yaser Esam Hamdi, that a U.S. citizen captured abroad and linked to “forces hostile to the United States” can be held in this country without charges as an enemy combatant. Fifth, another federal Appeals Court, in Richmond, Va., later upheld the military detention of Padilla in the U.S. and also (as Holder noted in passing) of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a suspected Al Qaeda agent from Qatar who was arrested in Peoria, Ill.

    The votes in these cases were close, and it’s fair to say that the law on long-term military detention of suspected enemy combatants captured in the United States is not settled. But the weight of legal precedent is that the Obama administration had ample authority to subject Abdulmutallab to days or even weeks of incommunicado interrogation. It chose to Mirandize him instead.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Mukasey Ends Obama's Miranda Misinformation

    1. Ron Derry NH says:

      Come on now will you let them blame Bush..it is after all….all they have.

      The myopic visioned liberals have allowed lies to prosper as they reiterate Bush did it as easily as a child would blame the boogie man, and apparently places like the view it is still popular, so it is no stretch for the disciples of propaganda to keep up the good effort..

      This administration has a very difficult time using reality or the truth for anything but warping reality. When they state that something is fact based it is absolutely necessary not to believe a word they are saying and go , humorously off to the fact checking only to prove once again they are wasting everyone time and are truthfully incompetent.

      Their Alma Marta's should be ashamed, but I suspect shame went out with decency as that was always an attribute of conservatism, and GOD forbid we have values that mean anything anymore.

      At what point do you think all respectability for the "Circus comes to the White house" will start to destroy our faith in the clown squad?? This is no joke these imitators can't speak the truth which means they ignore the facts which means they are not reacting to REALITY…..we are in trouble….and NOT little what is the definition of "is" trouble either.

    2. SB Owner Springfield says:

      The first priority of a president is to see that America(ans) is safe. Can any Harvard egg head please tell me why I don't feel safer with Obama/Holder walking point?

      Everything this administration does is from the Alinsky rule book, or ideologically left realm of thought. Obama does for national security what he has done for the economy. You can't fix something you have no experience at; corpse-man!

    3. Lloyd Welch Valdese, says:

      Only American citizens have rights under the Constitution. The fruit of kaboom bombers forefathers did not bleed and die to secure his Fifth Amendment rights. He does not even have rights under The Geneva Convention because no terrorist organization has to date signed the Geneva Convention. He does not have the right to due process, an attorney provided for him or otherwise, speedy trial, against cruel and inhumane treatment or punishment. No rights what so ever. Having said that should we treat him humanely, yes; should he be allowed an attorney at his own expense, yes.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.