The Premature Mirandizing of a Terrorist
Why the Obama administration gives jihadists more rights than their victims -- and the deadly cost we'll pay for it.
(/sites/default/files/uploads/2013/04/Dzhokhar_transcript_pullout.jpg)The last showing of The Longest Day ended at the Paramount Theater before midnight. After the lights had dimmed and the patrons filed out, their minds still filled with the sights and sounds of soldiers fighting and dying at Normandy, the eighteen-year-old girl who had stood behind the concessions counter handing them popcorn and sodas went home.
It was late at night when she began walking home from the bus stop, but crime rates in Phoenix, Arizona were only beginning the upward rise that would take hold in the seventies.
In 1963, the year that Lois Ann Jameson was walking home, there had been 222 rapes. Ten years later, that number would stand at 637. Today there are over 2,000 rapes a year in Phoenix; ten times as many. But one of those rapes would be hers. And it would lead to a new standard of protection for murderers and rapists.
Ernesto Miranda wasn’t famous yet. The days when he would be selling autographed Miranda warning cards were still ahead of him. For now he was only another son of Mexican immigrants, a tattooed felon working temporary jobs and a rapist on the prowl.
Miranda abducted the girl, drove her out to the desert and raped her. He was arrested, questioned and confessed to the crime. The rest should have been straightforward except that no one had told him that he was entitled to a lawyer. The head of the Phoenix office of the ACLU stepped in and the Miranda warning was born.
Miranda v. Arizona was part of a string of decisions by the Warren Court that had begun the year of Lois Ann Jameson’s rape. The decisions invented rights which not only obligated taxpayers to provide accused criminals with lawyers, but also made it impossible to question a suspect without his lawyer.
In the case of Lois Ann’s rapist, Justice Earl Warren, who proved to be a bigger threat to the Constitution than King George III, went beyond inventing the right to a government lawyer, to invent the rapist’s right to be told of a right to a government lawyer.
Warren inverted the Fifth Amendment to claim that the confession of a criminal who had not been told that he did not have to incriminate himself was a violation of the ban on self-incrimination. And he held that it should be assumed that all criminals did not know that they did not have to confess.
Fifty years after a concession stand girl was raped by a career criminal in the desert, terrorist bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. One of the perpetrators, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, lay in his hospital room telling investigators bits and pieces about the attack.
Dzhokhar’s older brother and mother had been on a terrorist watch list, the two brothers had reportedly been planning a second wave of attacks in New York City and the FBI had not ruled out the possibility of a third bomber due to the difficulty involved in detonating the bombs without a clear line of sight.
Even though Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in no shape for a court appearance and investigators still wanted to continue questioning him under the public safety exemption of New York v. Quarles, a Federal judge barged into the hospital room to present the charges against him and read him his rights.
There was no urgent need for a US attorney and a federal judge to rouse a terrorist listed in severe condition and read him rights. Judge Marianne Bowler’s appearance in the hospital was a calculated attempt at aborting the investigation. The only reason she gave for her actions was the intense television coverage of the capture. Bowler, a Clinton appointee, had some experience in the Muslim world and no explanation except that the case needed to move forward because it was on television.
The premature Mirandizing of terrorists had become a routine practice under Attorney General Eric Holder. The Christmas Day bomber was interrogated for less than an hour before being read his Miranda rights. Like Dzhokhar, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was read his rights in the hospital while he was still receiving treatment.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had warned that other terrorist attacks might be on the way before being read his rights. Holder took responsibility for the decision, even though Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair stated that it was a mistake. A few months later, Blair was gone and Holder remained.
That year Faisal Shahzad attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square; an attack that the Tsarnaev brothers reportedly attempted to finish. Once again, Holder made the decision to Mirandize him. Responding to the criticism, Holder promised to seek a new exception to Miranda from Congress, even though he had failed to make full use of the public safety exception already in place.
Three years later, the Boston bombings show that nothing has changed. Holder has tripled down on Miranda even in the face of a major terrorist plot. And Holder’s policy is that of an entire administration which treats terrorism as a crime and grants it the same liberal protections that criminals receive.
Obama could not completely dismantle the law enforcement infrastructure of the War on Terror, but he did his best. The enemy combatant became the unprivileged belligerent. The Bush administration’s use of “enemy combatant” had clearly defined terrorists as members of enemy forces while the Obama administration’s substitution of “unprivileged belligerent” hid their status and nature in vagueness.
Obama did his best to prevent Islamic terrorists from even being labeled “unprivileged belligerents.” Obama and Holder tried to move the trial of 9⁄11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to a civilian court. Only loud protests by New Yorkers forced a change in their plans. When Obama finally authorized the SEALs to go after Osama bin Laden, he did so hoping to capture him and exploit the political boost to take down Guantanamo Bay and the use of military courts against Al Qaeda terrorists.
The SEALs preempted Obama’s effort to save Osama from the military court system, but he did succeed in trying Sulaiman Abu Ghaith in the civilian court system. Abu Gaith was Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law who had served as a spokesman for Al Qaeda and after September 11 had threatened the United States, saying, “The planes will not stop.”
Given the choice between national security and the liberal virtue of giving criminals more rights than their victims, Obama chose the latter over the former. The difference between criminals and terrorists is that a failure to get a confession from a criminal leads to a lost conviction, but a failure to extract intelligence from a terrorist can mean the deaths of hundreds or even thousands.
When the ACLU and the weight of liberal opinion stood behind Lois Ann Jameson’s rapist, they were endangering countless women. The tenfold increase in rapes was largely attributable to the left’s legal and social programs. Now when they stand behind monsters like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, they are opening the door to the Muslim rape of America, to massive acts of terror that could have been stopped and countless dead who could have been saved.
The liberal campaign for murderers and rapists covered their hands in the blood of innocents, but their campaign for terrorists will cover it in the blood of a nation.
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