The Washington Post reports on some intriguing comments made by AG Eric Holder on the Sunday morning talking head shows regarding the possibility of expanding the interrogation time on the Miranda “public safety exception” in light of the Times Square bomber incident (via Memeorandum):
The Obama administration is considering changes to the laws requiring police to inform suspects of their rights, potentially pursuing an expansion of the “public safety exception” that allows officers to delay issuing Miranda warnings, officials said Sunday.
Attorney General Eric Holder, in his first appearances on Sunday morning news shows as a cabinet secretary, said the Justice Department is examining “whether or not we have the necessary flexibility” to deal with terrorist suspects such as the Pakistani-born U.S. citizen who tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square last weekend.
“We’re now dealing with international terrorism,” Holder said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And if we are going to have a system that is capable of dealing in a public safety context with this new threat, I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public safety exception.”
The announcement marked a potentially significant change by the administration as it tries to manage the politics of national security after repeatedly coming under fire, mainly from conservatives, for being too willing to read Miranda rights to terrorism suspects. The administration is trying to thread a difficult needle: of taking a harder line on terrorism while staying within the confines of the criminal justice system.
Holder and other administration officials said they would be engaging Congress on putting together a proposal for changes to the law, which requires suspects to be told that they have the right to remain silent and that their statements may be used against them in court. They did not provide specifics of possible changes.
Under the current public safety exception, statements obtained before issuing the Miranda warning may be used in court — including to charge suspects — if it is determined that police needed to obtain information quickly to prevent further crimes. Once an immediate threat is ruled out, the Miranda warning must be read, under current law.
The article goes on to say to talk about how, as it stands now, there are limits on how long someone detained and questioned under the public safety exception can be interrogated before his rights are read to him. The admin wants to change that.
If you’re interested in an analysis from a legal persepective, Orin Kerr’s got a lengthy post on the issue here.
While this is welcomed news for those of us long concerned with this administration’s apparent “We hope they don’t succeed” approach to domestic radical Islamic terrorism, at the same time Holder’s comments anger me a little because he’s acting as though the threat of homegrown Islamofascism is a “new” issue. It’s not. The fact that he’s just now acknowledging this and that the administration is just now taking baby steps to try and confront and handle the issue are deeply troubling to those of us who have warned all along that this administration’s liberally idealistic approach to fighting terrorism here in the homeland was not only hopelessly naive but dangerous and deadly as well.
And even though they’re trying to modify stateside interrogation law as it stands now, have they given any indication yet that they are revisiting any and all counterterrorism laws and tactics in order to find out how to prevent the nearly successful acts of homegrown terrorism, like the failed Times Square attack and the Detroit airplane bombing attempt that happened last Christmas? Not really.
The Bush administration’s approach to terrorism post-9/11 was to implement procedures like the Patriot Act that would aid in decreasing the chances of future acts of Islamofascist terrorism on American soil by taking pre-emptive measures against those who would do us harm. Bush, Cheney, and many other members of the previous administration – and their GOP supporters in Congress as well – were routinely demonized by head in sand left wingers (and many in the MSM) for this approach to terrorism routinely, often insinuating that the laws and tactics put into place by the administration were laws not meant to prevent terror attacks on our soil but rather were naked power grabs by an Executive power-hungry administration hell bent on stealing all your rights away rather than protecting those rights and you. In spite of their criticisms, however, we didn’t see rampant abuses as a result of the new domestic strategy and not one radical Islamic terror attack happened on our soil after 9-11. In fact, the only attempt that was almost carried off but was was caught mid-act was Richard Reid’s failed attempt, and that happened only a few months after 9/11 when the administration was still trying to revise and restrategize their counterterrorism policies. Numerous terror plots were broken up under the Bush administration.
On the other hand, the Obama administration’s MSM/Dem-approved approach to “man-caused disasters” has been a dangerous pre-9/11 “wait and see” manage-by-crisis approach, and while they’ve thwarted a few terror plots as they were in the planning stages, many of them were as a result of ongoing investigations that started under the Bush administration. Thus far, they’ve had two attempted terror attacks here* in the US that fortunately for them – and the people who were in harm’s way – failed because of stupidity on the part of the terrorist perps. But what if the perps had been successful? Is that what it will take for this administration – and the Democrats in Congress – to finally wake up and see that their approach to radical Islamic terrorists who are legally in this country plotting against the United States isn’t working? I pray it doesn’t.
*Come to think of it, there have been two successful terror attacks in the US since Obama’s been President: The Ft. Hood terrorist attack, which killed 13 and injured 30 others, and the Little Rock attack that killed one military recruit and injured another.