Thursday, May 6, 2010

Miranda

Holder is out swinging this week.

Appearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Holder confirmed that the suspected Time Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was providing useful information to interrogators despite being read his Miranda rights early in the interrogation.

"It did not" deter our investigation, Holder said of the reading of Miranda rights to Shahzad. "As we have seen in prior investigations, the giving of Miranda warnings has not deterred people from talking to us and Mr. Shahzad is, in fact, continuing to cooperate with us."

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who chairs the Senate Justice Committee, pressed Holder to respond to predominantly Republican critics, who insist that by reading Shahzad his Miranda warnings, interrogators have granted him special privileges and invited him to clam up.

"It is not conferring a right on somebody or giving them -- treating them in a special way," Holder said. "It is allowing us to make sure statements they give to us will be admissible in court." The Attorney General then went through a list of terrorist suspects who were given the Miranda warnings "and still ultimately decided to speak with the government."

Holder's strongest pushback, however, came against those critics who have urged him to abandon efforts to try terrorist suspects in criminal courts instead of military tribunals.

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