“Liberal Elite” Washington Post Selling the Right’s Lies About Miranda Rights
There is only one sacred amendment in the world of the Right, apparently, and that’s the 2nd amendment. All those other pesky amendments were meant to be optional, depending on the circumstances. Anyone who is dressed in founding father costumes with tea bags dangling in their face knows this. Doh.
The Washington Post, that “liberal elite” paper, is following in Fox’s footsteps by regurgitating false Miranda information, suggesting that Miranda rights are optional and should not be employed with suspected terrorists, even if said suspect is an American citizen.
Fox News has long advanced the claim that reading Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights compromised the government’s ability to get information. This, of course, was not an issue for Fox when the Bush administration handled suspected terrorists the exact same way. On the May 4th edition of Fox News’ America Live, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr said:
(the) “Christmas bomber “clammed up” after being Mirandized. He further suggested that there “was a sense of cooperation at the beginning,” with Abdulmutallab, but “after the Miranda rights were read, that he clammed up.”
Clammed up indeed. This, of course, is false.
Media Matters reports this morning:
“The Washington Post reported that there was controversy over whether to read the suspected Times Square bomber his Miranda rights after suspected Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab “stopped cooperating with authorities after being read his rights.” In fact, intelligence and law enforcement officials stated that Abdulmutallab cooperated both before and after he was Mirandized, as the Post itself reported previously.”
Gosh, I hate it when those liberal facts get in the way of advancing an authoritarian agenda to scare us into giving away more rights.
“Washington Post: Abdulmutallab was “initially responsive” but “stopped cooperating with authorities after being read his rights.”
Also triggering debate was the decision to read [suspected Times Square bomber Faisal] Shahzad his “Miranda” rights against self-incrimination. The Miranda issue rose to prominence after the Nigerian suspect in the Christmas Day incident, Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, stopped cooperating with authorities after being read his rights. Some Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said Shahzad should not have been afforded that constitutional right “until we find out what it’s all about.”
But administration officials said Shahzad, who, like Abdulmutallab, was initially responsive to questioning under a “public safety exception” to the Miranda rule, continued to cooperate after his rights were read to him. They also pointed out that Shahzad is a U.S. citizen and must be tried in civilian, not military, court.”
Oh, John McCain, that bastion of freedom and liberty who also too thinks we should torture people, thinks American citizens should not be given Miranda rights until “we find out what it’s all about”. Yup. The founding fathers intended for men like McCain to politicize our rights and hold them hostage until the royal, privileged “we” determines what exactly is going on. And while we wait, show us your papers, boy.
Welcome to the Right’s America, where reading Miranda rights compromises intelligence and thus shouldn’t be done (not only a false conclusion, but a false premise) and suspected terrorists shouldn’t be treated as citizens. Yes, we should give up all of our rights in order to fight those who hate us for our freedoms.
The bitter irony never quite leaves your mouth, does it?
This is not just about the authoritarian platform of the Republican Party, but about insinuating that the Democratic President is weak on terror. At every turn, Republicans are inserting into the national dialogue falsehoods about Obama’s administration not keeping America safe. They’re amping this up now especially in light of the economic recovery signs, which do not bode well for them in the 2010 elections.
When they’re not trying to terrorize Americans into voting for them, the Right is trying to terrorize Americans into giving away all of their freedoms. We remember the falsely elevated terror alert levels during the Bush administration – especially right before elections. And now we’re being treated to a constant barrage of lies about how best to deal with terrorism. Politicizing terror is what the Republican Party does best. They know how to use it and it has been their weapon of mass deception since 9/11. Nothing advances an authoritarian agenda more than a terrified constituency.
The truth is the Obama administration has dealt more successfully with suspected terrorists than the Bush administration. Furthermore, Obama has yet to ignore intel for months and allow terrorists to attack this country and kill 4000 people. This is a fact the Right does not want Americans to remember, hence their Big Lie, “Bush kept America safe.”
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.