Miranda Warnings for Terrorists -- Thank Sen. McCain

by Andrew C. McCarthy

Steve Hayes is getting lots of well deserved attention for his report at The Weekly Standard today about how the Obama/Holder Justice Department has quietly instructed the FBI to start giving Miranda warnings to captured alien combatant terrorists — the next logical move in the ongoing effort to move us away from a war approach and return us to the law-enforcement paradigm for dealing with international terrorism.

Obama will obviously be embarrassed by the revelation, especially since, as the Standard’s John McCormack recounts, candidate Obama (and fledgling President Obama) scoffed at the claim by us knuckle-draggers that he wanted foreign terrorists to get Miranda protection upon capture. But once he recovers his footing, I guarantee the president will argue that he is merely bringing government agents operating overseas into compliance with the McCain Amendment (enacted as part of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act).

I hate to say I told you so, but back when we were having this debate, thanks to Senator McCain’s grandstanding on “torture,” I warned that his amendment would lead to the legal claim that American agents — including the military — were now required to give Miranda warnings to captured terrorists outside the U.S. (See, e.g., here, here, here and here (under “The Domestic Agenda”)). Live by demagoguery, die by demagoguery.

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