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Miranda rights

By Jim Killebrew

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[June 20, 2014]  It is interesting the Obama Administration has decided to bring the suspect who is charged in the attack on the American Consulate to America rather than the security prison in GITMO. By doing so the Administration is making a set of assumptions that really has no basis in logic regarding American jurisprudence.

In the midst of a war in a country outside of the United States with an enemy being fought by the United States military, a person who is suspected to be a major player in committing crimes of violence against Americans, such as bombing the Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is considered an enemy combatant. As such, the practice has been to transport that individual to GITMO for interrogation to determine the network of players in the act of terror as well as trying to determine what else is planned in the future by trying to learn when and where. After all, the individual had been running free in Libya for the past two years. It is not a giant leap to consider he might still be involved in planning violence against Americans.

So now the tagged fugitive is on a slow-boat to America. Presumably he is talking on board the USS New York, but when he arrives in America the American Presidential Administration will extend to him the rights of being a citizen of the United States by giving him his Miranda warning and placing him in the judicial system to stand trial in a federal criminal court. Of course this plan will stop all efforts at gaining more information from him.

The Miranda right is a warning that is given by the police in the United States to suspected criminals who are arrested for suspicion of committing a crime. Miranda rights are not given to enemy combatants who have been captured in a zone where terror attacks have been perpetrated against American citizens in an American Consulate to an individual who has been charged as being the ringleader of the attack on the Consulate. The implication is that the individual arrested who is not a citizen of the United States to whom the current Administration is granting rights to him under the Constitution of the United States that guarantee the rights of citizens, not terrorists.

The Constitution guarantees the rights of all United States' citizens of the US to be protected against self-incrimination. The Fifth Amendment protects citizens against being placed in custody and placed in jeopardy by direct questioning regarding the suspected crime without being warned that self-incrimination can and will be used against the individual in the process of court hearings and judgments. Under the law if the law enforcement agency or the military continues to question him without the Miranda rights, all the information collected from him cannot be used in the court of law and the prosecution will have a difficult time in convicting him of the crimes the evidence seems to show him guilty.

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In addition to extending an enemy combatant the right against self-incrimination under the Constitution's Fifth Amendment, the individual is also being extending the citizen's rights under the Sixth Amendment of the rights of counsel. As soon as legal counsel is provided for him his silence regarding giving any further information is sealed. The legal counsel will advise the individual to remain silent by informing him that he does not have to say anything else under his protection of American law normally extended only to U.S. citizens. Even though the questions presently are taking place in international waters prior to his arrival in New York, it is possible any information garnered from him of course may be used to protect against any further attacks he may divulge, it could be denied use in a court in the proceedings to convict him of criminal activity.

The extended, long-term consequences (unintended consequences) might be the beginning of a long line of enemy combatants being brought direct from arrest on the battle field to the American court system with all rights under the Constitution afforded to such combatants. Even if the conviction rate is currently a high percentage, there will come a day when a conviction cannot be obtained. At that point that person would have to be released. Let's hope if the current President is still in office on that day the release will be transport back to his country of origin rather than the streets of some city in America. Given the policy decisions of this Administration, however, that is not a guarantee.

As the American people stand helplessly by and watch this latest episode from this Administration continue to constantly erode the rights from citizen Americans, at least voting citizens should seriously consider the pathways being taken today by the liberal party and vote in November to dismiss those whose policies are weakening America and stop the fundamental change that is occurring.


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