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Republicans Use Faisal Shahzad Arrest To Renew Miranda Rights Debate

First Posted: 07/04/10 06:12 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:20 PM ET

With suspected terrorist Faisal Shahzad in custody, the debate over what rights should be given to the Pakistani-American man now facing charges in connection with the attempted Times Square car bombing is already raging.

The day after the arrest of the 30-year-old Shahzad at John F. Kennedy airport in New York on Monday evening, various Republican lawmakers and commentators took to print and the airwaves to whack away at the Obama administration over the issue of whether Shahzad should have been read his Miranda rights.

Last year lawmakers and pundits from all corners of politics weighed in loudly and aggressively about the eventual decision to Mirandize Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man behind the failed Christmas Day airline bombing plot.

The situation is different this time, however, since Shahzad is a naturalized American citizen.

Key GOP lawmakers argued on Tuesday that law enforcement officials should not have read Shahzad his Miranda rights in the interest of maximizing the amount of intelligence that can be received through interrogation. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example, called the reading of the rights a "serious mistake."


Here's a sampling of the GOP responses:

Senators Cornyn And Kyl Credit 'Luck' For Bomber's Cooperation, Question Mirandization
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In a steady stream of indictments, top-ranking officials in the GOP said it didn't matter that the Obama Department of Justice was getting information from Faisal Shahzad, the now-detained the Pakistani-born American. The fact that the administration chose to read Miranda rights to the suspect shows a national security policy steeped in naivety and potentially dangerous.

"That is a stroke of good luck," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said of the news that Shahzad was cooperating even after getting his Miranda rights read to him. "What if he had not waived them and just quit talking, said 'I want my lawyer'?"

"Maybe we got lucky and [Shahzad] said I will go ahead and talk to you anyway," said Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). "But you didn't know that when you read [him] the rights. So I stand by what I said -- it is better in these kinds of cases to get the intelligence first and then, if you decide you want to proceed with an Article 3 prosecution, then read the Miranda rights."

--SAM STEIN

5/4/10
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Filed by Nick Wing  |