Even though the suspected plotter in the Times Square car-bombing attempt is talking to authorities after being read his Miranda rights, Republicans in the Senate aren't giving the Obama White House any slack.
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."
The critiques are consistent with boarder GOP efforts to chastise the White House for putting devotion to legal principles above national security. But the fact remains that, on several fronts, that argument is inconsistent. For starters, none of the aforementioned senators spoke out against the Bush White House for reading Miranda rights to convicted shoe bomber, Richard Reid.
And DOJ officials say that the administration questioned Shahzad before reading him his Miranda rights -- the exact procedure that Kyl advocated. In the end, if the department wants to build a case against the suspected Times Square bomber, its hands are largely tied when it comes to what it can or cannot do both during interrogation and detainment. The Department of Justice under John Ashcroft understood this too. Which is why they not only read Miranda rights to suspected terrorists but publicly touted the convictions they were able to secure in criminal court settings.