The Senate voted to allow al-Qaida terrorists arrested in the U.S. and who are U.S. citizens to be held first by the military as opposed to reading them their Miranda rights and immediately sending them through criminal courts. It also allows indefinite detention and I do find that troublesome.
Putting terrorists on trial in criminal courts and failing to interrogate them was the impetus for this vote. This is an effort to resolve the problem of what to do about al-Qaida operatives caught far from traditional battlefields.
One frustrated Senator pointed out the disparity between dropping drones on them in foreign countries, but reading them Miranda rights in the United States.
The reality is that we can’t keep dismantling our interrogation possibilities merely because the terrorists were captured in the U.S. or are citizens like Al-Awlaki. The cost down the road will be too high.
Some of the homegrown terrorists are going for citizenship or breeding terrorists in an effort to escape justice and avoid interrogation techniques which might reveal other vital information.
Obama has said he will veto it if it “challenges or constrains the president’s critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation.” An official on Tuesday said that threat still stands.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “We’re no longer going to have an absurd result that if we capture you overseas where you’re planning an attack on the United States, we can blow you up or put you in a military prison indefinitely, but if you make it to America, all of a sudden you get Miranda rights and you go to federal court.” Senator Graham, a South Carolina Republican, has fought the Bush and Obama administrations on treatment of suspected terrorist detainees.
Sixteen Democrats and one Independent joined 44 Republicans in this vote. Read here: Washington Times