The Obama administration has been criticized by conservatives for providing the failed Times Square bomber his Miranda rights hours after he was taken into custody.
Now even Attorney General Eric Holder is saying regulators should consider allowing a longer delay before American citizens must be read their rights.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If we are going to have a system that is capable of dealing, in a public safety context, with this new threat,Ã¢â‚¬Â Holder said on ABC's This Week Sunday. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public safety exception.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Modifying that exception, Holder said, is Ã¢â‚¬Å“one of the things that I think weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to be reaching out to Congress to do Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to come up with a proposal that is both Constitutional, but that is also relevant to our time and the threat that we now face.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Holder said that the U.S. needs to examine whether the current rules regarding Miranda warnings give law enforcement agents the Ã¢â‚¬Å“necessary flexibilityÃ¢â‚¬Â when dealing with terrorism cases.
The Miranda warning requires law enforcement officials to inform suspects of their rights, including the right to remain silent.
Progressive blogger Marcy Wheeler is not amused, writing this morning on Firedoglake:
The White House press made a bit of a todo over the fact that Eric Holder was finally allowed to go on a Sunday show today (heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s appearing on both ABC and NBC). Given all the somewhat bizarre claims from people like Rahm that Holder botches his public statements, it sort of makes you wonder what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have to agree to before heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be allowed out without a minder.
Last week Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said Americans who target fellow citizens with terrorist violence should be stripped of their US citizenship rights.
"If you're attacking your fellow Americans in an act of war you lose the rights that come with citizenship," Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman told reporters.
On the other hand, Glenn Beck said on Fox News of accused bomber Faisal Shahzad, "He's a citizen of the United States so I say we uphold the law and the Constitution on citizens. He has all of the rights under the Constitution."
So Holder finally gets an appearance on a Sunday morning talk show, and gives the impression his views on security fall somewhere between Joe Lieberman and Glenn Beck.
This video is from ABC's This Week, broadcast May 9, 2010.