Patterico's Pontifications

5/4/2010

Mirandizing the Car Bomber

Filed under: Crime,Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 4:33 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Time’s Swampland reports New York City car bomber Faisal Shahzad was questioned before being given his Miranda warnings under the Public Safety Exception to Miranda:

“At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Attorney General Eric Holder, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly updated reporters on the ongoing investigation into the attempted bombing in Times Square.

They said the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, was interviewed by the FBI under the Public Safety Exception rule before being read his rights. Pistole said Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen, cooperated with investigators both before and after being Mirandized, and Holder said the interviews provided “useful information.” Pistole declined to say how long Shahzad was questioned before he was read Miranda rights.

From the 1984 Supreme Court ruling on New York v. Quarles:

The doctrinal underpinnings of Miranda do not require that it be applied in all its rigor to a situation in which police officers ask questions reasonably prompted by a concern for the public safety.”

Swampland’s brief summary of the Quarles exception to the Miranda warning requirement is hard to argue with — obviously terrorism like leaving a car bomb in a public place is a matter of public safety. But what were the facts in Quarles and what did the Court hold? Let’s start with the facts:

“On September 11, 1980, at approximately 12:30 a. m., Officer Frank Kraft and Officer Sal Scarring were on road patrol in Queens, N.Y. when a young woman approached their car. She told them that she had just been raped by a black male, approximately six feet tall, who was wearing a black jacket with the name “Big Ben” printed in yellow letters on the back. She told the officers that the man had just entered an A & P supermarket located nearby, and that the man was carrying a gun.

The officers drove the woman to the supermarket, and Officer Kraft entered the store while Officer Scarring radioed for assistance. Officer Kraft quickly spotted respondent, who matched the description given by the woman, approaching a checkout counter. Apparently upon seeing the officer, respondent turned and ran toward the rear of the store, and Officer Kraft pursued him with a drawn gun. When respondent turned the corner at the end of an aisle, Officer Kraft lost sight of him for several seconds, and upon regaining sight of respondent, ordered him to stop and put his hands over his head.

Although more than three other officers had arrived on the scene by that time, Officer Kraft was the first to reach respondent. He frisked him and discovered that he was wearing a shoulder holster which was then empty. After handcuffing him, Officer Kraft asked him where the gun was. Respondent nodded in the direction of some empty cartons and responded, “the gun is over there.” Officer Kraft thereafter retrieved a loaded .38-caliber revolver from one of the cartons, formally placed respondent under arrest, and read him his Miranda rights from a printed card.”

The Supreme Court held that the detainee’s answer to where his gun was, as well as the existence and location of the gun, were admissible even though he was in police custody when he made his statements and he had not been given any Miranda warnings. Instead, the Court introduced a narrow “public safety” exception to the Miranda warning requirement that allowed the suspect’s pre-Miranda warning answers to nevertheless be admissible in court.

Similarly, in U.S. vs King, a 2006 case that cited Quarles, the Third Circuit allowed incriminating statements made by a suspect who had not been given his Miranda warnings because “the primary object of [the] questions was to obtain safety information from Defendant before law enforcement personnel entered the potentially dangerous clandestine methamphetamine laboratory [and the] questions asked Defendant were consistent with this goal.”

What these cases have in common is the imminent nature of the threat. Was there an imminent threat in the Shahzad case? After all, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially described this as a lone wolf event, and 53 hours had elapsed from the time the bomb was discovered until Shahzad was detained. Is 53 hours still imminent?

I submit there was not an imminent threat and the Obama Administration is treating the fact that Shahzad may be an affiliate or follower of a terror group — and further that the group may have future terror plans — as an imminent threat that meets the Miranda Public Safety Exception. However much sense that makes, I’m not sure it’s the law.

Which leaves us with a suspect that has been detained and questioned without being given his Miranda rights. Generally, absent a court-approved exception, law enforcement agents can question a suspect provided they don’t use the resulting statements or evidence in court (unless the evidence can be acquired independently). Hopefully it won’t matter in Shahzad’s case or in the underwear bombers case, but someday it may. Still, it’s interesting that Attorney General Eric Holder has apparently used Shahzad’s non-Mirandized statements to condemn him in the court of public opinion, even though we don’t know whether the statements can be used in court:

“[Shahzad] has been and continues to be questioned by federal agents. As a result of those communications, Shahzad has provided useful information to authorities,” said [Attorney General Eric] Holder.

When asked if Shahzad had confessed to participating in the attack, Holder said, “He has, he has done that.”

I wonder if the Obama Administration and Attorney General Holder are using Quarles to convert a narrow Public Safety Exception to Miranda law into a more expansive Terrorism Exception? Maybe the courts will agree. Perhaps Obama and Holder could ask Justice Stevens — now that he’s retiring and won’t hear any future cases — but I doubt they will. Stevens dissented in Quarles.

— DRJ

110 Responses to “Mirandizing the Car Bomber”

  1. Odd coincidence file: The crime in Quarles happened on September 11.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  2. Hello, Oliver Stone……

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  3. Obama just didn’t have a Executive Assassination Order Form handy Sunday evening, so they questioned Faisal un-Mirandized instead – as the next best thing to killing him. Henceforth to be known as the missing EAOF exception.

    in_awe (44fed5)

  4. As Hugh Hewitt pointed out this afternoon, there is no constitutional requirement that anyone be Mirandized. He’s correct.

    This is a case that can easily be proven without the first words coming from the lips of this piece of trash.

    Ed from SFV (f0e1cb)

  5. Anyone certain that Eric Holder passed the bar?

    If I was looking for a lawyer and heard and saw someone acting like Holder, I would decline to hire him without any second thoughts.

    I pretty sure that I could fill the position of Attorney General better than he has so far.

    I guess it makes sense, when you look at who brought him into the Cabinet.

    jakee308 (a38882)

  6. Ed from SFV,

    Holder continues to push the civilian court system as the way to try terrorists, but there are clearly more restrictive rules on civilian courts than military tribunals. In addition, not every case will be easy to prove. What if there’s a problem with the evidence that’s not apparent now?

    The reason law enforcement adheres to the Miranda rules is because the evidence is often needed and/or it makes it prevents the defense from claiming evidence is tainted by a Miranda-less interrogation.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  7. jakee308, actually it gets better. Use Google and look up Eric Holder and Marc Rich pardon.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. DRJ – the easy cure is for a government with stones to insist that an act of treason puts the actor in a special “combatant” class and is therefore subject to military justice and is not afforded rights in U.S. criminal courts. Hewitt pointed out that SCOTUS has never been pushed to formally declare on this point.

    What I find preposterous is that someone who is otherwise eligible for instant killing by the state (non-uniformed spy/saboteur), even under Geneva, would then be handed the full panoply of civil protections. I suspect that SCOTUS could be made to see this absurdity and rule accordingly.

    As a practical matter, if criminal courts it must be, assuming that evidence is not readily available, of course Mirandizing a suspect is sensical. But I would bet a lot that by the time we have got around to pursuing these tools, we have a boat load of surveillance and other evidence that would lead to easy convictions. This is certainly true of this particular piece of human detritus.

    Ed from SFV (f0e1cb)

  9. I watched MSNBC tonight, and remarkably, they devoted the vast majority of time to bashing Republicans.

    JD (150c8d)

  10. DRJ — I haven’t looked at this issue recently, but my recollection is that Courts have been reluctant to impose a temporal element on the Public Safety Exception. Most courts that have addressed the issue fall back on whether it was “reasonable” for the officer to be concerned about an ongoing threat to public safety at the time of the arrest. There is a recent DC Cir. case involving the arrest of a murder suspect 6 weeks after the murder, but under circumstances where he was known to usually be armed with a firearm. THe Court there found it was reasonable to question him about the location of the murder weapon.

    Here you have someone who had assembled a bomb within approximately 48 hours of his arrest. Whether he was assisted by others, whether there were other bombs, or whether there was other bomb making materials, are all legitimate inquiries in the interests of public safety, and not just in the interest of gathering inculpatory information.

    The subjective motives of the officers in asking the questions is not relevant, only whether it was objectively reasonable under the circumstances to ask such questions in the interests of public safety.

    But, the point about not needing a confession only underscores the idiocy of having Mirandized the underwear bomber. That guy had the evidence strapped to his legs, and the burns were evidence of the crime. They didn’t need an admissible confession from him, so Mirandizing him in order to get admissible post-arrest statements was simply following routine without thinking — which is exactly how what those agents did has been described to me. They have it drilled into their brains to Mirandize everyone they arrest — even when it is unnecessary and counterproductive.

    shipwreckedcrew (227d8b)

  11. The FBI was “Mirandizing” suspects forty years before Miranda.

    nk (db4a41)

  12. shipwreckedcrew,

    I hope there isn’t a time element and I’ve read that the subjective intent of the officer isn’t relevant. Given all that, it makes for a much more vague rule, don’t you think?

    My guess is police and prosecutors default to the Miranda rule because it’s easier — that’s apparently what happened in the underwear bomber case, and then he shut up. Ultimately LEOs may start refusing to Mirandize terror cases so they can continue questioning, and while I don’t disagree with that decision — it’s probably safer and better in the long run — it makes Miranda a sieve and a mockery of the rule.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  13. Also, shipwreckedcrew, we don’t really know what they asked him before Mirandizing him. Maybe it was limited to ongoing conspiracies and existing threats. Maybe not.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  14. “An officer must only read you the Miranda Warning if he or she plans on using your answers as evidence at a trial.”
    source:
    http://www.mirandawarning.org/mirandawarningfaq.html

    They’ve got this guy cold and don’t need his testimony to convict (civilian or not). Hasan and undiebomber were also clearly guilty, no verbal evidence from the terrorist required.

    They want Shahzad’s answers to reduce terrorism.

    fit2post (874f5c)

  15. Wow. I learned a lot from this post, DRJ. I appreciate the effort you put into it.

    I don’t think it’s the actual warning that makes a huge difference. It might just be noise that signifies when someone is arrested, thanks to our pop culture. The problem is when the defense attorney shuts down the interrogation, in my view.

    My real problem these days is that there’s no clarity on what processes are in place for these cases. Law enforcement or military tribunal or whatever. Because of the murkiness, it looks like a political game that Obama and Holder are totally winging.

    It’s strange that we had so much speculation over whether or not or when this man would get his warnings and representation. Mccain is spitting out something incoherent, which I find particularly scary, because I can easily see he and Obama ‘compromising’ on our constitution in novel ways.

    I think we need to just accept that we’re going to be needing a different sort of interrogation and judicial process for international terrorists. I’m less concerned with what shape that takes than I am over the fact that we need a concrete system that can’t be played with the way KSM’s trial is (for example).

    What we have right now is sloppy and I don’t trust it for a second.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. fit2post,

    The only reason you can be sure of Shahzad’s guilt is because he reportedly confessed. While there probably is more proof of his guilt, you and I haven’t seen the evidence. All we have is media reports.

    And if the only issue is getting evidence to prevent more terrorism, why treat this as a criminal matter at all? Why not treat it as a military or intelligence matter?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  17. What these cases have in common is the imminent nature of the threat.

    A gun in an empty carton is some kind of imminent threat?

    jeff (6e2abb)

  18. Jeff – the issue is threat to public safety. A discarded guy can be found by anyone and constitute a threat to others. It doesn’t have to be the defendant who is a threat.

    [NOTE by DRJ: I think shipwreckedcrew meant to say “A discarded gun …”]

    shipwreckedcrew (436eab)

  19. Jeff: a gun in an unknown location is a potential threat. The police knew only that the gun was not in the holster, and not in the suspect’s hands. It might have been concealed in his clothing, or somewhere withing grabbing distance.

    Rich Rostrom (7a3582)

  20. Shahzad’s guilt: I understand there is sufficient evidence (fingerprints on the propane tanks, etc.), thus the confession is not necessary.
    It is not a military issue as he is a U.S. citizen and not a foreign combatant or American serviceman. It is certainly an intelligence matter.

    fit2post (874f5c)

  21. “I watched MSNBC tonight, and remarkably, they devoted the vast majority of time to bashing Republicans.”

    JD – IOW, regularly scheduled programming.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  22. Further, let’s stipulate, for a moment, that any conversation with Shahzad is to gather intelligence and not to incriminate the ‘suspect’ – let’s say that there is sufficient evidence to convict and no testimony is required, other than to track associates, counter terrorist plots and protect America. In that case there is no requirement to Mirandize, for the “grounds that one may incriminate oneself” is moot, and answers obtained may reduce the threats to our nation. Shahzad may choose to remain silent and request an attorney, as is his right, but the state need not inform him of this right as the state is not seeking to incriminate him, nor will his testimony be used in court.

    fit2post (874f5c)

  23. Also, Holder is a fool:
    When asked if Shahzad had confessed to participating in the attack, Holder said, “He has, he has done that.”

    fit2post (874f5c)

  24. It is not a military issue as he is a U.S. citizen and not a foreign combatant or American serviceman.

    An American citizen who commits treason as a spy/saboteur does not enjoy an exception to the laws of war, nor of Geneva Conventions. Said actor is subject to immediate and summary execution.

    Ed from SFV (f0e1cb)

  25. fit2post,

    I understand your perspective but I’m not convinced the government can consistently and effectively implement a Miranda-on, Miranda-off system.

    For instance, reports suggest law enforcement Mirandized the underwear bomber early in the process and he stopped talking. Perhaps they learned from that — or perhaps the NYPD and NY FBI are simply better prepared, because there’s no indication they have given Shahzad any Miranda warnings — but how long do they proceed without warnings? Is there a rule for law enforcement to follow or is this a case-by-case decision? What if you detain a person involved in a terrorist enterprise but the officers don’t realize it? And what if the evidence of guilt isn’t conclusive?

    IMO the judgment calls will be very difficult. Further, no matter how great the evidence looks at first, time almost always casts some doubt on it.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  26. Also, fit2post, I just want to note I included that Holder quote in the post.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  27. An American citizen who commits treason as a spy/saboteur does not enjoy an exception to the laws of war, nor of Geneva Conventions. Said actor is subject to immediate and summary execution.

    well, call me broad minded, but i can see a place for a speedy trial in the equation……and then the rope. 😀

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  28. DRJ — I disagree on the Miranda-On, Miranda-Off as you put it.

    I think the Gov’t is far to quick to Mirandize subjects before knowing 1) whether its necessary or legally required, and 2) whether it is counter-productive.

    The 5th Amendment doesn’t afford one the right to remain silent — that is a shorthand we have adopted. The 5th Amendment protects you from being compelled to be a witness against yourself. It’s the use of compelled statements that is prohibited. Supreme Court case law says statements taken while in custody are presumptively involuntary because of the compulsory nature of the setting.

    The way to overcome the presumption is through the use of the prophylactic mechanism of advising someone of their rights, and then asking them to waive those rights, affirming that the statement they are giving is voluntary.

    So, Mirandizing someone is the prophylactic — it is not the Constitutional right. The right is to not be compelled to be a witness against yourself.

    If law enforcement has no interest in using the statement in a later court proceeding against the defendant, there is no reason to engage in the prophylactic exercise to establish knowing voluntariness.

    shipwreckedcrew (436eab)

  29. One of the reasons Miranda came down the way it did was that the FBI and other jurisdictions were already giving the warnings as part of their protocols for the treatment of prisoners even when “coerced” confessions were not excluded. So there is more than the dynamic of evidence gathering versus information gathering at play with law enforcement agencies who have adopted and tested standards and procedures for the way they do business.

    nk (db4a41)

  30. One of these car bombs is going to go off and that will make a lot of these speculations moot. The reaction to such an event is going to be unpredictable after a couple of years of fumbling by this crew. I shudder to think how dangerous it is for these people to treat these slowly escalating events the way they do, basically as a political problem. Everything to these guys is political unless making a few millions is involved.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  31. They have a learning curve of zero, and one of these days, we’ll get someone who didn’t fall asleep in bombmaking class, which seems to be their version of shop

    ian cormac (865b4a)

  32. 24, 27

    Shahzad wasn’t encountered on the battlefield, he was arrested attempting to fly out of the country. So a trial is necessary.

    I’d like to see him charged and tried as a traitor, I think “progressives” need to be introduced to the concept, and I believe Shahzad qualifies.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  33. I am not trying to be difficult, but I am just not understanding DRJ’s characterization of the missing gun case as an imminent threat. Was this language used in the proceedings?

    The suspect was handcuffed and the officer did not find the gun on him. It seems a stretch to say there was an imminent threat.

    The followup indicates the case focused on a “public safety” issue, i.e., presumably an unsecured weapon in public and the potential threat that someone might find it and discharge it.

    jeff (31e059)

  34. How can you be suprised by anything AG Holder says after he assured everyone on a nationally televised program that KSM would be executed as a result of his civilian trial?

    PRM (310ebf)

  35. jeff:

    The suspect was handcuffed and the officer did not find the gun on him. It seems a stretch to say there was an imminent threat.

    Many commentators have agreed with you, claiming that the proper police procedure in the Quarles incident would have been to detain and Mirandize the suspect, and then to secure the grocery store and search for the gun. The Court apparently rejected that approach, holding that the gun presented a public safety threat that allowed the police officer to question the suspect immediately. For example, grocery store employees or patrons might find the gun before it can be located, thus endangering the public.

    It seems to me that if you don’t assume the gun presents an imminent threat of harm, there’s no reasonable basis for the Court’s decision.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  36. On the other hand, it could be the Court’s majority wanted to find a way to excuse the police officer’s good faith behavior and/or rein in Miranda, and we shouldn’t try to reconcile this decision with existing criminal case law.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  37. “Shahzad wasn’t encountered on the battlefield, he was arrested attempting to fly out of the country…”
    Comment by LarryD — 5/5/2010 @ 7:05 am

    The “country” is the battlefield!

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b0773)

  38. let’s try anti-abortion terrorists as military combatants, and not read them Miranda rights, either. Who cares if they are citizens, right? They are as much terrorists as any others. It is a dangerous, slippery slope to start treating citizens as not being citizens for whatever reason.

    Chris Hooten (f3fad1)

  39. shipwreckedcrew:

    I think the Gov’t is far to quick to Mirandize subjects before knowing 1) whether its necessary or legally required, and 2) whether it is counter-productive.

    That may be, but isn’t that in part because it’s hard to have enough facts on hand to make an informed decision?

    I realize people don’t have a right to be Mirandized. I’m thinking of it in terms of what works best for the police.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  40. Larry D

    In case you missed it terrorism is war, he was an unlawful combatant. and until very recently no one even pretended he had rights.

    I suppose you think the correct response to the civil war would have been to arrest the confederates?

    On the other hand, to be fair, that isn’t much dumber than the way we did fight war back then.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  41. #

    let’s try anti-abortion terrorists as military combatants, and not read them Miranda rights, either. Who cares if they are citizens, right? They are as much terrorists as any others.

    Do you really hate us so much that you think we wouldn’t be happy to see anti abortion killers treated like the terrorists they are?

    Anyway, this kind of behavior is incredibly rare. It’s like once a decade or so. Leftists get violent so much more often, and yet you don’t see people pretending you agree with radical leftist Joe Stack or anti-war democrat Faisal Shahzad.

    You would complain that you were being oppressed if we asserted you don’t want those terrorists dealt with like terrorists, so why not give us the same respect?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  42. Hate you? What? which “leftists” have gone violent? Where do you even get that kind of information from? I am guessing that you are really stretching the word, “leftist.” When did I claim “oppression? The first day I posted here, there was a slew of technical issues, and I complained about them at another blog. I never claimed oppression or anything like it. You guys make stuff up here. Someone says something, and you guys read so much into it, you claim they say things they haven’t even said, or claim that that they feel or think a certain way that they definitely have not said, based on a some specious association with some other person they remind you of, or some stereotype of what you believe “liberals” think and do. I have never even said I am a liberal. I said that I was not a liberal, and did not have progressive blinders on, and someone took that as me saying I was not liberal, but progressive. What kind of a parsing of that sentence gives you that idea? That doesn’t make any sense at all, but was based on the assumption that I was indeed a liberal/progressive. Whatever. Just listen to what people say, and don’t put words in their mouths. If they want to say the asinine things that you claim that they believe and say, then let them say it. This is not just aimed at Dustin, either, so please don’t take this personally, Dustin, it seems most of the posters here are guilty of it.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  43. Chris Hooten:

    The first day I posted here, there was a slew of technical issues, and I complained about them at another blog.

    That makes sense to you? Do you also complain to Target when you have problems at Wal-Mart?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  44. “…which “leftists” have gone violent…”

    Been to a WTO meeting lately?

    AD - RtR/OS! (59c61c)

  45. Emily Bazelon says Miranda worked:

    Miranda worked! Law enforcement officials can invoke a public safety exception and delay reading a suspect his rights to get information that would save lives. In Shahzad’s case, the FBI invoked the public safety exception. The agency called in its crack interrogation team, asked Shahzad questions with no Miranda warning, and reaped what the FBI says was “valuable intelligence and evidence.” Then Shahzad was read his rights. And lo and behold, he waived them and kept talking.

    Of course he did. Does he really understand the difference between pre-Miranda statements and post-Miranda statements in this situation? Would most people?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  46. It is a dangerous, slippery slope to start treating citizens as not being citizens for whatever reason.

    Chris, you do know that the precedent was already set by Franklin Roosevelt, don’t you?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  47. No, I did not know that, SPQR.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  48. DRJ: I made ONE comment that said that all my posts were being eaten by an overactive spam filter, and had to be fished out. Who cares? Sheesh. Make something out of nothing, be my guest.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  49. You see, Chris, that’s what is so infuriating about the indignation so many people express on the topic. Ignorance of the history of how unlawful combatants have been dealt with both internationally and in the US. Pirates were executed when captured, combatants who violated the laws of warfare ( francs-tireurs, partisans out of uniform etc. ) were shot at capture.

    And Franklin Roosevelt tried in a military court a US citizen who was landed on the US coast by U-Boat and was picked up by the FBI in Chicago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  50. What is so awful about trying these terrorists as the criminals that they are? Why do we need “special” trials just for them? We already have laws pertaining to those sorts of things. Why can’t we convict them on that? This is a serious question. Why is terrorism a “special” crime that it warrants a completely different legal system to deal with it?

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  51. It is not a serious question, Chris. It is an ignorant one.

    The reason that terrorism today is different from ordinary crime is that terrorists are waging war, not stealing TV’s to buy a bag of dope.

    Terrorists are operating as a group, with organized training and support networks. We don’t treat them as a street mugger because if we do, then we allow them to shelter behind our civil criminal procedure. We allow what are organized state-less armies to wage war on our citizens.

    And given the ability of terrorists today to kill many thousands of people just as a baseline, any sane person would recognize the stupidity.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  52. You mean like violating the laws of war, like waterboarding (torturing) detainees, SPQR?

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  53. Meanwhile, Chris, you prance around with fatuous statements like “dangerous slippery slope”, when a Democratic President already denied a US citizen, Herbert Haupt, the right to trial in a civilian court – instead executing him just days after conviction in a military tribunal. A US citizen arrested in the US itself.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. Sounds like a gang or mafia. How are they different from that? What does Patterico think about trying gangs in military courts? They could be considered a form of organized terrorists, after all.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  55. Also, very few terrorists have successfully killed
    (or even attempted to kill) “thousands” of people just as a baseline in one event.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  56. No, Chris, it isn’t like a gang or a mafia. That’s just more fatuous nonsense.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. And that reminds me of your ignorance, Chris. Did you know that in Italy, in response to the violence of the Mafia, Italian authorities adopted measures that included such severe restrictions on mafia prisoners that it was ruled “torture” ?

    Just another example of how that word has been corrupted out of its meaning.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. SPQR said:

    “Terrorists are operating as a group, with organized training and support networks. We don’t treat them as a street mugger because if we do, then we allow them to shelter behind our civil criminal procedure. We allow what are organized state-less armies to wage war on our citizens.”

    How is this different than a mafia or a gang? How much “terror” do they have to produce to be considered a “terrorist?”

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  59. You don’t know the difference between Al Queda and the mafia or a gang, Chris? That’s nonsense, you are just proving that you are a troll.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. Hooten, I don’t respond to emails that promise that Luciano Pavarotti left me millions in his will and I don’t buy into the nonsense that you actually believe any of this twaddle you peddle here.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  61. I am serious. How is Al-Qaeda NOT an armed gang of religiously radical thugs? And why was Timothy McVeigh tried (and convicted) in our normal legal system?

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  62. Why is terrorism a “special” crime that it warrants a completely different legal system to deal with it?
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/6/2010 @ 1:17 pm

    Because these acts are not only crimes, they are acts of asymmetrical/guerrilla war, so it’s not as clear-cut as you try to make it sound. I disagree that waterboarding is torture, which was used on a grand total of three unlawful combatants. What is your learned opinion on beheading enemies?

    Also, I explained to you several times what was happening and you made more than one comment complaining about things here that ignored that explanation. You later implied that I lied about that explanation. You can’t help playing the victim, but I don’t need to feed you. Just don’t try to revise your history here in order to feed yourself… it doesn’t work.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  63. I withdraw the question about beheading. I’m not really interested in anything you have to say.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  64. Chris Hooten:

    Sheesh. Make something out of nothing, be my guest.

    Okay, then why did you bring it up?

    Also, very few terrorists have successfully killed (or even attempted to kill) “thousands” of people just as a baseline in one event.

    NY Police Chief Raymond Kelly announced Monday that his office has stopped 11 major terrorists attack on New York City alone, and there have been countless other attempted and actual attacks across the nation. Surely you don’t think they all have to succeed like 9/11 to be dangerous.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  65. Because Timothy McVeigh was an independant actor, not connected to overseas groups or governments at war with the United States of America. Hauptman, on the other hand, was working for and deployed by an enemy of the United States.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  66. Even Hooten’s stupid mafia analogy breaks down on him, because by the silly standards he uses for the word “torture”, the Italians tortured mafia prisoners to gain cooperation in their efforts to break the mafia’s hold in Italy and Sicily.

    You simply are not a serious person, Hooten.

    If you really think you are, then you have real problems.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  67. Chris needs to reflect on how many people died on 9/11/01, at the hands of a small number of terrorists in service to a foreign enemy of the United States.
    But, being Chris, he won’t, but he will continue his usual blather that we can all comfortably ignore, for it brings nothing new to the conversation,
    and just illustrates his irrelevance to the world around him.
    You’re doing a ‘ell of a job, Chrissie.

    AD - RtR/OS! (59c61c)

  68. SPQR:
    I don’t see where I implied that you were lying in the link you gave. You are reading into the comments. Sometimes I think people don’t read here very well, because they read things that just aren’t there, or even hinted at. Whatever. I seriously feel that our normal legal system is sufficient, and we don’t need special military trials or anything. I have not seen an good argument of why we need them.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  69. not SPQR, SORRY… Stashiu3 is what I meant, of course.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  70. AD: Now you are going to scream 9/11! and traitor at me, right? How arrogant you are to speak for me and my feelings about 9/11. NOT COOL.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  71. If you haven’t seen a good argument for why we need military trials, and our normal legal system does not work for terrorists / unlawful combatants, it is only because you’ve willfully refused to read or comprehend the arguments.

    Shutting your eyes to arguments is not impressive. And neither are your opinions when they are based so clearly on utter ignorance of the history and issues.

    Just your ignorance of the Quirin case alone shows that you are not a serious person.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  72. Telling me I am stupid, and ignoring arguments, and that my opinions are based clearly on utter ignorance of history and issues is really not a good way to make your point… Unless your only point is that I am a jerk, in which case you did a poor job at making that one, also. Disagreeing with arguments is not ignoring them. And somehow suggesting that I am not serious because I didn’t know about that single case is rather unfair. It doesn’t reflect on my comment at all. I would have disagreed with that decision as well. There should not be a mechanism for denying a citizen’s right to his day in normal court.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  73. Chris, I’m not trying to “make my point” … because you already made my point for me.

    You’ve not disagreed with any arguments. You’ve boldly asserted that none exist.

    And the Quirin case was directly on point to your comment, wherein you pretended that denying citizens the right to certain civil trial process was a precedent that would begin a “slippery slope” all the while ignorant that there was a 68 year old Democratic administration precedent.

    My point is not that you are a jerk, my point is that you are a non-serious jerk whose opinions are based on ignorance and willful blindness.

    And you made my point for me.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  74. Chris, I freely admit that I question your intelligence (as do many here), and particularly your knowledge of history
    (which is why I interjected the deaths occurring on 9/11 when you challenged another commenter about deaths at the hands of terrorists),
    but no-where did I question your patriotism.
    By making this accusation, you sound just like any other silly prog who, when challenged on the facts of some position they have taken re national security,
    resorts to accusations that their patriotism is being questioned.
    As others have noted:
    No, I’m not questioning your patriotism, only your sanity!
    You, Sir, owe me an apology.

    AD - RtR/OS! (59c61c)

  75. I have to give Chris credit for a very effective trolling style. He/she/it did manage to make the thread about him/her/it. George Soros should put a little something into his/her/its paycheck this week.

    nk (db4a41)

  76. A couple Greek bonds would be nice.

    AD - RtR/OS! (59c61c)

  77. Constructive (?) replies to my comments:

    “It is not a serious question, Chris. It is an ignorant one.”


    “…any sane person would recognize the stupidity.”

    “That’s just more fatuous nonsense.”

    “I’m not really interested in anything you have to say.”

    “Even Hooten’s stupid mafia analogy breaks down on him…”

    “You simply are not a serious person, Hooten.

    If you really think you are, then you have real problems.”

    “But, being Chris, he won’t, but he will continue his usual blather that we can all comfortably ignore, for it brings nothing new to the conversation,
    and just illustrates his irrelevance to the world around him.
    You’re doing a ‘ell of a job, Chrissie.”

    “Shutting your eyes to arguments is not impressive. And neither are your opinions when they are based so clearly on utter ignorance of the history and issues.

    Just your ignorance of the Quirin case alone shows that you are not a serious person.”

    What a bunch of master debaters we have here :-)

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  78. We, the Jury, find that the Defendant is convicted by his own words, as expressed above.

    AD - RtR/OS! (59c61c)

  79. I have not seen an good argument of why we need them.

    That’s neither an argument nor addressing an argument. That’s claiming that your own ignorance is an argument.

    Clear who the “master debater” is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  80. Yeah, *I* made it about me. What a bunch of poppycock. *You* guys made it about me. I wanted it to be about why we need special courts for terrorists, even if they are citizens. You were so busy calling me names and belittling any opinions that I have, that you didn’t even notice that YOU are the ones that changed the tone and content of the thread to be about me. Give me a break! You are all getting ignored from now on with your incessant trolling for me to go off topic, then blaming it on me.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  81. And yet you have no cogent reply to any of those statements and no evidence or decent arguments to advance for your positions.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  82. He’s good. Portugese bonds and a weekend with Moulitsas.

    nk (db4a41)

  83. Chris – You are arguing about your “feelings” snd don’t even realize it. You have not advanced any evidence or argument for your position other than how you “feel” about it. When we point out to you Supreme Court cases that are strictly on point and long standing theories of legal jurisprudence you claim that our posting that information somhow “disrespects” the depth of your convictions.

    In other news -Navy Seal found not guilty on all charges.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  84. My reply is very clear. I do not think there should be any mechanism by which a legal citizen of the US should not be allowed to see his day in normal court when accused of a crime. Citizens have their right to a day in court with a jury. I can’t believe that you would want the government wielding such power over citizens, that they can deny them a jury trial. It just seems opposed to anti-government rhetoric.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  85. Chris – From your post. “I do not think”…”I can’t believe”…”It just seems”.

    All of these indicate how you happen to feel about this issue. Is it to much to ask that you provide some evidence or legal precedent that would refute the legal and logical arguments that the vast majority of commenters at this blog are making?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  86. Have Blue:

    That’s all we have on this thread is *opinion*. The whole thread is about how people feel about this. “Disrespects?” *sigh* more words in my mouth. You act as though this is not a debatable topic because of that one case from FDR. What a load of malarkey. You can still debate the whole issue, including whether that case was the right thing to do or not. It certainly was against our rights as citizens.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  87. Are you folks still thwacking this performance artist around?

    Eric Blair (70ab36)

  88. Legal precedent? I was thinking of it more of a sixth amendment to the bill of rights issue.

    “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  89. Chris – You post ignorant statements devoid of facts, arguments devoid of logic, and then get upset when others point that out.
    You state that United State citizens who are caught waging war (not advocating or assisting, but actually waging war) against the United States should be tried in civilian courts but then state that the fact that that was not done in the past is “not a debatable topic because of that one case from FDR”.

    How about if you show a single case where an American citizen who waged war against the US was tried in civilian courts?

    Or if you would prefer try and show us how FDR was wrong when he tried an American in a military tribunal.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  90. Timothy McVeigh

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  91. “I can’t believe that you would want the government wielding such power over citizens, that they can deny them a jury trial.”

    Military tribunals can be jury trials.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  92. C’mon CH. Your earlier posts demonstrate you are either a troll or a loon. Remember how you got all excitable about a lack of civility here and then folks linked to your “milk spewing” soliloquy? I think you need medication. Go have a nice dinner out, take in a movie, take someone out on a date. You get pretty creepy, pretty quickly. Maybe it’s a Bradblog thing.

    Eric Blair (70ab36)

  93. Offenses against the laws of war do not have the protection of the Constitution with respect to trial by jury, Chris.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  94. Are these people going to be tried in a military tribunal? How about other militias that are intent on waging war with our government?

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  95. Where do you draw the line?

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  96. Daleyrocks, I meant normal jury trials. I’m sure there is a better term I am not using.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  97. Chris – Have any of “these people” worked with or accepted training from a foriegn enemy? Canada maybe?

    Have any of them planted bombs to try and kill hundreds of civilians while in service of a foriegn enemy?

    In fact Chris – is there any evidence that there was any crime commited at all?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  98. “Are these people going to be tried in a military tribunal?”

    Chris – Probably not because the government’s case is falling apart. Haven’t you kept up to date?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  99. It seems this guy is the “Kevin Bacon” of terrorists, tied to Aulaqi, Mehsud, Husseini,
    the chief bomb maker, (I know he’s getting no end of grief for this very poor pupil)

    ian cormac (865b4a)

  100. The idea that someone who was an US citizen who took up arms as a combatant against the US was not entitled to a jury trial … wow, where could such a radical idea come from? I mean, who would dare to express such an Un-American idea?

    How about a unanimous Supreme Court filled with Democratic appointees?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  101. And SPQR – In that case the defendant was an American from birth, not a naturalized citizen of less than a year who almost certainly took a fraudulent oath when he swore faith and alliegance to the United States.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  102. Who verifies that a person meets all the proper criteria for being labeled an enemy combatant, and what mechanism is in place to prevent it from being abused by those in power? Shouldn’t that be a concern? I want that person to die, don’t get me wrong… I’m no terrorist loving loon. I just have concerns when citizens are denied their rights. You make good points with the FDR case. I just feel like most of these attacks are so small that they don’t really warrant a claim of “waging war against the US,” a claim of enemy combatant status, and a military tribunal. It seems like the normal legal system would be sufficient for most of these events. It is an issue that brings up mixed feelings in me. I’m not sure why FDR did what he did, and why he felt it required something other than the normal legal system. I want revenge, but at the same time, our nation is a nation of laws and not using the preexisting legal system because you don’t think it will be successful really, really, really looks bad. We don’t even trust our own justice system to try and convict these murderers!

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  103. By, all, don’t expect too many responses from me for a while… I’ve got other stuff to do. Thanks for the chat.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  104. No, I am not leaving because it is 4:20, either, so don’t give me that crap.

    Chris Hooten (0f782f)

  105. Translation of #103:
    Well, that posting of the opinion in EX PARTE QUIRIN, 317 U.S. 1 (1942) sure kicked my a$$, for which I have no response, so I better beat a hasty retreat and see if Markos or Arianna have anything on topic.

    AD - RtR/OS! (59c61c)

  106. Mind you, the Court was stupid enough to disregard that case as well as Eisentrager, on three different
    occasions, which tells you all you need to know about this court, they need a Kosinki or an Ikita
    over there

    ian cormac (865b4a)

  107. I see that Hootenany decided to hold forth and prove how brain-jarringly ignorant he is on yet another topic.

    Where do you draw the line or what constitutes an act of war against the United States, Chris? Just because one person was involved, it does not count? Would 5 count? 10 count? How many people have to die for it to count for you?

    JD (150c8d)

  108. Please JD, don’t ask him any questions; he might respond.

    AD - RtR/OS! (59c61c)

  109. I do not know if what he does would fit within the category of an actual response, AD.

    JD (150c8d)

  110. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

    Marlin Yonan (ea4966)


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