Why Mess with Miranda in the Boston Marathon Bombing Case?

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SupremeCourtA look at the Public Safety Exception to Miranda – It was a long and traumatic week for the country last week – a week that began with the tragic bombings and ended with the dramatic capture of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Once captured, alive but badly injured, the question turned to how to prosecute the US citizen.

Quickly throwing gasoline on the already burning fire was South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who tweeted on Friday night that the alleged bomber should be denied his Miranda rights.

“If captured, I hope Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes,” Senator Graham wrote and continued, “If the #Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove of information.”

He added, “The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to ‘remain silent.'”

Attorney Alan Dershowitz was immediately outspoken over the handling of this by authorities, and believed the use of the public safety exemption to delay reading Mr. Tsarnaev his Miranda rights might backfire.

In an interview on MSNBC on Monday, he said, “They are using the public safety exception as an excuse, and they are using it because they don’t think it will hurt them because they can establish the crime.”

“How will they find out what was in the mind of the defendant?” he said.  “By asking him questions.  If those answers are excluded, they will come to regret not having given him his Miranda warnings.”

Mr. Tsarnaev does have the right to remain silent, but as a 19-year-old just coming back into consciousness, how likely will he be to assert it?  Mr. Dershowitz added, “We’re trying to trick him into disclosing information, and that was precisely what Miranda was designed to prevent. If it’s allowed today with him, an American citizen, where will it stop?”

The ACLU issued a statement on Saturday from Anthony Romero, their executive director.  “The ACLU shares the public’s relief that the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been apprehended.”

“Every criminal defendant is entitled to be read Miranda rights. The public safety exception should be read narrowly,” he said. “It applies only when there is a continued threat to public safety and is not an open-ended exception to the Miranda rule.”

He added, “Additionally, every criminal defendant has a right to be brought before a judge and to have access to counsel. We must not waver from our tried-and-true justice system, even in the most difficult of times. Denial of rights is un-American and will only make it harder to obtain fair convictions.”

On Monday, the Obama administration eliminated one point of contention – Mr. Tsarnaev would not be held as an enemy combatant.

Even prior to that announcement, the possibility was discounted as Benjamin Wittes, a national security expert for the Brookings Institution, told the Wall Street Journal.  He said the federal courts have given the President some authority to detain persons “who were part of, or substantially supported, Taliban or al-Qaida forces or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States,” but unless the US can show that Mr. Tsarnaev is linked to any terrorist group at war with America, “military detention is simply not lawfully available,” said Mr. Wittes.

The fact that Mr. Tsarnaev is a US citizen on American soil may not be a legal barrier, but it would be a problem under the Obama administration’s policy.

The Obama administration took the enemy combatant card off the table, but charged Mr. Tsarnaev with crimes such as the use of a weapon of mass destruction that carries with it the possibility of the death penalty.

As Wired magazine notes, “The actual bomb Tsarnaev allegedly constructed and detonated is pretty much the opposite of what people think about when they think ‘weapon of mass destruction,’ a vague term that usually means a weapon carrying an unconventional payload, like a nuclear, chemical or biological yield.”

However, the law is broadly written such that weapons like grenades, mines, missiles, rockets and homemade bombs all apply.

The question turns to that of the public safety exception to Miranda.

UC Davis Law Professor Gabriel “Jack” Chin explained the concept in a phone interview with the Vanguard on Monday.

“The public safety exception… says that if the police are asking questions that deal with a matter of immediate public safety such as a gun in a public place,” he said, “they can have their cake and eat it too by asking the questions of somebody who’s subject to custodial interrogations and using the statements later.”

In other words, he said, they want to use the statements both as information to be able to locate potential hazards to public safety, while at the same time keeping the door open to use those statements as admissions.

As David Kemp, an attorney writing for Verdict which publishes legal analysis and commentary from Justia, explained in an essay, the public safety “exception originates from the Supreme Court’s decision in New York v. Quarles, in which the Supreme Court held that a suspect’s testimony as to the location of a gun was admissible evidence because it presented ‘a situation where concern for public safety [was] paramount to adherence to the literal language of the prophylactic rules enunciated in Miranda.’ “

Mr. Kemp adds that under that standard, the defendant’s testimony during questioning must not be “actually compelled by police conduct which overcame his will to resist,” and instead must involve a situation “in which police officers ask questions reasonably prompted by a concern for the public safety.”

As the ACLU noted as well, the public safety exemption makes some sense if used in a case like Quarles where they were attempting to find a gun that might be a danger to the public.  But several days after being captured and a week after the bombing, the question is how much of a public safety threat still remains.

That is the question that Professor Chin raised with the Vanguard.

“Now the question is how broad is the public safety exception to Miranda?” he said.  “In this case the arrest is a little stale – the incident occurred a long time ago.  It’s doubtful that there’s a fuse still burning after all this time.”

He noted that the authorities have told people to go about their business as usual.

“So it’s highly doubtful that the public safety exception would be applicable after all of this time,” Professor Chin stated.

He said that any material gleaned from such an interrogation five to seven days after the incident would be “an issue.”

On the other hand, he believes that, to some extent, this may be “political theater.”

“They have a strong case and they probably don’t need any statements that this guy would make anyway,” he continued.

“Whether or not the use of Miranda is applicable,” he added, “there’s another set of requirements about statements and that is that they have to be voluntary.”

Given Mr. Tsarnaev’s condition, the fact that he is being treated medically and administered drugs, “there’s going to be a question of voluntariness whether or not Miranda is applicable.”

“There still is going to be an argument under these circumstances that any statements aren’t voluntary, and the Supreme Court has not recognized a public safety exception to the voluntariness requirement.”

According to Professor Chin, the exception applies not only to the direct public safety information that they get in the course of questioning him, but also any “derivative” information they get in the process.

“They can use the derivative information even without the public safety exception,” he explained.  So if they were to go to where the defendant said a bomb was and also found notebooks with bomb making instructions, they would be able to use that information as well.  “Even if there’s a Miranda violation they could use that information because Miranda applies to statements, it doesn’t include any derivative information.”

The federal public defender’s office has agreed to represent Mr. Tsarnaev in the legal matters that lie ahead.  Miriam Conrad, the federal defender for Massachusetts, a well-respected attorney, said on Monday that her office expects to represent the accused once he is charged.

She said that she believes he should have an attorney appointed as soon as possible, because there are “serious issues regarding possible interrogation.”

Following the charges on Monday, US Attorney General Eric Holder had a brief statement.

“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston and for our country,” said Mr.  Holder. “We’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

The addition of the charges and appointment of attorney change the nature of the game somewhat.

One of the questions that comes up is, since the government has telegraphed the idea that they would use the public safety exception, why an attorney would not step in and put a stop to it.

Professor Chin explained that the rules in this case are that the individual has to assert his own rights and request an attorney.

“In the period of time before he’s officially charged, he has to ask for an attorney and anything an attorney does is irrelevant unless he has an attorney and he directs the attorney to speak for him,” Professor Chin explained.

“However there’s another rule that says that once you’ve been arrested… you have to be brought to court within 48 hours to determine whether there’s probable cause to be arrested,” he said.  “Usually at that time counsel will be appointed for you.”

Once that happens, “it would be impermissible for the police to interrogate the suspect without getting a waiver of his right to counsel,” he said.

According to media accounts, Mr. Tsarnaev waived his right to a detention hearing and his next hearing will be May 30.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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77 thoughts on “Why Mess with Miranda in the Boston Marathon Bombing Case?”

  1. biddlin

    ” But several days after being captured and a week after the bombing, the question is [u]how much of a public safety threat still remains.”
    [/u]
    It was only hours before the arrest that he and his brother had killed one police officer and used explosive devices against others , so at that point, that is very much part of what investigators needed to know .
    His citizenship seems somewhat questionable, in my mind, considering statements made to CNN by a relative living in Canada . The sooner we can prosecute this creep and send him to the deepest hole we’ve got, the better .(Even better if we can revoke his citizenship and return him to whatever republik of torture his homeland is currently called .)
    Biddlin ;>)/

  2. SouthofDavis

    David starts with:

    > Quickly throwing gasoline on the already
    > burning fire was South Carolina Republican
    > Senator Lindsey Graham who tweeted on Friday
    > night that the alleged bomber should be
    > denied his Miranda

    Why even mention what (nut job right wing) Republican Graham was tweeting?
    It was the Democrat led Department of Homeland Security that made the decision not to read the Miranda rights to the suspect and question him without an attorney.

    I’m no fan of Graham (or the Republican party) but let’s not try and blame (or in any way tie) the fact that the government not read the “alleged” Boston Bomber his rights on anything a Republican did (unless you think that Obama is on Graham’s Twitter feed and demanded that the Miranda rights not be read as soon as the Tweet got to his iPhone)…

  3. David M. Greenwald

    First of all, I don’t agree that Graham is a nut job. And second, as far as I can tell it’s what started the conversation. So that’s my reasoning.

  4. biddlin

    The Miranda warning is irrelevant. The government needs no confession to prosecute. The physical evidence is overwhelming . Find out what this schlemiel knows about the people who planned this, as it is a certainty he did not.

  5. Growth Izzue

    First of all, SOD’s comment about Graham needs to be removed off of the message board. I know if I had called Obama a left wing nut job it would’ve been deleted already. Secondly, I fully agree with Biddlin’s post:
    [quote]The Miranda warning is irrelevant. The government needs no confession to prosecute. The physical evidence is overwhelming . Find out what this schlemiel knows about the people who planned this, as it is a certainty he did not. [/quote]

    There is still a huge possibility of public threat and we need to find out all we can while we can. If these brothers were part of a larger terror cell nows the time to interrogate before it’s too late. Once you bring lawyers into the equation and they shut Tsarnaev down the rest of the country is at a higher level of danger.

  6. JustSaying

    Is there anything else we can do to eliminate the freedoms we’ve always assumed are ours until the terrorists successfully terrorize us? Torture, assassination, undeclared war, secret spying on our library records and phone calls and reducing basic legal rights–the terrorists won during the last decade by pushing the U.S. to become more un-American and an international outlaw.

    And, how different our history books would be if our troops had known they should have been looking for pressure cookers in Iraq. What a silly term we made up to scare our citizens. Not that it’s become part of our laws, why doesn’t it apply to automatic and semi-automatic guns?

  7. SouthofDavis

    David wrote:

    > First of all, I don’t agree that Graham is a nut job.

    I’m very surprised that you don’t think Graham is a nut job (how many of his positions noted below do you agree with?):

    > And second, as far as I can tell it’s what started
    > the conversation. So that’s my reasoning

    You really think that the all the legal people in the Department of Homeland security and the Obama Administration were waiting for Graham to “Tweet” before they “started the conversation” about legal representation of the suspect?

    Lindsay Graham:
    Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record.
    Support the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
    Voted YES on banning gay adoptions
    Rated 0% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.
    Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.
    Rated 100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-Family-Value voting record.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    “There is still a huge possibility of public threat and we need to find out all we can while we can. If these brothers were part of a larger terror cell nows the time to interrogate before it’s too late. Once you bring lawyers into the equation and they shut Tsarnaev down the rest of the country is at a higher level of danger.”

    It’s actually too late now. He has an attorney and has been charged.

  9. David M. Greenwald

    “I’m very surprised that you don’t think Graham is a nut job (how many of his positions noted below do you agree with?):”

    I don’t automatically put people I disagree with into a “nut job” category. I disagree with him politically, but he’s one of the people on the right who I would consider to be a “nut job.”

  10. SouthofDavis

    David wrote:

    > I don’t automatically put people I disagree
    > with into a “nut job” category.

    Neither do I (and I probably agree with Graham on more issues than David) but hearing him speak/rant in the past on some issues (like saying people can “pray away the gay”) has put him over the edge for me as someone a little crazy…

    P.S. I read this morning that the brother in the hospital admitted they killed the MIT police officer to “get his gun”. I wonder if many “gun control” people realize that if it gets real hard to “buy” a gun the only way to get one will be to “kill a cop” to get one and we will have more cops getting shot (or tricked in to chasing someone around a building where there is a trap with Punji sticks in the bottom)…

  11. Phil Coleman

    I’ve spent a career with the prosecution burden in criminal cases. My bias would be to support measures that aid in meeting that burden. In the Boston Bomber case–and the depiction of “public safety” in waiving the Miranda requirement–I find the argument ludicrous.

    Consider the following:

    No subsequent bombings have occurred in the span of several days;
    The suspects have no known accomplices revealed despite the investigative efforts of hundreds of highly-trained detectives;
    Both federal and state sources have been quoted saying the bombers acted in isolation;
    The suspects were in full flight within hours of their exposure and had little or no time to arm and place another bomb;
    They were seen discarding bomb-making materials during their flight to get rid of incriminating evidence.

    The Miranda public safety exception is noteworthy and valid when two vital elements, a critical time frame combined with perilous personal safety. Time has passed–over a week–and no additional personal peril has been shown. A first-year law student could successfully prosecute this case with physical evidence, and witness testimony alone. There is not need for the public safety exception to Miranda.

    I’m thinking that the federal authorities are using this highly suspect tactic solely to gain intelligence on international terrorism. The penalty for improper obtaining of admissions or confessions is exclusion of same in trial. A small and inconsequential loss when this case finally comes to trial.

    Look for the feds to not even introduce the suspect’s admissions in court, because their value lies elsewhere and should remain secret. Besides, the defense can’t appeal what was never introduced in evidence.

  12. Siegel

    GI: If you’re that concerned about the possibility of a terror cell, the easy solution is ask him the questions, but don’t try to admit them to court, that way you deal with the public safety aspect while preserving the guy’s rights against self-incrimination.

    Then again, I tend to agree with Phil Coleman here, I just don’t see the threat given the length of time that’s passed.

  13. Frankly

    Obama needs to designate him as enemy combatant so the defense department intelligence can extract any and all information they can relative to existing and future threats he may be connected with or know about. This information cannot be used against him once he is sent back to the domestic legal system for prosecution.

  14. Siegel

    That would be a constitutional battle to end all constitutional battles – US citizen on US soil. And unless you can really link him to another organization, it seems like he’s more of a lone wolf. Your suggestion is scary.

  15. Frankly

    He is an unlawful enemy combatant just like Jose Padilla. No constitutional battle required, we just need a President that is not a Islamic extremist sympathizer.

  16. Growth Izzue

    [quote]It’s actually too late now. He has an attorney and has been charged. [/quote]

    The only reason he now has an attorney is that our left wing nut job President Obama bowed down to the nut job extreme left wing faction of the Democrat Party and caved to the left wing nut job ACLU.

  17. Frankly

    As an unlawful enemy combatant, he could still be tried in civilian court. But classifying him as such, we could gather intelligence that might save other Americans from future harm. If he is just handed over to his attorney, any information becomes locked up under client-attorney privilege.

    I’m sure Obama will play politics with this like he does everything else. He won’t declare him an enemy combatant because it is politically advantageous to Obama to steer this as a domestic crime and not an act of jihad-based terrorism.

  18. Growth Izzue

    This terrorist bomber was only interrogated for a couple of days and only on paper because he can’t speak and somehow liberals now believe that we’ve extracted all the information we need to absolutely know that they weren’t tied or had information on other possible terrorism threats. That’s taking a big chance with other’s lives don’t you think? America would’ve backed further interrogation and classifying him as an enemy combatant but the monority far left wing nut jobs got their way.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    My own sense of this case is that it will ultimately be found that this was a conspiracy of two–the Tsarnaev brothers. It also seems likely that all of the leadership and planning for this was done by the now dead, older brother, Tamarlane.

    Although the evidence suggests that Tamarlane (and perhaps in more recent months Dzhokhar, too) was inspired by the global jihadi movement–to use the Islamic faith to carry out acts of evil against anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, who the evil-doers decide is opposed the their ideas and ideals–it seems unlikely that anyone outside them had to direct them to massacre and maim and kill.

    And if my speculation is right, this case is all the more scary. If they were under the direction of al-Qaida or some Chechen terrorist network, our intelligence services could get in between and stop the attack before it happens. There are now dozens of that sort of Islamist plots–one this week in Canada–which have been caught.

    But when the conspiracy is just two brothers, one of whom seems to have become a radical Islamist over a period of years, it’s nearly impossible to catch that kind of thing before it happens.

    And because there are a million or more young Muslim men in the United States, some small percentage of whom become attracted to the evil teachings of the global jihadi movement, it seems likely that more of these sorts of unstoppable attacks will come in future years. … On the otehr hand, maybe that is wrong. Those same conditions have existed since 9/11 and this is the first successful attack of this type in the U.S. And the fact that they did not get away with it after the attack, and that Dzhokhar is almost certainly going to get the death penalty, others will be deterred.

  20. Siegel

    “The only reason he now has an attorney is that our left wing nut job President Obama bowed down to the nut job extreme left wing faction of the Democrat Party and caved to the left wing nut job ACLU.”

    Didn’t realize it was left-wing to believe in things like due process and rule of law. Glad someone upholds them. I realize more and more that I made the right decision changing parties a decade ago.

  21. Siegel

    “Really? An attorney has already been assigned?”

    Yes, did you read this article? It states that the Massachussets federal public dfenders office was appointed.

  22. Siegel

    “Obama is a hazard to us all. He is a great politician, and a terrible President.”

    Actually, you and people like you are a hazard to us all. I’m thankful each day that there is a President in the WH who is more like me and less like you.

  23. David M. Greenwald

    That’s assuming full days. I was monitoring the news stream on this because I have been planning the story for a few days but needed to reach professor Chin to get the interview.

    I would say, it was far less than one day, and from what I read most of the questions were yes-no and he wasn’t that responsive.

    You’re talking about interviewing a 19 year old, seriously injured, on medication, and in and out of consciousness.

  24. Frankly

    “Siegel you fly across the horizon. Into the misty morning sun. Nobody knows where you are going. Nobody knows where you’re from.”

    A great song by the way…

    I think maybe you don’t have much objectivity here Siegel. Sounds like you are in love with Barak Obama and liberal ideas about freedom and security and you probably never were worthy of membership in the Grand Old Party… the one that freed the slaves and fights to ensure you and your family are safe and secure while also having to fight confused leftist doves… the Neville Chamberlains of the world that will never learn and never admit their worldview is inherently flawed.

  25. Siegel

    You’re not particularly warm. I’m an old defense attorney. I voted Republican most of my life for economic reasons, and still am conservative fiscally. However, I switched to undecided in part due to Iraq War and the flagrant violations of human and civil rights. I’m not in love with Obama, I tolerate him because of the lack of the alternative. I believe we can be safe and still safeguard our rights.

  26. Frankly

    [i]You’re talking about interviewing a 19 year old, seriously injured, on medication, and in and out of consciousness.[/i]

    In any case, we can all kiss goodbye any chance that we can learn something to help prevent a next incident. Checknyian Islamic fundamentalists are the most dangerous and callous. They killed a bunch of Russian school children. They bombed a Russian subway. They fight alongside Al Qaeda against the US in every Mid East conflict.

    If this kid knows anything… anything at all about any organization that promotes and sponsors terrorism, it is valuable. Now it is lost thanks to the Messiah of all things left and liberal. Obama is a great politicians, and a terrible President.

  27. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Sounds like you are in love with Barak Obama and liberal ideas … confused leftist doves… the [b]Neville Chamberlains[/b] of the world that will never learn and never admit their worldview is inherently flawed.”[/i]

    Just for the record, Neville Chamberlain was not a leftist. He was the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party and would have been a typical Republican in the US in the 1930s. He was an appeaser, however, and he was accused over and over by some on the left (in the UK and elsewhere) of being pro-Hitler. In reality, Prime Minister Chamberlain’s great problem was not one of being left or right: It was that he was terribly naive about the insatiable appetite for war and conquest which drove Hitler. Chamberlain, for far too long, thought he could keep England out of war by giving Hitler what he wanted. Only Winston Churchill (another Tory), among British politicians of his day, had a real sense of who Hitler was and why appeasement would never work.

  28. Growth Izzue

    Totally agree Frankly. Obama is taking a huge chance that another act of terrorism occurs and we find out later that this kid knows far more than he is so far letting on.

  29. Frankly

    [i]I believe we can be safe and still safeguard our rights.[/i]

    Sure Siegel, tell that to the families of the three dead people, and all the other people maimed for life.

    This left claim that you are protecting our rights is a laugher as your Party and President continue to chip away at them. When you write “safeguard out rights”, as a defense attorney, of course you mean safeguard accused criminal’s rights and not the right for past, current and present victims… correct?

    I am actually a warm person, but I am pissed off. These two cowards just did what they did, and I don’t see any slippery slope of my valued American rights eroding because we decide to extract useful information to help keep it from happening again. Lefties and defense attorneys indulge their irrational, hyper-sensitivities about this at the expense of many other things that are far more important.

  30. SouthofDavis

    Sigel wrote:

    > I believe we can be safe and still safeguard our rights.

    It seems like more people are worried about the “rights” of the alleged bomber more than the “rights” of the citizens of Watertown (who were dragged out of their homes at gunpoint and had their homes searched without warrants. I just watched the great HBO documentary (on DVD from Netflix) about John Adams and I’m sure the video below of innocent citizens being dragged out of their homes would upset our founding fathers that wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nrkcUV_7Qk&feature=youtu.be

  31. Siegel

    It’s amazing how you guys think you know more than the intelligence officials who actually do this for a living.

    From AP:

    [quote]The two brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon appear to have been motivated by a radical brand of Islam but do not seem connected to any Muslim terrorist groups, U.S. officials said Monday after interrogating and charging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with crimes that could bring the death penalty.
    [/quote]

  32. Siegel

    “Sure Siegel, tell that to the families of the three dead people, and all the other people maimed for life.”

    So every time someone is killed, you are in favor of throwing out the constitution? Are you in favor of banning guns too?

  33. Siegel

    “This left claim that you are protecting our rights is a laugher as your Party and President continue to chip away at them. “

    I’m not on the left. It’s not my party. And my president only as far as he’s your president.

  34. Frankly

    Neville Chamberlain was a very left-leaning Tory. His origins were as a union labor leader. The unionist group merged with the conservatives for political reasons, but I don’t thing Chamberlain could have been a true conservative siding with labor. I think Chamberlain was also a community organizers at one point.

    Also, politics were quite a bit different back then in terms of national defense. What would Teddy Roosevelt be today?

    As a Tory, Chamberlain stood out like a sore thumb taking his position with respect to Hitler.

    He certainly appealed to the left of his constituents at the time.

  35. Frankly

    [i]I’m not on the left. It’s not my party. And my president only as far as he’s your president.[/i]

    I was just responding to your point that you wanted our rights safeguarded? What rights?

    I agree with and support due process; but I think you and others are stuck in an irrational loop defending criminals and suspected criminals. We are so far away from any slippery slope that ya’ll can take a rest and pick from any number of rights-erosions currently on the slide down the hill and into the toilet.

    This kid can be declared an unlawful enemy combatant, and then moved to the civilian court system, and he will be treated better than 95% of the rest of the world (many not as good as Norway who put up convicted mass murders in a resort-like jail for 30 years).

  36. AdRemmer

    According to Dana Priest and William M. Arkin of The Washington Post, “Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. … An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. … In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings — about 17 million square feet of space.”

    All of that failed to prevent the Boston bombings.

    Dennis Prager

  37. Don Shor

    [i]We have a great find in this captured terrorist bomber to glean much more information and Obama completely drops the ball.
    [/i]
    And you know this how?

  38. JustSaying

    I didn’t realize that, GI. We should haul the scum SOB down to Guantanamo and torture the bejeezus out of him until he says something about Muslims to make the water boarding stop. While we’re at it, let’s outlaw all the types of guns he admits he had in his posession and jail all the people who we think associated with him during the past five years. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  39. Growth Izzue

    JustSaying, quit the over dramatazation, nobody said anything about torture or putting everyone in jail that he associated with. But that being said, I’m sure we could’ve learned much more from him if Obama didn’t appease the extreme left wing side of his party.

    I do agree with you that he is a scum SOB.

  40. Rich Rifkin

    Frank: [i]”Neville Chamberlain was a very left-leaning Tory.”[/i]

    Not true. As with all leaders in the Parliamentary system, Chamberlain was chosen to lead the Conservatives because his views represented the mainstream of that party in his time. He never stood for anything domestically which could be called left-wing or left-of-center in his time.

    Frank: [i]”His origins were as a union labor leader.”[/i]

    No, this charge is entirely false, too. Neville Chamberlain was a businessman. He served for a long time as the managing director of a company which fabricated steel products.

    The Chamberlains were a business family, but not really old money. His father, Joseph, a screw manufacter, had served in a top leadership posts. Later his half-brother, Austen, was a leading politician, too.

    [i]”The unionist group merged with the conservatives for political reasons …”[/i]

    Oh, my, you are sadly confused. The “unionist” group you speak of has nothing to do with labor unions. It has to do with Ireland. And it has to do with Jos. Chamberlain, not so much Neville. The unionists were Liberals (meaning pro-free trade, what we call libertarians) who favored keeping Ireland in the United Kingdom. They broke away from the Liberal Party and formed for a short time the Liberal Unionist Party, and that later merged with the Conservative Party. But all of that was during Neville Chamberlain’s father’s time, and none of it had a thing to do with labor unions.

    [i]”… but I don’t thing Chamberlain could have been a true conservative siding with labor.”[/i]

    Chamberlain’s basic policies were the same as those of American conservatives in his day. He was for smaller government, free trade, pro-business, low taxes, etc.

    [i]”I think Chamberlain was also a community organizers at one point.”[/i]

    Making stuff up seems to be your forte. You should become a party of Fox News.

    Also, politics were quite a bit different back then in terms of national defense. What would Teddy Roosevelt be today?

    As a Tory, Chamberlain stood out like a sore thumb taking his position with respect to Hitler.

  41. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”As a Tory, Chamberlain stood out like a sore thumb taking his position with respect to Hitler.”[/i]

    That ultimately was true just before he died. That’s why they removed him as PM. However, for most of his years as prime minister, his appeasement policies were favored by British conservatives. And for that matter, they were favored by American conservatives.

    If you have an interest in learning–not just pretending you know something–you might want to read Patriarch, the biography of Joseph Kennedy (father of JFK). Joe Kennedy was America’s leading appeaser and isolationist. He was a conservative in most respects. He made his millions on Wall Street and running and selling movie studios. And when Kennedy served as America’s ambassador to Great Britain, he was a strong supporter of N. Chamberlain (as were all of the American Firsters, though Joe Kennedy never joined that group).

    Kennedy, much like Chamberlain, was falsely accused of being pro-Hitler. He wasn’t. But like Chamberlain, Kennedy believed in giving Hitler what he wanted, because he thought war would be worse. Kennedy, unlike Chamberlain, was convinced the British and French could never win a war with Germany, and Kennedy tried all he could to keep the US out of the war, as did all other leading American conservatives at that time.

  42. Frankly

    Rich Rifkin: [i]If you have an interest in learning–not just pretending you know something[/i]

    Funny guy. I know what I think I know until someone I trust teaches me something different.

    I have read a lot about WWII. And what I think I know what I know about Chamberlain. I did know about Joe Kennedy, but I would not have considered him conservative. He was always a staunch Democrat.

    I do also know that before later in the war, especially before Peal Harbor, most Americans were isolationists despite their political bent.

    Maybe my disconnect here is my definition of conservative and liberal compared to yours. I don’t see appeasement and support for weaker defense as being conservative traits.

  43. Frankly

    [i]Oh, my, you are sadly confused. The “unionist” group you speak of has nothing to do with labor unions.[/i]

    Fair enough. I did get that wrong. Trying to do too much at one time. I don’t know why I have this memory of Chamberlain being connected to labor (or labour as they spell it across the pond). Maybe because at the time, conservatives and labor cooperated in a coalition.

    Can you name any other western leader considered a conservative that favored appeasement in the beginning of a conflict?

  44. JustSaying

    “JustSaying, quit the over dramatazation, nobody said anything about torture or putting everyone in jail that he associated with.”

    Actually, I added only the McCarthyism modest proposal and the idea of serious gun controls. But, I certainly wasn’t overdramatizing or making up the value of torture that people seem to think would be the right think to do now that we have Dzhokhar in custody:

    “Last night on CNN, Piers Morgan and New York Republican State Sen. Greg Ball got into quite the tense exchange over the desire to torture the currently hospitalized Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev….The entire debate came from a tweet Ball sent out on Friday night, upon Tsarnaev’s capture in Watertown, Mass., reading: ‘So, scum bag #2 in custody. Who wouldn’t use torture on this punk to save more lives?'” (From Mediaite.)

  45. Don Shor

    [quote]We have a great find in this captured terrorist bomber to glean much more information

    I’m sure we could’ve learned much more from him if Obama didn’t appease the extreme left wing side of his party.[/quote]

    …and you know this how?

    [quote]Is there an echo in here?[/quote]

    So to answer the question, ‘you know this how?’: you have no idea what you are talking about, but wanted to criticize the president anyway. You have no basis for your statement that we could glean more information, you have no evidence that we could have learned anything more from him, you have so basis for your criticism.

  46. SouthofDavis

    Rich wrote:

    > Making stuff up seems to be your forte.
    > You should become a party of Fox News.

    Then Growth Izzue wrote:

    > Not Fox, but CNN.

    If only people can take off their political party hats and step back they will see that Fox “spins” almost every story to make the GOP look good where CNN does the same thing to make the Dems. look good. Both networks are primarily doing what their big money backers who support the big parties and the status quo want them to do…

  47. Growth Izzue

    [quote]So to answer the question, ‘you know this how?’: you have no idea what you are talking about[/quote]

    Your post is a bit snarky, don’t you think? I thought we are just all supposed to get along on here.

  48. Growth Izzue

    SOD, I only brought up CNN because of the recent flack they took over their Boston bombing coverage. It wasn’t meant to be a political post and I think we all know how networks will lean left or right already.

    [url]http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-04-18/entertainment/bal-boston-cnn-fox-john-king-failure-20130417_1_cnn-wednesday-fox-news-arrest[/url]

  49. SouthofDavis

    Frankly wrote:

    > I did know about Joe Kennedy, but I would not have
    > considered him conservative. He was always a staunch
    > Democrat.

    By “today’s standards” both Joe Kennedy (and his more liberal son) would be considered “conservative”.

    As a test, ask 10 Davis residents if they think a white, male, married, Catholic that is for lowering taxes on the rich, opposed to gay marriage and illegal immigration is “conservative” or “liberal”. I bet most would think he is a “Conservative Republican”. You can also add that he is openly racist anti-Semitic (since Joe had a long history of negative comments toward blacks and Jews). To be fair to Joe we should (sadly) note that “most” Americans were openly racist anti-Semitic in the early 60’s. When I was doing some research on the history of (what most people call “liberal”) Bay Area Private Clubs in the 1990’s I did not find a single club that had a black or Jewish member until the 1970’s (and some still didn’t have any Jewish or Black members in the 1990’s)…

  50. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I don’t know why I have this memory of Chamberlain being connected to labor (or labour as they spell it across the pond). Maybe because at the time, conservatives and labor cooperated in a coalition.”]/i]

    Labour and Liberal Party members were only brought into the Conservative “national unity” government after Britain declared war, which was triggered by Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Prior to that, the Conservatives had a majority and held all cabinet posts.

    It is an old British tradition to form a national unity government once war is declared (though I don’t know if it happened in every war period).

  51. Siegel

    ” I don’t see appeasement and support for weaker defense as being conservative traits.”

    It might help if you had a better understanding of history, particularly of your own party because the Republican Party until the Cold War started was the isolationist party. That wing was destroyed finally during the second world war and Republicans recognized they could regain power by appealing to anti-communism, which of course necessarily meant a strong foreign policy.

  52. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”By ‘today’s standards’ both Joe Kennedy (and his more liberal son) would be considered ‘conservative.'”[/i]

    Joe Kennedy was considered a conservative in his day. He was a businessman and believed in free enterrpise. Even though he served as the first SEC chairman in the FDR Administration and (for a long time) personally liked FDR, he opposed almost all of the economic policies of the Democrats at that time. He was not a new dealer. He did, however, believe in regulating the banks and the stock markets, because he had seen problems caused by insider trading (which he took part in) when he was on Wall Street.

    Joe Kennedy started out as a banker in Boston and eventually became an extremely successful stock trader. The money he made in Hollywood was mostly good timing and luck. His studios never made good movies. He just put together a number of different properties which he bought cheap and once assembled sold them into what became RKO Pictures for a huge profit. Later in his life, after Prohibition ended, he was a very successful whiskey wholesaler and real estate developer.

    A liberal in his time would have been for more government interference in the economy, a smaller role for religion in public life, pro-labor unions, opposed to discrimination against Jews and blacks and in favor of lower tariffs. Kennedy was not that.

    Joe Kennedy was a very religious Catholic (although, like all of his boys, a serial philanderer); mostly opposed big government; fought for less waste in government, lower welfare programs, etc.; was indifferent to the plight of blacks and was, although personal friends with a number of Jews, an anti-Semite who blamed the Jews for getting us into WW2; and was alternatively pro and anti-free trade, depending on how it affected his fortunes.

    As to his second son, John Kennedy: JFK would likely still be a Democrat, albeit on the more conservative end of the Democratic Party. His positions as a US Senator and later as president diverged from his father’s views, particularly when it came to international relations.

    The Kennedy son who was most like Joe was Bobby Kennedy. Bobby was a hell-fighter, full of hatred. Bobby Kennedy broke into politics as an aide to his father’s close friend, Sen. Jos. McCarthy. Bobby was fiercely anti-communist and in some cases very anti-union. But to be fair, Bobby did become much more liberal after JFK was murdered.

  53. Siegel

    “By “today’s standards” both Joe Kennedy (and his more liberal son) would be considered “conservative”.”

    And Nixon and probably even Eisenhower would be considered liberal. Is there a point here?

  54. medwoman

    Rifs

    [quote]And the fact that they did not get away with it after the attack, and that Dzhokhar is almost certainly going to get the death penalty, others will be deterred.[/quote]

    I think that you are making a fundamental error in the statement that “others will be deterred’. If deterrence is the goal, I think that the best possible sentence would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.
    This effectively renders him useless in terms of his ability to cause harm and thus help the cause of violent jihad.
    The death penalty turns him into a martyr, which does not seem to be seen as an undesirable outcome to many of the would be jihadi’s. I believe that it is important to keep in mind religious and ideologic value differences when considering what might be an effective deterrent. For most folks of Judeo Christian background death is usually seen as a negative outcome to be avoided. Not so for many Islamists who consider the type of death experienced more important than a prolonged life.

  55. David M. Greenwald

    To add to Medwoman’s point – a lot of terrorists expect to die in the carrying out of the plot, so how do you deter someone who expects to die – if not hopes to.

  56. jimt

    Isn’t there a legal mechanism whereby he can be interrogated; such that his responses are not admissable later in court? Interrogate him on his knowledge relative to a larger cell or other contacts the two brothers may have. I saw one news article describing the detonator/timer device as fairly sophisticated; perhaps they got some help with this. My hunch is that the older dead brother may have had some contacts with a terror organization; but perhaps the younger captured brother did not have some contacts, but just followed his older brother. Certainly it would seem prudent to thoroughly investigate the possibility of involvement with a cell or some mode of contact with a group of terrorists (perhaps remote communications to out-of-country); a thorough investigation of this could take months; the younger brother may have direct of indirect knowledge pertinent to this.

  57. David M. Greenwald

    Under Miranda he can can be interrogated without being advised of his rights and his statements would not be admissible later. What this is is essentially exactly what Professor Chin said, trying to have their cake and eat it too.

  58. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I think that you are making a fundamental error in the statement that ‘others will be deterred’.”[/i]

    Likely there is no possible deterrence for some. But for the marginal would-be terrorist, the fact that both of the Tsarnaev brothers wound up dead will send the message that to them that they can’t get away after committing this sort of mayhem.

    [i]”If deterrence is the goal, I think that the best possible sentence would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.”[/i]

    That might deter some others. However, a real risk with LWOP for Islamist terrorists is that unless they are kept in isolation, they would retain the ability to convert other inmates to their cause, who would then be a threat when released.

    [i]”The death penalty turns him into a martyr, which does not seem to be seen as an undesirable outcome to many of the would be jihadi’s.”[/i]

    There seems to be an endless supply of fake martyrs for those in the global jihad who want to kill and maim people who don’t share their ideas. It’s not like without Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that movement will be lacking for people they consider martyrs.

    And it’s quite ironic, because the vast majority of people who have been killed by the jihadis have been other Muslims who the jihadis believe don’t practice the correct form of Islam or in some other respect are not frum (pious) enough. In other words, these victims are the real martyrs–meaning people who died for their religious beliefs.

    No one is going around killing fundamentalist Muslims on the basis of their religious beliefs. They are getting killed in large part because of their violent jihad, not their prayers or even their belief in returning society to the 7th Century.

  59. Rich Rifkin

    One more point: Save a few crazies and a few others who have been brainwashed, no one of any faith (who is not severely depressed) wants to die, no matter what “heaven” they believe awaits them.

    What distinguishes (some) Islamic terrorists is that they are willing to die if they can kill many more of their enemies as a part of the global jihadi war. In that respect, they are like some Japanese fighters in WW2 who were willing to kill themselves as part of an attack that killed many more of Japan’s enemies. And in a related sense, many young men in history have gone off to war understanding that it was likely they would die. They did not want to die. But they were willing to do whatever they had to in order to defend their cause or tribe or king or country or faith, etc.

  60. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Under Miranda [b]he can ca[/b]n be interrogated without being advised of his rights and his statements would not be admissible later.”[/i]

    What? Is there a typo in that sentence? It makes no sense.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    jimt: [i]”Isn’t there a legal mechanism whereby he can be interrogated; such that his responses are not admissable later in court?”[/i]

    If any arrestee is interrogated without being read his Miranda rights, the satements he makes to the police would be inadmissable in his trial. But just because a person’s statements are not allowed in court does not mean his case would be thrown out. All other evidence properly collected in his case can still be used against him.

    CHIN: [i]”They have a strong case and they probably don’t need any statements that this guy would make anyway.”[/i]

    That’s an important point by Prof. Chin. The police in this case seem to have a very strong case [i]without a confession[/i], without any admissions Tsarnaev makes about a connection to a terrorist group or about anything else related to this case. As such, his Miranda rights don’t really matter so much. He’s likely toast no matter what.

    But if he gives them information that they believe will help them track down other terrorists, and he would not have made such statements if he had his lawyer present, then it would pay off to violate his Miranda rights, exception or not (though perhaps it could jeopardize their jobs if they did not follow the law).

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