Attorney General Wants Changes to Miranda Rule
Attorney General Eric Holder called the plans to change the 1966 law “a new priority” and “big news,” adding on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “This is a proposal that we’re going to be making and that we want to work with Congress about.” [
The Washington Examiner via YellowBrix
May 12, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC – Top officials for the Obama administration on Sunday acknowledged evidence that the Taliban were behind the bombing attempt in Times Square and announced plans to try to change the Miranda rule so they are better able to interrogate American terror suspects.
Attorney General Eric Holder called the plans to change the 1966 law “a new priority” and “big news,” adding on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “This is a proposal that we’re going to be making and that we want to work with Congress about.”
Holder’s announcement comes amid heavy criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the bombing attempt, from the nearly botched effort to capture suspect Faisal Shahzad — whom Holder acknowledged authorities lost track of for at least an hour — to the decision by officials to allow him to remain silent and obtain a lawyer by reading him the Miranda warning just hours after questioning him under the public safety exception.
The bomb itself was discovered, not by authorities, but by Times Square vendors who noticed the vehicle smoldering.
“In terms of prevention, the system failed,” Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Both Holder and Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Sunday that Shahzad received money and training from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan before parking his explosive-packed Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of Times Square in New York City on May 1.
“We’ve now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack,” Holder announced on ABC’s “This Week.” “We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction.”
Holder and Brennan made the rounds on the Sunday talk show circuit to defend the administration’s handling of the incident. Holder argued the positive outcome is evidence that the system is working.
“This was, in some ways, I think, a good example of what an aroused American populace, coupled with a vigilant law enforcement community, can actually do,” he said on “This Week.”
But Holder also acknowledged the need to change the system in order to deal with American terror suspects, including Shahzad, al Qaeda terrorist Adam Gadahn and other U.S. citizens working with foreign terror groups.
Holder insisted that Shahzad and other captured terrorists have continued to cooperate even after authorities read them their rights.
“People have continued to talk, as was the case here, as was the case with Abdulmutallab in Detroit,” Holder said, referring to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow himself up on a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day.
But Holder then suggested the Miranda rule is outdated, pointing out that the public safety exception was added in 1984 in response to a need to find a missing gun dropped by an armed robber.
“We’re now dealing with international terrorism,” Holder said on “Meet the Press.”
Holder floated a proposal to write legislation that would expand the ability of authorities to question American terror suspects by altering the Miranda rule.
“We have to think about perhaps modifying the rules,” Holder said, “coming up with something that is more flexible and consistent with the threats we now face.”
Holder told “This Week” he will work with Congress on a bill, “so that we come up with something that gives the necessary clarity, is flexible but is also constitutional.”