When it comes to the “War on Terror” the new boss sure does look a lot like the old boss, but I guess at this point if you’ve been paying attention the current administration’s latest move shouldn’t come as a surprise. When he was running for office President Obama often chastised the former administration for violating many of the laws that make this country great while trying to fight terrorism, but time and time again Obama has actually adopted many of Bush’s policies.
After being criticized by republicans alongside a public outcry for terror suspects being given their Miranda Rights when arrested, Obama has decided that the best thing to do is to not stand firm on his belief in our judicial system but to find a way to continue the last administration’s tendency to ignore our laws whenever they saw fit. The 1966 Miranda law ruling was made to ensure that criminal suspects where advised of their rights, while a 1984 amendment to that ruling gave authorities the ability to question suspects for a limited time before giving them their Miranda warnings if there was an immediate threat to public safety at the time. Obama has decided that a terror suspect, U.S. citizen or not, falls into a different category than other criminal suspects and therefore can be held longer than others without being given their Miranda rights. The administrations justification for this is that terror suspects should always be considered an immediate threat no matter the situation. This decision comes on the heels of the administration’s revelation that it will be continuing our former commander-in-chief’s policies of indefinite detention as well the use of military tribunals to prosecute suspects instead of civilian courts. The irony of it all is that the Bush administration did not try all suspects in military tribunals nor did they deny all suspects their Miranda warnings but did in fact try numerous terror suspects in civilian courts with no outcry whats-so-ever.
The inevitable argument of “why should we give rights to terrorists anyway” will surely rear it’s head. The problem with this argument comes down to what one defines as terrorism. If someone planted a bomb along a parade route which could have potentially killed or injured dozens of people, one would consider that terrorism, right? Well that’s exactly what happened in Spokane, Washington, yet the man who stands accused has been indicted in a civilian court and is facing life in prison. How about a group of nine people planning to kill a police officer so they could then attack and kill more cops as well as innocent people at the officers funeral? That’s what happened in Michigan but these terrorist plotters actually ended up being RELEASED! It seems that the definition of terror all boils down to if you happen to be Muslim or not whether you’re acts of terrorism result in your rights being taken away.