Amanda writes? Amanda writes what, I wondered, and who is Amanda? Then I realized I had heard it wrong. Well, I heard it correctly, but I hadn’t heard the context. I was flipping through the radio dial looking for bigger news than Miss California and her crown. What the announcer was talking about was Miranda Rights, and the context was an initiative being launched by the Obama administration. Miranda Rights, as most know, are the rights read to a person being placed under arrest. I have had special training with them in the past, having had a variety of law enforcement people read them to me, in a variety of circumstances. That was a long time ago, but I remember a little of it. “You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you. Anything you say can be used against you in a Court of Law…” Sound familiar?
The other thing most of us know, is that it is an integral part of the protection afforded all of us who are American citizens. We are presumed innocent until proven guilty, a markedly different approach from many other places in the world, where judge, jury and executioner may well be the same person. We also associate, correctly, these “rights” to be associated with the domestic criminal justice system. The White House is proposing something quite different. Their proposal is that battlefield combatants, that is, “the enemy” in wars in which we are currently engaged, be read their “Miranda Rights” as they are “arrested” and taken into custody from the battlefield.
I will give Obama credit for his position on refusing to release pictures of detainees being “questioned” at Guantanamo. It is the right thing to do. Release of these pictures, regardless of how innocuous they may be, risks flaming the fires of radical Islam and surely puts our military people at more risk. Classify the pictures and get it over with.
Then Obama suggests something like this “Miranda Rights for Terrorists” thing, and he loses me again. I’m trying to give this guy a fair shot, but he makes it difficult. He is shiftier than mercury on wax paper, just days ago scolding Congress for their rampant “borrowing and spending”. Hello? Isn’t that your signature on the most recent bailout bill…around 800 billion bucks?
This latest attempt at trying to set the war on terror to Kenny Rogers music may be the straw that breaks the camels back. Washington can’t be suggesting…they just can’t be…that we are going to provide the same legal rights to international combatants, most of whom wear no uniform and may or may not belong to any organized militia, that Americans receive. Think “International Thug”.
Worse still, that we would introduce them to our already over-burdened court system, rife with corruption, deal-making and its own whole set of problems…the same legal system that couldn’t convict O.J. Simpson for murder. It may be cheaper and easier to simply not capture anybody.
Recently, in Nashua, NH, a judge threw out a heroin case. It was the largest bust in the States history. Pounds and pounds of heroin, two guys caught red-handed. Hold on…the original search warrant did not have the word “heroin” listed on it in the proper place. The entire case was dismissed, the criminals walked, the state spent a bundle of money bringing the case to that point, and then…poof!
Now imagine our soldiers trying to secure a “crime scene” on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan or in the middle of a hail of gunfire in Iraq. Drawing chalk outlines in the sand and collecting spent casings in evidence bags. The notion is laughable, it is so flagrantly un-doable, but that isn’t even the kicker.
The real violation, is the assault on our sovereign rights as citizens. Our forefathers shed blood and soul for those rights, those hallowed institutions. They are the ideals that set us apart from the rest of the world. They were not given to us, they were fought for and demand constant protection. Americans should be outraged at the thought that we will spread these rights around the world like McDonalds restaurants.
Miranda Rights? How about “Montana Rights”. That’s what I would give to a “soldier” whose only mission on any given day is to kill an American or a Jew or anyone else who is not “them”. Montana Rights…you have the right to escape, we will give you a 6 hour head start, then we will hunt you on horses and drag you back. The only problem? Montana doesn’t want them, either.