So?

President Barack Obama is under fire over claims that the Christmas Day underwear bomber was \”singing like a canary\” until he was treated as an ordinary criminal and advised of his right to silence.

The complaint is that when the government appointed lawyer advised him of his right to silence then he went silent.

And?

Is he a suspected criminal? Yes.

Do suspected criminals have the right to silence? Yes.

So as a suspected criminal he has the right to silence then.

And don\’t forget the reason this exists: no, not to protect the guilty. It\’s to protect the rest of us from being accused by the malevolent and then wibbling something stupid that allows a false conviction to be pinned on us.

And yes, he gets those same protections you or I do. Because that\’s what the rule of law says, that we all have exactly the same status in the eyes of the law.

Sure, you can make exceptions to this but you\’d better understand that when you do you\’re giving up one of the things that makes our modern society unique: that equality before the law that permits the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges. And the poor as well as the rich to have a fair trial.

As you might expect, the complaint seems to be coming from the worst part of the old Bush Administration, the one that says we can do anything in the name of \”security\”.

Folks, there\’s no point in fighting those who would destroy our way of life by destroying our way of life.

6 comments on “So?

  1. Perhaps if you think of him as not a criminalk per se, but as a combatant, and an illegal combatant at that. As such, he has the right to object to the classification, but if correctly classified, deserves no protection from his treatment up to and including summary execution.

  2. Er, no. I think you’ve been reading the Guardian too much, better take a break for a bit.
    I think the claims are rather that he is NOT a common criminal and should not have been charged as such. Rather he is a terrorist/enemy combatant or similar, and a different set of rules apply, with Constitutional/Miranda type rights not applicable.

    Could always hold up the British system and our right to silence Oh wait…

  3. In war, you do what you have to do to win, within the laws of war. See the temporary infringements of liberty which were necessary in order to win WWII and safeguard liberty in the longer term. The problem is that Obummer and his fellow lefties prefer to think the pantybomber and his like are criminals, not soldiers. Clue: Jihad means ‘Holy War,’ and don’t tell me it means ‘struggle’. Here’s bin Laden in February 1998 (Statement: “Jihad against Jews and Crusaders”, World Islamic Front, 23 February 1998, included in Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin, eds, Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East: A Documentary Reader, 2002, p.150):

    ‘The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.’

    I don’t think giving al-Qaeda’s foot-soldiers a lawyer and Miranda rights is the way to win. Dick Cheney understands what’s going on. You, on the other hand…

  4. Ah, I see, so the IRA prisoners claiming they were prisoners of war and not imprisoned criminals were right?

    And this also means Alky Ada (as Gordon calls them) prisoners are to be treated according to the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war?

    What I think the neocons would rather have is a cherry picking situation that results in the minimum rights possible from either scenario.

    As Tim says, these rights are there to protect me from people like Dick Cheney. And with good reason, because people like Dick Cheney are prepared to kill and torture innocent people to keep people like Dick Cheney in power (sorry, “keep our precious way of life”).

    And Chris, I think you should change your use of the word “temporary” to something else because your definition of “war” means your use of “temporary” is “forever”. I’d rather not live without my freedom for the rest of my life because of your Forever War (a ‘war’, by the way, which has had fewer victims than the first minute of the first battle of the Somme in the Great War).

  5. Chris,

    “In war, you do what you have to do to win, within the laws of war. See the temporary infringements of liberty which were necessary in order to win WWII and safeguard liberty in the longer term.”

    Temporary infringements of liberty may be necessary when the state itself is at threat, as the UK was in WW2. The current situation with the USA is not even close to this situation. The USA, as a country, is not under threat.

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