”You are a terrorist, and we do not negotiate with terrorists.” — Federal District Court Judge William G. Young to Richard C. Reid, at his sentencing to life in prison on January 30, 2003. Reid pled guilty to attempting to blow up in flight American Airlines Flight 63.
Chris Wallace (January 3, 2010, Fox News Sunday): “But once [Abdulmuttalab] gets his Miranda rights, he doesn’t have to speak at all.”
The President’s Homeland Security Assistant John Brennan: “He doesn’t have to, but he knows that there are certain things that are on the table, and if he wants to, in fact, engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways that he can do that.”
President Barack Obama’s policy of negotiating with terrorists is not one of America’s core values.
We don’t know yet if Abdulmuttalab was initially interrogated without being read Miranda warnings or if he later invoked the offered privileges. We do know Abdulmuttalab and Reid were in possession of explosive devices aboard commercial airlines and attempted to set off those devices. Their actions were enough proof to earn a life sentence from either a Military Commission or federal court; we did not need to read them “their” rights.
We also know it was a mistake to not interrogate Reid. He maintained that he acted alone, even though a different hand print was found on the explosive material. Reid was sentenced prior to Saajid Badat’s arrest in England. The latter backed out on the plot and confessed immediately to British police when they raided his parent’s house in November 2003 and found his shoe-bomb. Yet Badat did not turn himself in and only indicated “an Arab” gave him the device while he was in Afghanistan. A lot of people could have been killed because Reid remained silent.
Twenty-five British men reportedly trained in Yemen about the same time as Abdulmuttalab.
He may negotiate yet his bargaining position will be a lot stronger if only one jihadist sets off his panty-bomb in a small crowd. The terror instilled by that prospect is why enemy combatant Abdulmuttalab should not have been given the right to remain silent.
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