“Treating Terrorism Solely as a Law Enforcement Matter—Not Miranda—Is the Problem”

Charles D. Stimson and James Jay Carafano have an interesting article entitled “Treating Terrorism Solely as a Law Enforcement Matter—Not Miranda—Is the Problem”.

In a nutshell, the authors criticize the proposal by Attorney General Eric Holder that Congress expands the public safety exception to Miranda.

The Attorney General’s proposal takes America back to the 1990s, when the U.S. approached all ter- rorist attacks as a law-enforcement-only problem. In making this proposal, Holder reveals that he has not learned what the rest of the country has learned from the 1990s and of the years since 9/11: that this unconventional enemy requires the government to use all lawful tools at its disposal, including holding some terrorists captured in the U.S. as enemy combatants. Federal courts are a powerful weapon, but they are not the only weapon.

After 9/11, the White House rightly shifted the focus of counterterrorism operations from investi- gating attacks to preventing them. By being more concerned about safeguarding the opportunity to prosecute suspects than stopping terrorist plots, Holder is returning to the wrong-headed strategy that characterized this nation’s pre-9/11 approach to fighting terrorism. The Attorney General has forgotten that intelligence gathering, at the outset of capture, is more important than preparing for a trial.


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