June 15, 2009

A Word or Two About “Miranda Rights.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:37 pm

Much has been written recently about the Obama Administration’s “granting Miranda Rights” to enemy combatants captured in Afghanistan.

Show of hands: How many of you think that in Miranda v. Arizona the Supreme Court granted criminal suspects in custody the “right to remain silent” and the “right to an attorney?”

If you raised your hand, you’re wrong.

The Court in Miranda didn’t create those rights. Those rights have always belonged to Americans (and those on American soil) by virtue of the Fifth Amendment (right not to bear witness against oneself) and Sixth Amendment (right to an attorney) to the U.S. Constitution. Basically, the Court reasoned that, as a practical matter, having those rights doesn’t amount to much if you’re under arrest and you don’t know you have them, or are too frazzled at the moment to remember that you have them.

The point here is that the only “right” the Miranda Court created was the right to be reminded of constitutional rights the person always had. Thus, it seems to me that the Obama Administration in “granting Miranda Rights” to enemy combatants in Afghanistan is skipping a crucial step. Neither the Supreme Court nor Congress, to my knowledge, has granted enemy combatants rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, and last time I checked, the Constitution does not confer upon the President the power to grant such rights by Presidential fiat.

As such, reading people their “Miranda Rights” presupposes that they have Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights, which enemy combatants do not have – at least not yet.


  1. But Jimbo… you are using… *cough* LOGIC *cough*

    That is not allowed in Obamaland. You must “FEEL” it otherwise it doesn’t mean anything.

    *sigh* can I live in your country? I think I wanna move.

    Comment by Teresa — June 15, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

  2. yeah, I ain’t a lawyer nor do I play one on TV but I did read the constitution a few times…and that’s the way I see it also.

    Comment by GUYK — June 15, 2009 @ 11:12 pm

  3. I think you would have enjoyed my rant on the subject last week when my boss (the owner of the company) made the mistake of asking what I thought on the subject. Sounded a lot like the second half of your post along with the vocabulary of a drunken soldier.

    I really should learn to watch my tongue in the workplace, but I think my co-workers ask now just because they need cheap entertainment.

    Comment by zombyboy — June 15, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

  4. Ding, ding, ding, ding! Good answer! Good answer!

    Comment by Dave Merriman — June 16, 2009 @ 4:07 am

  5. The Constitution? To those ass holes its just an old document encased for viewing and its suggestions can be used as advice for those much wiser than the people who created this nation.

    Comment by James Old GUy — June 16, 2009 @ 8:19 pm

  6. Riddle me this Batman: Why would you read an enemy combatant his rights?

    Comment by Mark — June 17, 2009 @ 1:34 am

  7. Right on brother!

    Comment by Sam — June 17, 2009 @ 7:31 am

  8. See, you people don’t love El Uno as much as I do!!! You see, El Uno is showing the world he loves them and while our blessed leader says he doesn’t want to impose our way of life on the world, he feels that allowing his Muslim brethren to see how compassionate and kind we are, it may make them not want to blow us up anymore.
    The only thing I see coming out of this is a lot of dead Tangos. You don’t have to read rights to someone who just assumed room temperature.

    Comment by RobbieRob — June 17, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

  9. Is Obama really going to bring these people back to the US and try them here? I doubt it. I suppose they’ll be handed over to the Afghanistani authorities.

    When you’re cannon fodder for an insurgency, the last thing you want to have happen to you is for the authorities to treat you as if you’re a criminal. That’s what they do just before they execute you for murder and treason.

    It’s much better if they treat you as a prisoner of war. Then you get to go home and grow old after the war is over.

    Comment by Carl Brannen — June 17, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

  10. […] Obama’s Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Testing times, for nearly everything else, too. Jim has A Word or Two About “Miranda Rights”. Jim, who is a lawyer in real life, notices that to grant “Miranda Rights” presupposes […]

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  11. Our rights are the rights of Englishmen. Strange the British didn’t believe in this nor did Blackstone mention this. Can you assist me in where these rights existed? Or are they like the privacy rights the Supreme Court also says we have which are so detailed in the Constitution.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson — June 21, 2009 @ 1:17 am

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