Are we talking about throwing out all the constitutional rights? Now I read there are people who think an American citizen who is a "suspect" of a terrorist act [the unexploded car bomb near Times Square] should not have been read his Miranda rights. Should we now start water boarding him to find out what he knows about other terrorist activities? Some people apparently would answer yes.
For many years we have had to read mafia hit men their Miranda rights when they are captured. They surely could lead us to other criminals, perhaps could give information that would save lives. But no one has suggested they should not be read their Miranda rights. The man -- who at this point is a suspect, not a convicted terrorist -- became an American citizen a year ago. A great many [unfortunately and sadly] American citizens carry out acts of terror whether they bomb federal buildings in Oklahoma or go into a classroom or some other public place and begin shooting people. We read them their Miranda right, if they haven't been killed by the police.
The American Constitution provides for fair treatment whether it is a Mafiosi, a psychotic teen, or a madman who sends letter bombs but since 9/11 we've acted as if terrorists are not human beings acting on beliefs no more dangerous than those of Timothy McVee or the kids who walked into Columbine high school and began shooting. The Constitution does not provide for a double standard -- although we lived with a double standard [for black and white] for most of this country's history. I am appalled at John McCain and anyone who agrees with him that this man should not have been read the Miranada rights?
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