December 29th, 2009
09:43 AM ET
3 months ago

Ridge: Terror suspect doesn't deserve 'full range' of rights

(CNN) - The man who allegedly lit an explosive on board a U.S.-bound international flight deserves none of the constitutional protections afforded American citizens, a former top Bush administration official said Monday.

Tom Ridge, who served as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005, made the comments on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"I take a look at this individual who has been charged criminally, does that mean he gets his Miranda warnings? The only information we get is if he volunteers it?" Ridge said. "He's not a citizen of this country. He's a terrorist, and I don't think he deserves the full range of protections of our criminal justice system embodied in the Constitution of the United States."

Ridge also said he was "not surprised" about reports that two former detainees in the detention center at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had joined up with the group that claimed responsibility for Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab's failed terrorist attack.

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Filed under: Tom Ridge
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Scott, Tucson

    "The man who allegedly lit an explosive on board a U.S.-bound international flight."

    Allegedly?? This folks is what is wrong with our nation, this country is being turned into a nation of wimps at the hands of the liberal P.C. nuts. I'm guessing it took your obama 3 days after this terrorist incident occur to come up with a speech to the nation so not to offend any Muslims here or overseas.

    December 29, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. R. Laithwaite

    "Rights!" - who is being politically correct and half afraid of offending someone? Geez, this guy is caught with explosives strapped to him and he is afforded a drawn out trial to prove that he's guilty as charged? This kind of crap bugs the heck out of me.
    Same as the UK citizen who got caught with almost 10 pounds of dope on him in China. People in general tried to save him by pleading that he was not of sane mind. Of course he knew that was the one legal loophole that may give him a chance to survive. China didn't spend very much on trials though; did they?..
    How long is the U.S. going to take on this "Bomber", with scrutinizing the "why", political blaming, legal protection, trials, appeals, retrials, etc. And all the while, supplying hotel-type lodging and meals. I don't have that!
    Time to get real here and have some finality to the punishment, so there is at least some deterrent to those that think there is nothing to fear for years after getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar, or for scaring the rest of us from our daily travels.

    December 29, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. doug marcus

    bring back tom!
    the man did imho a great job considering it was crisis mgmnt of the highest order. at least tom is an adult and acknowledges that the bad guys are for real and are not criminals or sociopaths. they are fanatics of the highest order, and deserve to be treated as such.

    December 29, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Steve in Kentucky

    Of course! Tom would ditch the entire U.S. Constitution if it were convenient. Oh, wait ... the Bush administration already did that.

    Maybe when Ridge, Bush, Cheney and Rummy are hauled up for war crimes trials we ought to deny them their constitutional rights as well.

    If having contempt for a person or group were the main prerequisite for denying constitutional rights, I'd deny them to the entire Rethuglican Party. How American is that?

    December 29, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. ATL Guy

    Tom Ridge and Fox News need to be clear that the people released from Guantanamo to Yemen were released by the Bush Justice Department. They'll gloss over this information but it is important to note it. Also, the mess with the various watch lists are all left over from the Bush administration that was more interested in bluster than dealing with the hard problems they were faced with.

    December 29, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Inofritzn

    Listen, this is getting scary. Like Obama or not, we need more collective and serious action against our enemies. Yes they are our enemies liberals. He doesn't have to be Bush, but the world is going to walk over him. Putin wants more offensive weapons, Iran gives the finger whenever, Al Quackda is rebuilding in other countries, North Korea is still playing games, China is getting braver. Appeasement and sweet talk will not work against these guys.

    December 29, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Tom in FL

    As I recall, Republicans declared the end of the rule of law, so no one had any rights, terrorist or not. That certainly simplifies things. And they call Obama 'Adolph Hitler'.

    December 29, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Coherent1

    Be careful for that of which you've suggested, lest your people suffer the same fate on foreign land.

    December 29, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. RAG

    Thank God that the illegal Cheney / Bush junta has been deposed!

    This ideological ally of Al Quida, Thomas Ridge, can now be safely ignored and derided without threat of torture and imprisonment as a "prisoner without name" in a "cell without number".

    Of course this criminal suspect deserves every right and priviledge of anyone in America accused of a crime in peacetime (the "War on Terror" was an Orwellian fiction of the illegal junta). That is what America is all about.

    Ridge, Bin Laden, Cheney and the rest of Al Quida and their fellow travelers hate American freedom. Some might be troubled that the illegal junta so corrupted the minds of some Americans that Ridge will not be tarred and feathered and ridden on a rail for his treasonous babble.

    But friends, this is America. We don't do that to terrorist criminals or their allies like Mr. Thomas Ridge.

    December 29, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Dave

    Whoa there Ridge! Lets just remember that al-CIAda was started and funded by the CIA. Quit the lies to the country and just come out with it all. Too many secrets. And too many attacks on the Constitution.

    December 29, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. TCM

    Holder and Obama will give this guy better treatment than our troops are getting...

    December 29, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Dana

    Granted I think terrorists should be punished to the full extent of the law... but when you start stripping away the judicial rights of people foreign or domestic its a slippery slope... remember it was not that long ago that women, african americans, japanese didnt qualify for "full rights" under the law...a terrorist disguists me just as much as a rapist or a child killer or any murderer out there- but we have LAWS in the country that is what makes a Democracy- we can not teater on Iranian law when it suits us as long as its against our enemies... bc our country and its people are BETTER than that. We are not heathens and we will prosecute anyone who breaks our laws within the rules of our judicial system!

    December 29, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. DALE

    Repubs don't get it. You can't pick and choose. If the Consittution does not provide protection for everyone, even our worst enemies, then it's not worth the paper it's written on.

    December 29, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Ted

    I agree with Ridge. This terrorist should have been executed the minute they got him out of the plane. To give this terrorist any rights at all would be unacceptable. The terrorist was going to take the rights to life away from all the passengers on that plane. I think the terrorist should have been made available for punching and pummeling by all the passengers and then executed. These terrorists don't care for anything or anybody and we should not care about them at all.

    December 29, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Tim

    Why does it surprise anyone that a man who was sympathetic to the Reverend Wright'santi-American views doesn't feel the need to immediately chastise other anti-American views spouted by other fanaticals?

    December 29, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Steve/Boston

    Lawlessness, lack of ethics, and anti-American values and actions have been a hallmark of Mr. Ridge, and his right wing thinking.

    Please, was anyone surprised that after the treatment prisoners received they would have a natural antipathy to the US and go back to their countries more convinced than ever that they are right, and doing the right thing to fight us?

    Mr. Ridge. Get serious, or don't prattle on about freedom, democracy and the American way, since you clearly advocate the tactics of tyrannical leaders and governments all over the world.

    December 29, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Ron in California

    Ridge is right. Lets say this was during WWII. An enemy covert operative did the same thing. They would be held as a POW I am sure. This guy is an enemy of the US, they Declared War by Jihad on us.. He is an enemy combatant..send him to Gitmo.

    December 29, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. worriedmom

    I agree totally. We should not treat this man's rights as an American citizen. This man had every intention of blowing up people on our land! For all of you that want to protect this man and his rights, why don't you sit on a plane that someone is trying to destroy and see how you feel about rights.
    Open your eyes people, A Christmas miracle was performed in front of our eyes!

    December 29, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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