December 29th, 2009
09:43 AM ET
9 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. Procstylee

    Bravo, Tom Ridge.

    December 29, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Oh? And who else doesn't "deserve the full range of protections of our criminal justice system embodied in the Constitution of the United States?" People who question the assertion that "if the President says it, it's legal?" People who make phone calls out of the country? People who board aeroplanes?

    Gee... President Ahmadinejad of Iran has that kind of system, doesn't he?

    December 29, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    That's right. We should ship him off to a country with lax human rights standards, hold him in a secret prison for an indefinite period without bringing charges against him and torture him daily. That's what makes this country a shining beacon of freedom. Have a nice day!

    December 29, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Tony in Maine

    The Republican meme – let's run the country like a Clint Eastwood character might.

    He's not a citizen, so if he commits a crime he can be tossed in a black hole, held indefinitely, tortured, and kept incommunicado.

    He's a terrorsit you say?

    Let's define terrorist: One who uses fear as a tool to manipulate others.

    Sounds like you average Republican pol to me. Can we send Chinless Mitch and Palm Springs John to the slammer?

    December 29, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. gt

    it probably will take something bad to happen to this country before , some of the those liberal congressmen wake up and see these islamic terrerist want us dead,,,,

    December 29, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. mjm

    "The two went through a "rehabilitation" program in Saudi Arabia but returned to the militants. U.S. officials, however, cautioned that the two could not be connected with Friday's attack."

    That's why you keep them in GITMO.

    December 29, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. Chad

    We need to stop treating terrorists as domestic criminals. They are at war with us, we are at war with them. It's an act of war. They do not deserve the same rights as a U.S. citizen.

    December 29, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. NYCitizen

    No terror suspect, domestic or otherwise, should have "full range of rights"...including the Gitmo detainees. Ever.

    December 29, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. NYCitizen

    P.S. Give the CIA it's full range of power, NOW.

    December 29, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. JES

    I agree 100% he was out to kill as many Americans as he could.

    When will we wake up and see we are ar War and people caught trying to kill as many of as they can don't have the same rights period.

    December 29, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Patrick

    Any terrorist or attempted terrorist is no longer a human being and therefore shouldn't be treated as such. They should be executed on the spot. It would eliminate all sorts of problems.

    December 29, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    It is always good to have someone who was in charge of the ineffective Department of Homeland Security, weigh in on how to charge this terrorist. The real question would be, "Tom, why is it that your department is such a failure at protecting Americans?"

    December 29, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Ben in Texas

    It's hardly news that Tom Ridge believes that this person has no rights. The Bush administration didn't believe that Americans deserve constitutional rights either, much less anyone else.

    That's why they let the CIA and others spy on us without warrants. That's why they were willing to put American citizens in jail without charging them. That's why they constantly spread rumors and manipulated threat levels to intimidate us into willing giving up our rights. The Bush regime's aim was to enslave us through fear.

    December 29, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. LLL

    He's right.

    December 29, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Amen. If GWB was still in charge, this guy would be on the red eye to Gitmo. Instead, the ACLU will probably defend him in a public trial. No doubt it will claim his mental state did not allow the necessary intent to harm.

    December 29, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Bob in Pa

    Do you really think BO and Holder have that kind of common sense ?

    December 29, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Elizabeth

    Our "alleged" commander-in-chief demonstrates a high degree of indifference towards the war on terror (or as he prefers "overseas contingency operations", which as we have seen is by no means 'overseas') - even after hundreds of people were nearly blown from American skies and a steady string of terrorist operations are now taking place right at home on his watch.

    Obama is clearly much more concerned about his golf game, having played more in less than a year than Bush played in 8 years. His lack of focus and treatment of this coordinated global terror campaign as a police matter is obscene. Barrack Hussein Obama's indifference is seen as a weakness and/or tacit approval for the radical Muslim movement that he seems to be courting.

    We pray for the quick end to his one term in office.

    December 29, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    What is Mr. Duct Tape Ridge yammerin' about?

    Even If the creep is provided the full range of rights, it is an open and shut case the dipwad is guilty.

    Just more grandstanding from the same administration that brought us to the brink of disaster.

    December 29, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. John Boehner is like Cleopatra, only he bathes in Cheetos

    The Department of Homeland Security is another Bush failure. While agents are strip searching grandma in her wheel chair, terrorists whose names appear on 'no fly' lists get on a plane bound for the U.S.

    December 29, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Scott, Tucson

    True, but the problem is we have an administration from the top down full of wimpy P.C. loons whom will bend over backwards (or in obama's case bend over forward) to protect this terrorist rights at the expense of ours.

    December 29, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Pete

    Sigh. Yet again a Republican can't resist the urge to break out the rubber hoses. What Ridge really means by "not granting full rights" to the terror suspect is that he wants the US to torture the guy.

    Can't help but wonder that terrorists find it a lot easier to recruit when the US is so willing to throw away all of its core values at the drop of a hat for no reason other than fear.

    December 29, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. Bob in Pa

    This "War" will not end until we either destroy Islamic fundamentalism or their will to fight. Something BO and his cohorts don't understand. Why waste time attempting to treat these people so well, it is time to meet them on their own terms.

    December 29, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  23. Out the door in 4

    He doesn't deserve them but he will probably get them and a nice lawyer provided by the tax paying citizens. All the warning signs were clearly there, warnings from his father, paid for ticket with cash, no checked baggage, on the terror watch list for 2 years and this administration claims there was no HARD evidence.................the attempted bombing appears to be the only hard evidence they acknowledge. Get ready for more under our weak and naive leadership. It only took Obama 3 days to respond.........what, his speech writer on vacation or teleprompter broken?

    December 29, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. all the news that's fit to omit

    Morning sheeple, nice to see Barry put down the clubs long enough to give a uh, uh, uh, uh un-teleprompted speech yesterday, only took him three days.

    By treating him like a candy store robber, HE WILL GIVE UP NOTHING and more attacks will happen, WHERE IS BUSH when we need him (never thought I would wish for that)?

    Fact, HE HAS NOT FILLED the positions of TSA director because he waited 9 months to select a union thug and he has NOT selected a director for the CBP as of today.

    Fact, Glibby and Jan came out and said the same nonsense about the system working on Sunday, when uh, uh, uh, uh we know it didn't (nice job "Brownie").

    The liar in chief stated that it was an "isolated incident" when we all know it WAS NOT, it was done with the help of Al Qaeda.

    The liar in chief stated that it was an "alleged" and isolated incident, ALLEGED, is this coward serious, ALLEGED?

    And then he an his buffoons blamed Bush, what a fraud and gutless coward you "people" voted uh, uh, uh, uh for.

    I am disgusted.

    December 29, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. big papa

    Joe Lieberman is the Senate's point man on Homeland Security...

    ...he has been on television touting the same absurdities that his patron saint GW touted while in office: "preemptive strikes..."

    ...Traitor Joe and the corporate right wing media are blithely glossing over the fact that...

    ...this "terrorist" received a U.S. visa, which should have been rescinded when his father (a respected banker) voiced his concerns about his son's radicalism...

    ...Traitor Joe (who bears some responsibility for the oversight of Ridge's system) has failed to institute necessary changes to make air travel, and migration to the U.S. a safe process...

    ...Traitor Joe and Pete Hoekstra (the House's point man at HS) should BOTH be FIRED!

    ...Remember, NEITHER of these two believe in the U.S. government...

    December 29, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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