May 4th, 2010
02:58 PM ET
12 years ago

Rubio: Miranda rights could hamper terror investigations

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio spoke out Tuesday against the Mirandization of Faisal Shahzad."]Washington (CNN) - Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio questioned Tuesday whether Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in Saturday's botched Times Square car bombing, should have been read his Miranda rights by officials following his arrest.

"If this individual has information that could help us prevent future attacks and loss of life, nothing should stand in the way of that, including Miranda," Rubio told reporters in Washington, where he was visiting for a series of finance-related events.

His remarks mirrored criticism by fellow Republicans like Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Rep. Pete King, R-New York, both of whom said Tuesday that law enforcement officials should have interrogated the suspect before reading him the rights.

Shahzad is an American citizen. FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said the suspect was questioned before and after having his Miranda rights read to him.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Shahzad admitted involvement in what authorities have now labeled an attempted terrorist attack.

Rubio argued that the priority for federal officials in terrorism cases should be intelligence gathering in order to prevent future attacks.

Asked if Shahzad should have been read his Miranda rights, Rubio answered: "It all depends on how they are going to try him."

"After 9/11, the primary goal of our war on terror has been to prevent future attacks, not just to punish terrorists, but to prevent future attacks," he said. "And part of the problem with Miranda is that it prevents you from accessing information."

Filed under: 2010 • Marco Rubio • Terrorism
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Steve of TX

    OK, look.
    The guy is a United States citizen. He was arrested within the borders of the United States. You can't not read him his Miranda rights without risking that what he says being thrown out of court as inadmissable, or without risking harm to the judicial process in general.
    If we allow that kind of precedent, we can say, he is a suspect in a bank robbery. That is an act of terror, therefore he has no rights as a citizen. Suspect is the key word. Innocent until proven guilty. Yes Shahzad admitted involvement, and because he was read his rights it can be used against him in court.
    If you don't protect the process, you may have officials saying: He was illegally jaywalking. That's an act of terrorism and therefore he has no rights under the constitution.
    You have to protect everyone's rights in order to protect anyone's rights. Then when procedure is followed, if one is guilty they should be tried and convicted.

    May 4, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Mr. Moderate

    I guess McCain and King were not paying attention. He was interrogated before being Mirandized. Plus there's that pesky little thing out there about him being and American citizen. Why do conservatives have so little faith in our justice system?

    May 4, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Dano

    Hey Rubio maybe you didn't realize Shahzad is an American citizen, not a foreign national here on a visa. No matter how henious the crime, American citizens MUST be read their miranda rights or any information gleaned from the investigation could be thrown out in court. I'd hate to be the police officer responsible for allowing this domestic terrorist to walk free from this crime. For the inevitable ranting from far right shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later folks, this law also protects you and your family from having your civil rights violated if you or they are ever a suspect in a crime.

    May 4, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh this is precious, lets just change our whole constitution because of a few terrorists, God knows we didn't change it because of England, Mexico, Germany, Japan, or Vietnam, but now we have to because of a group of crazy people?

    What is it about Republicans being so two faced about American rights?

    On one hand they say less government, on the other they look to strip civil liberties in any way they can.

    May 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Rick in AZ

    No Republican,Conservative or Tea Partyer wants anyone to have any Constitutional protection from law enforcement abuse. Miranda Rights were found to be the method of insuring 5th Amendment guarantees. Jose Padilla also an Amenican was held in jail for a couple of years before the Government under The Idiot tried him for crimes for which he was not accused of at the time of his arrest. Rubio-this guy Shabaz is an American Citizen. What a dolt. It's a wonder he didn't demand that Shabaz be waterboarded. Are the citizens of Florida really going to vote for this imbecile?

    May 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Joseph B

    The Republican Police State Party...

    Let's read the guy his rights – then question him to get all the information from him. Pretty simple.

    Perhaps Rubio is for torturing everybody in the US in case someone have some information that may be useful in terrorism investigations. Should we torture all American citizens just to be sure?

    May 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Orac

    Disgusting. Listen up Republicans! No matter what this man has allegedly done, he is an *American citizen*. We do NOT deprive our citizens of their rights. What next, will you advocate suspending the Constitution in order to protect us from it?

    May 4, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Mike

    People like Marco Rubio are a far greater risk to the integrity of our nation than the likes of Faisal Shazad.
    By the way, I use the term "integrity" to describe the ability of our nation to hold together when stressed or compressed, not to refer to any moral integrity which we sadly can not claim.
    Coincidentally, I'm watching "Good Night & Good Luck" right now about McCarthy's attempts to destroy our country from the inside (under the guise of "patriotism," no less).
    Maybe we should stop being such cowards. If we're going to pursue policies throughout the world that marginalize the rights of people within their own borders (Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Venezuela, El Salvador, Vietnam, etc., etc.) we have to expect retaliatory measures at some point. Given that, why would we be so surprised that those aligned against us would actually be students of military history/tactics themselves.
    If they had been trained at our finest US military institutions, they likely would have been instructed to: never compromise a smaller force against a larger one; use your opponents weaknesses as your strengths; engage in propaganda whenever possible, with your own people as well as the enemy; use hit-and-run tactics to unsettle and demoralize the opponent's forces, and so on.
    Our patriot forefathers engaged in tactics in the struggle for independence that can only be described as "terrorist," particularly considering the "rules of engagement" of the period. So did the Irish, the Israelis (they blew up the King David Hotel, site of the British Palestinian Authority, which is how they got the British to leave. Some of those same terrorists when on to become high-ranking officials in the Israeli government).
    "War is Hell," said President Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, and if anyone would know it would be him. If we don't like it, we should stop doing it to others. Otherwise, we gotta suck it up and quit complaining about having to live in the world which we, by and large, created.

    May 4, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Brook

    Why do Republicans hate the Constitution?

    May 4, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Pat in Jacksonville, FL

    Regardless if he's a terror suspect nor not...we live in a land of laws. We should not lower OUR standards to that of any criminal. Following the above philosophy if an American was suspected of terrorism in a foreign country they would have the right to interrogate them without any rights. Please if that happened these same would be crying violation of human rights. We can not pick and chose which rules we want to follow. We have to hold ourselves to a higher moral authority.

    May 4, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Laverne

    I'm sorry but John McCain and Peter King have "zero" credibility these days! Marco Rubio is just pandering for votes. I really hope this guy loses big time along with the other clowns.

    May 4, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Robnorth

    Why don't Rubio, McCain, and King just put on brown shirts and be done with it, if they're so willing to take the constitutional rights of citizens and throw them in the garbage?

    May 4, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |

    Quit playing fair with these people. They dang sure wouln't with you after they behead you and drag you dead body through the streets spitting and throwing stones at it.

    May 4, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Terry From West Texas

    " 'If this individual has information that could help us prevent future attacks and loss of life, nothing should stand in the way of that, including Miranda,' Rubio told reporters..."

    What do these mealy-mouthed legalisms mean? It means that if you THINK someone is guilty of something, you can put them in a harsh environment where they endure many deprivations and perhaps a little 21st century humane torture: water-boarding, hip-hop music played 24/7 at a loud volume, no human contact, nothing to do, and maybe a little off-the-books rubber-hose persuasion.

    If, after torturing you for a while, your screams of denial and your sobbing convince them that you are innocent or that you don't know, then they let you go. Miranda rights are not to protect the guilty; they are to protect the innocent. The guilty deserve nothing except appropriate punishment or correction. But until we have established guilt or innocence, we cannot just torture everyone and see which one of them coughs up the enemy's secrets then let the others go with an apology.

    Anyone who disagrees with me should be imprisoned until I think they are not a danger to society.

    May 4, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. If We Can Defeat Him On Health Care It Will Be His Waterloo

    Even The Beckmeister said the scum should be given his Miranda rights, because he's a US citizen.

    Rubio is just another bed wetter.

    May 4, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. tmart

    You know it's okay to legally change the laws regarding Miranda, but to encourage breaking the law just because you believe it's the right thing to do–particularly if you ARE the law enforcement–is NOT the right thing to do if you value the law and the U.S. Constitution. I'm amazed at how willingly Republican politicians are willing to throw the Constitution out the door and yet hatefully accuse the Democrats of doing so.

    May 4, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Marlene

    The GOP will use anything to criticize the current administration! Thank goodness the car bomb attempt failed. But, the suspect was caught and will be tried. If the GOP has a problem with mirandizing suspects before talking to them, then the GOP should blame the Supreme Court. I am so tired of the Typical, Critical, Cynical GOP talking points and spin. Marlene in Mich

    May 4, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Kevin

    Our freedom depends on due process for every citizen charged with a crime no matter how dispicable or vile in nature. This sounds like Rubio would prefer our rights to be in line with the people in Castro's Cuba.

    May 4, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Patrick

    Do these people think b/4 they speak?

    May 4, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    When someone is arrested, they're Mirandized.

    Simple enough for you?

    A police officer can ask questions. That's what they do. BUT when a suspect is arrested and interrogated, then the police officer had better had Mirandized the suspect or anything said during the interrogation is tossed out because he hadn't been Mirandized.

    What's difficult about that?

    May 4, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. patNY

    He protests too much because the guy has been fully cooperating and spilling all his beans. And besides, we are dealing with a US citizen, whether you like it or not, who has rights, unlike foreigners who attempt to kill us on our own soil.

    May 4, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. AJ

    Yep, better if we go goose stepping in, toss American ideals of rightousness and drag folks off into the night. Heil!

    May 4, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Alex

    Shorter Rubio: What Bill of Rights???

    The unrestrained police state authoritarianism of today's GOP would be funny were the public not so eager to lap it up. We're more likely to get killed by lightning than terrorist attacks, unless you count anti-tax nuts, militia crazies, and anti-choice murderers, but of course Rubio isn't talking about profiling those fine White Christian folk, regardless of how murderous they get.

    May 4, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Jayne

    He is an American citizen. Follow the LAW !

    May 4, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. geckopelli

    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Rep. Pete King, R-New York and Rubio all concur:

    Don't let Constitutional Rights for Individuals get in the way when the Government wants something.

    May 4, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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