Press Releases

Rogers: Terrorists Should Not Be Given Constitutional Rights

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Washington, DC, Jan 26, 2010 | Stefani Zimmerman (202-225-4601) | comments
House Republicans today introduced legislation requiring the Justice Department (DOJ) to consult with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense before giving terrorists Miranda rights. The Ensuring the Collection of Critical Intelligence Act of 2010 (H.R. 4503) requires DOJ to consult with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense before mirandizing or charging a foreign terrorist as a criminal.  

“I am outraged that we are giving terrorists who seek to destroy our nation the same rights as American citizens,” said Congressman Hal Rogers.  “We lose valuable intelligence when we allow known terrorists to be given Miranda Rights and try them in civilian courts.  I see no reason why we should afford our enemies the same constitutional rights as American citizens or the same due process as criminal defendants.  We should not be risking the security of our nation to make a political statement.”  
Following the Christmas Day bombing plot, Nigerian terrorist Abdulmutallab admitted to FBI agents that he was an al Qaeda operative who had received explosives training from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Despite confessing to being a foreign terrorist affiliated with al Qaeda, Abdulmutallab was informed of his Miranda rights and charged as a civilian criminal. Neither the FBI nor DOJ consulted with the intelligence community before filing the complaint. 

According to news reports, Abdulmutallab claimed to be one of many terrorists training with al Qaeda to attack Americans. But now that he has been given access to an attorney, Abdulmutallab has stopped cooperating with investigators. In other words, our ability to gather critical intelligence about pending attacks against Americans has been lost. A recent Investor’s Business Daily poll found that 61% of those polled oppose giving Miranda rights to captured terrorists. 

Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY) was joined by 17 Republicans in introducing the bill today, including: Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas), House Republican Conference Secretary John Carter (R-Texas), Armed Services Ranking Member Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Homeland Security Ranking Member Peter King (R-N.Y.), Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R- Fla.), Judiciary Committee Members Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), Daniel Lungren (R-Calif.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), and Congressmen Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Don Manzullo (R-Ill.). Representative Manzullo’s District includes the Thomson prison, which is slated to be the future home of as many as 50 Guantanamo Bay terrorists.

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