The anti- Constitutionalists, those folks who don’t believe in basic human rights keep trying to make the Boston Marathon tragedy a case for their position that no, those suspected of a crime do not have any rights if the government decides they have no rights. The latest to join the fray, former Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
Mr. Mukasey’s position is that the captured suspect did not have any rights, because when the FBI was questioning him it is was not in connection with his being a suspect but in connection with getting information. Take a look at this twisted logic.
Of course, Mr. Tsarnaev could have chosen not to talk to intelligence interrogators, or chosen to lie to them. But that is what he would have been exercising: a choice, not a right.
Uh Mike, if you have a choice to do something it means you have the right to do it. Really, think about if you can manage an intelligent thought process.
Mr. Mukasey advocates questioning the suspect for months,
Ideally, such intelligence questioning would have continued for a long period, probably months, so that interrogators could try to substantiate the information they obtained, then double back and ask more questions based on what they found. Intelligence-gathering is an incremental process, at best.
Now maybe Mr. Mukasey also means that during these months Mr. Tsarnaev would have been allowed to go free because in the U. S. the government cannot incarcerate a person without making a formal charge of a crime. Yes we know that is stupidly insane that the government should have let Mr. Tsarnaev go free, but when one views the other logic and statements by the former AG such a position on his part seems possible.
To his credit Mr. Mukasey admits that the suspect could not be tried as an enemy combatant. But what he really wants is to deny basic rights to people because they are suspected of committing odious crimes.
Regrettably, it appears that here we must fall back to the Obama administration's frequently articulated concern, always presented in overarching moral terms, that America must prove to a constantly doubting world that the U.S. can follow the law even—especially—when it confers rights on unlovely folk like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and even if those rights don't quite exist.
And our response to Mr. Mukasey is that yes, the world needs to know that the
U. S. is a
country of laws, and that it can follow
the law even when the law confers rights on a person suspected of the heinous
crime that took place in Boston. When the world stops getting that message
the terrorists and the totalitarians like Mr. Mukasey have won.