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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Are Terrorists Criminals or Enemies in War II?

When I wrote a piece on this yesterday, I never thought how timely it would be. Right now, we are having a debate about just how many rights terrorists get. That debate, at its heart, is dependent on how you see terrorists: as criminals or enemies in war. Now, a story, first reported in the Weekly Standard, has added some very troubling new context to this debate.

A senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is accusing the Obama administration of quietly ordering the FBI to start reading Miranda rights to suspected terrorists at U.S. military detention facilities in Afghanistan.

The move is reportedly creating chaos in the field among the CIA, FBI and military personnel, according to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. The soldiers, especially, he says, are frustrated that giving high value detainees Miranda rights -- the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney -- is impeding their ability to pursue intelligence on the battlefield, according to a story first reported by the Weekly Standard.

"What I found was lots of confusion and very frustrated people on the front lines who are trying to, well, make Afghanistan successful for the United States and its allies," said Rogers, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee.

This story is not only troubling but it's confusing. That's because President Obama has always treated Afghanistan even more aggressively than Bush. He sent in drones to kill Al Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan almost immediately. He kept prisoners at Bagram and gave them less rights than Bush gave to prisoners in GITMO. On top of this, he's sent in more troops into Afghanistan.

Now, we find out that some FBI have been instructed to read high value targets their Miranda rights. This isn't just troubling but absurd. There's absolutely no reason that foreign terrorists, captured on foreign battlefields, fighting our military, have anything near Miranda rights. Furthermore, as Hotair points out, this is exactly what Sarah Palin predicted in her Vice Presidential nomination speech.

I've always said that during wartime, the most important thing is to win. All presidents during war time, have gone to extraordinary lengths to win. This latest revelation leads to a very troubling question. How hard is President Obama trying to win?

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