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Bloomberg: Mirandized Times Square bomb suspect has "continued to be helpful"

You'd think Mayor Michael Bloomberg really wants to get the handling of the Times Square bomb suspect just right. If he agreed with GOP Rep. Pete King (N.Y.) that the Mirandizing of Faisal Shahzad compromised our ability to get info from him, making it tougher to stop another attack later, he'd probably say so.

So it's interesting that Bloomberg not only disagrees with King, but also claims that the suspect has "continued to be helpful" after being Mirandized. Here, per a transcript, is what Bloomberg said during a scrum with reporters in Washington after a hearing today:

I disagree with the congressman. I've always thought democracy is strong enough. There is an exemption, a public safety exemption which was used here. The police officers in the court don't have to read you your rights if they think there's information they get right away. Then they do it afterwards.

In this case, that's what they did. They got some information. The guy was either read or offered to have read to him his Miranda rights and he's continued to be helpful and giving us information.

Amusingly, during that same hearing today, Sen. Lindsey Graham actually called on Bloomberg and the New York police department to join him in coming up with a way to avoid having to Mirandize terror suspects in the future. It doesn't look like Bloomberg is on board with this idea, though.

Bloomberg says the current law enforcement approach to Shahzad is working: He's continuing to be "helpful" despite being Mirandized. Now, maybe Bloomberg is wrong about this, and maybe Pete King and Lindsey Graham are right.

But the simple fact is that Bloomberg has far more of an incentive to be right on this than King and Graham do. Those two lawmakers can grandstand all they want on the issue, with little chance that it will have any actual impact on the treatment of Shahzad. Meanwhile, It's Bloomberg's job to protect and defend 10 million constituents who are said to be in the terrorists' crosshairs. So he would pay a far greater price than King or Graham if we got this one wrong.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 4:41 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup


There is absolutely NO benefit to permitting private vehicles in the Times Square area. Zero benefit. The city finally shut down some of the streets passing directly through Times Square in 2009, but traffic STILL flows through the square and cars can still park right next to THE tourist mecca of NYC. Of course democracy is enough. But NYC needs a Mayor who will do what is right by NYC and not put on a facade that he cares so much about this town. It's a joke and the joke is on those of us who live in NYC.

Shut down traffic in and around Times Square! PERIOD!

Should have been done immediately after 9/11. Traffic patterns will work themselves out. Business has actually thrived since they shut down some of the main streets going through Times Square. Bloomberg is a FOOL. And this attack is ENTIRELY his fault. Entirely his fault. I'll never forgive him, not just for this, but for imposing his massive ego on the city for 3 terms.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 5, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Admitting that "at first blush" the bill "seems to be an obvious step that we should take," Collins said that many people on the FBI's watchlist don't belong there. "None of us wants a terrorist to be able to purchase a gun, but neither should we want to infringe upon a Constitutional right of law-abiding Americans," she said.

Graham described the bill as an instrument of those who would ban guns altogether. "We're talking about a constitutional right here," he said, explaining that he could not support a bill that would force "innocent Americans" to "pay the cost of going to court to get their gun rights back."

Graham wasn't nearly as concerned about rights when he launched into a disquisition on the treatment of American citizens accused of terrorism. "I am all into national security," he said. "I want them to stop reading these guys Miranda rights."

Posted by: cmccauley60 | May 5, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"I want to stop reading these guys Miranda rights."

But, they can have guns! Jeebus. Talk about locking the barn after the horses get out.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 5, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Michael Isikoff and Hugh Hewitt had an interesting discussion on Faisal Shahzad, the American citizen apparently behind the Times Square bombing plot. Halfway through, Hewitt inadvertently gives what amounts to the conservative capsule view of due process:

MI: And he waived, and he waived his Miranda rights. Look, there probably will be a discussion of this. But all I’m saying is we are still a country of laws. You can’t just make it up as you go along.

HH: But that’s cliché.

MI: And you know, maybe…

HH: That’s just cliché. We’re a country of laws. I know that. I teach it.

Yes, a cliché authored by John Adams. Funny how the conservative reverence for the country's founding fathers so often stops just short of defending the principles these men stood for.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | May 5, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Bloomberg is asking questions about why terror suspects can still get guns legally:

"But GOP Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina wouldn't go along.

Admitting that 'at first blush' the bill 'seems to be an obvious step that we should take,' Collins said that many people on the FBI's watchlist don't belong there. 'None of us wants a terrorist to be able to purchase a gun, but neither should we want to infringe upon a Constitutional right of law-abiding Americans,' she said."

Hmm, the GOP has no problem stripping folks of their citizenship, or rousting brown folks in Arizona, but God forbid that an Al Qeada operative should be denied access to firearms.

Does anyone in the GOP stop to think how stupid they actually appear to be?

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 5, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone in the GOP stop to think how stupid they actually appear to be?"

LMAO. No. :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 5, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

cmcauley, you weren't a regular before, were you? If not, welcome.

Happy hour roundup coming soon.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 5, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the modern world fun?

Hugo Chavez... has joined TWITTER!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse


Suns to wear 'Los Suns' uniforms to honor Phoenix's Latino community

The team will be wearing its "Los Suns" jerseys for Wednesday night's Game 2 against the San Antonio Spurs "to honor [the] Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation." Awesome.

The decision to wear the jerseys came from way up the corporate ladder, as team owner Robert Sarver suggested the team wear their Noche Latina alternates.

The Suns voted on the jerseys and unanimously decided to wear them for Cinco De Mayo.,238682

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 5, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse


In either a garbled thought or one of the great, classic gaffes, John Thune suggests that his colleague Bob Corker breaks from the party line a lot because he actually thinks about policy:

"I think he’s a guy who’s willing to get down into the weeds," said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who is No. 4 in GOP leadership. "Because he immerses himself in that and understands it so well — the positions he adopts may not always be the ones that everyone else in our conference comes to."

OOPS!!!!! haha

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 5, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else really tired of having to justify the need for laws that have already existed for a reason? Like we are literally arguing for something that has been around since the 50's and 60's like its new. Same with torture. Why do we honestly have to argue against it? I mean really?

Posted by: osmondbrinson | May 5, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Republican Advantage in 2010 Voting Enthusiasm Shrinks

Republican registered voters' enthusiasm about voting in this year's midterm elections has declined significantly in recent weeks. As a result, Republicans' advantage over Democrats on this measure has shrunk from 19 points in early April to 10 points in the latest weekly aggregate.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 5, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Gallup: Underemployment Falls to 18.9% in April

More than 2 million Americans became fully employed in April, as Gallup's "underemployment" rate fell 1.4 points to 18.9% -- the lowest level for this new measure since Gallup began tracking it in December 2009. While part of this improvement is the result of the normal pickup in hiring at this time of year -- and the addition of temporary census workers -- it is good news both for those becoming fully employed and for the economy as a whole.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 5, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

All, happy hour roundup posted:

And thanks, everyone, for coming over for this first day.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 5, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

We need to stop focusing on this Miranda junk and ask ourselves the important question. Why would a guy with a degree in computer science build such a half-a__ bomb?

Truth is that is was a test of the NY response infrastructure conducted by a terrorist group. They now have a clear picture of how rapid response works in NY and can use this in planning the real attack.

Lets not get off topic by focusing on election year BS.

Posted by: boomer5 | May 6, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

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