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.
May 5, 2010; 4:41 PM ET
Categories: Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Senate Republicans
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