The Constitution Applies to All Americans, No Matter What They Are Accused Of

Originally posted by The Huffington Post.

Our country has been shaken by the events coming out of Boston in the past week. First, of course, there was the tragedy and loss of life and injuries from the Marathon bombing, and the fear of not knowing what would happen next. Then the alleged perpetrators were found, and we now face a debate about whether the surviving suspect, a naturalized American citizen, will be read his Miranda rights or afforded the full protections guaranteed by the Constitution.

Like every American, I was sickened and saddened by the death and carnage of the bomb blasts. I was particularly heartsick for the family of the 8-year-old boy, who would never see their son graduate from middle school. The terror and panic that set in when law enforcement was on the trail of the suspects was also heart-wrenching. And like everyone else, I was relieved that law enforcement apprehended him alive Friday night.

I sat at my local pizzeria on Friday night talking with guys I didn't know about how it was better that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been captured alive. One man said it meant that we would be able to learn more about any other accomplices. Another said that since the younger suspect had not been killed, at least some degree of justice would be served. I went to sleep comforted that at least it seemed the uncertainty would not drag on and that justice could be done.

I woke up the next morning to the news that the FBI was delaying reading him his Miranda rights, while senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham were saying that he should be held by the military as an "enemy combatant" and denied not just Miranda rights, but also a lawyer.

I could hardly believe my ears. Sure, I understood that the Miranda rule had a public safety exception -- that suspects didn't have to be read their rights if there was an imminent threat to public safety. It was always supposed to be a narrow (if troubling) exception to a fundamental right. Law enforcement officials themselves indicated that there was no more imminent threat. The curfew had been lifted. And whatever the suspect's connections to other possible accomplices, the government had ample surveillance powers to track their phones and access their email and Twitter accounts.

The calls by U.S. senators that basic constitutional rights should not apply in this case were truly startling. Every criminal defendant has a right to be brought before a judge and to have access to counsel. Over my Saturday morning coffee, I thought, if we deny basic constitutional rights to an American citizen who commits a crime on American soil, then our democracy is truly harmed. Our courts are more than capable of handling cases like this one. They have successfully handled hundreds of terrorism cases. If we cut corners on this one, we set a dangerous precedent for the next time an American citizen is accused of a terrorist attack. If authorities fail to read Tsarnaev his Miranda rights that could only make his subsequent prosecution all the more difficult, as we have seen with the alleged 9/11 masterminds.

The fact that the two bombers were both immigrants also threatens to throw the immigration reform debate off rails. This case should have no impact on America's views of immigrants. But the morning news told me otherwise.

In our democracy -- a nation of immigrants -- the thing that binds us together is not a common language or race or religion, but our commitment to certain inalienable rights. The right to remain silent. The right to confront your accuser in a court of law. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Self-evident truths. It all began in Boston -- when a group of brave colonists resisted the yoke of a despotic king and sought freedom. Protecting Tsarnaev's constitutional rights is the best tribute we could give to the storied legacy of that great city where our freedoms and rights first took hold.

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Anonymous

Understand, but...
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

Totaly Fed Up i...

Anthony,

When are we going to quit "wagging our finger" at the Executive, Congress and Judiciary?

What about the undeclared martial law that shut down parts of Boston for more than a day?

Why are you surprised that our Congress has fascists currently serving?

The "rule of law" obviously does not apply to those without political or economic power.

When will this society do something about the continuing shredding of what's left of the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

Anonymous

Can someone PLEASE explain to me WHY THE KID’S light color BACKPACK IS NOT THE SAME BACKPACK AS THE black ONE THE BOMB EXPLODED IN? The bomb backpack is NOT the one the kid is carrying! And then explain why these 2 ‘drill’ guys are standing at the exact spot the bombing took place one carrying a similar backpack? Seems the case hinges on one fact ONLY - whether this kid dropped his backpack killing/ injuring innocent people. HE COULDN"T HAVE! It doesn't EVEN LOOK LIKE HIS BACKPACK! See it with your own eyes.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/137342543/Boston-15-April-2013-v2

1) BLACK bomb exploded backpack with WHITE SQUARE (on right side of pic)
2) 19yr old brother photos with his LIGHT COLOR backpack - NO HEAVY WEIGHT in it and NO WHITE SQCan someone PLEASE explain to me WHY THE KID’S light color BACKPACK IS NOT THE SAME BACKPACK AS THE black ONE THE BOMB EXPLODED IN? The bomb backpack is NOT the one the kid is carrying! And then explain why these 2 ‘drill’ guys are standing at the exact spot the bombing took place one carrying a similar backpack? Seems the case hinges on one fact ONLY - whether this kid dropped his backpack killing/ injuring innocent people. HE COULDN"T HAVE!
It doesn't EVEN LOOK LIKE HIS BACKPACK! See it with your own eyes. http://ww w.scribd.com/doc/137342543/Boston-15-April-2013-v2

1) BLACK bomb exploded backpack with WHITE SQUARE (right side of pic)
2) 19yr old brother photos with his LIGHT COLOR backpack with NO HEAVY WEIGHT in it and NO WHITE SQUARE visible at top handle spot.
3) 2 'drill' guys bottom left - left one with BLACK backpack with WHITE SQUARE beside him on right one wearing hat with WHITE SYMBOL
4) same WHITE SYMBOL as who? - what organization wears a white skull on their hats? someone suggested they're called 'seals' yes, on site before.
5) these 2 ‘drill’ guys were standing at the exact location of the bombing. Also there's a thermal photo of the kid getting out of the boat on his own - nothing in hands. Some one else posted when the kid was caught there was no blood on his gray sweatshirt which may indicate he was shot after capture. Whether he's shot in the throat or back of the neck, he now can't speak and is cut off from the world under heavy guard by his interrogators with charges sealed. See the photos for yourself. I’m just an ordinary person not trying to support ‘either side’ - just wanting to learn the honest truth of what really happened. Anyone else?
3) 2 'drill' guys bottom left - left one with BLACK backpack with WHITE SQUARE beside him on right wearing hat with WHITE SYMBOL
4) same WHITE SYMBOL - what organization wears a white skull on their hats?
5) these 2 ‘drill’ guys were standing at the exact location of the bombing. Also there's a thermal photo of the kid getting out of the boat on his own - nothing in hands. Some one else posted when the kid was caught there was no blood on his gray sweatshirt which may indicate he was shot after capture. Whether he's shot in the throat or back of the neck, he now can't speak and is cut off from the world under heavy guard by his interrogators with charges sealed - no pun intended! See the photos for yourself. I’m just an ordinary person not trying to support ‘either side’ just learn the honest truth of what really happened. Anyone else?

Anonymous

Can someone PLEASE explain to me WHY THE KID’S light color BACKPACK IS NOT THE SAME BACKPACK AS THE black ONE THE BOMB EXPLODED IN? The bomb backpack is NOT the one the kid is carrying in the photos! And please explain why the 2 ‘drill’ guys are standing at the exact spot the bombing took place one carrying a similar backpack - see both overview and close-ups. Seems this case hinges on one true fact ONLY - whether this kid dropped his backpack killing/ injuring innocent people. HE COULDN"T HAVE! It doesn't EVEN LOOK LIKE HIS BACKPACK! See it with your own eyes.
http://ww w.scribd.com/doc/137342543/Boston-15-April-2013-v2

1) BLACK bomb exploded backpack with WHITE SQUARE (on right side of pic)
2) 19yr old brother photos with his LIGHT COLOR - not black backpack with NO HEAVY WEIGHT in it.
3) 2 'drill' guys bottom left - left one with BLACK backpack with WHITE SQUARE beside him, on right one wearing hat with WHITE SYMBOL
4) same WHITE SYMBOLas who? - what organization wears a white skull on their hats? someone says they're called 'seals'.
5) these 2 ‘drill’ guys were standing at the exact location of the bombing before it happened. Also there's a thermal photo of the kid getting out of the boat on his own - nothing in hands. Some one else posted when the kid was caught there was no blood on his gray sweatshirt which may indicate he was shot after capture. Whether he's shot in the throat or back of the neck, he now can't speak and is cut off from the world under heavy guard by his interrogators with charges sealed. See the photos for yourself. I’m just an ordinary person not trying to support ‘either side’ - just learn the honest truth of what really happened. Of course his backpack is probably long gone but the photos remain explicit and undeniable. Anyone else believe in innocence until proven guilty?

G Ellis

We should be ashamed that those in our government are basking in the sweet justice of a 19 year old soul they don't even know. EVERYONE deserves a fair trial, and that's what makes America an exceptional place. This family found asylum from political strife here, and we must not compromise our Constitutional rights for the latest trend or buzz word: terrorism, et all. The Constitution must be finite without limitations, or else what's the point?

Anonymous

I was born to parents that are juniors to their parent of their same gender. Each were from prominent families and money. Despite these factors they have deep psychological issues of which includes low self-esteem, narcissism and pedophilia sexual predatory characteristics.

I am a victim/survivor of SBS(Shaken Baby Syndrome) from my having only been five-six weeks of age when was admitted to Madison University Hospital for 'lesions of the mouth' that were bogusly misdiagnosed as 'malignant tumors'. My biological father, the perpetrator, evaded suspicion and justice by enlisting in the armed services and going overseas. My mother, with a permanent 'port wine' or 'strawberry' birthmark on her eye took me and relocated me north to Green Bay, WI. My biological father returned in 1967 and finding out that she had taken me away from the county where he was born and the area where I was molested and almost murdered by him as an infant, took a room above where my mother worked in Green Bay, WI, and made repeated attempts to reunite with her and 'only' after numerous attempts to reunite with her some of which included acts which today would land a person in jail/prison, returned to the county/area where he was raised and where he had committed the abuse of SBS/Sexual abuse upon me as an infant of only five to six weeks of age and filed a 'writ of habeas corpus'. I was seven. He won the case and attached to my person and brought me back to the area where the SBS crimes had been committed years earlier. I remained under his parent's roof for the next three years and then he took me from under their roof to live in an apartment with him and my older 1/2 brother. I was 'again' abused and was set on a path of 'fight or flight' and relocate to live under the roof of a man who my mother had married who I not yet met.

Guess, where I am going with this is simply this. There are so many things that are done to young women within this Country that goes totally ignored. This Country is do quick to point a finger at how women are treated in the Middle East but they do not look at what was done to me or other young women.

After I was victimized as a young female infant by my biological father for reasons which include his deep pride in being of 'Scottish' heritage, he provided 'informed consent' to terminate my son at my being more than six and a half months of pregnancy with a many I deeply loved, Michael C. Anderson (d.o.b. 9/11/1957). It was a procedure that had been outlawed by the United States Supreme Court the year prior to my having been forced to endure such a horrific inhumane life changing event.

He went on two years later to marry a woman, after I turned 18. He married her, his third cousin, on September 17th, the same day the US Constitution was signed 'just in order to cover for his crime' of having molested me as an infant and having tried to kill me as an infant in 1960 and numerous other attempts in the years that followed.

I guess I do not know 'what' to say or how to respond to what happened in Boston, MA or other incidents on US soil by radical from the M.E.

I guess I find myself living in somewhat of a vacuum considering what's been done to me, and believe me there's a way lot more of which includes my X's involvement in the Thomas Monfils murder at the American Can paper-mill in Green Bay, WI, on 11/21/1992, which I was ignored despite the fact I had information which 'again' all stems back to my being an SBS victim and/or this state's unusual unorthodox on-line legal website commonly referred to as 'CCAP' or 'WCCA' and more specifically how the 'powers to be' use the website (WORLD WIDE WEB) to bully its citizens and harass them not just in this state but around the world (e.g. WWW!!!!!!! postings!!!!!)

It is 'my belief' that Wisconsin's CCAP or WCCA on-line legal website 'is' the weakest link in this country if we are to put up with on-line legal websites and posting of on-line case law within each state. It is my belief that such on-line legal websites should only be accessible by officials of each state.

I was WI's sacrafical lamb in its laboratory of democracy. How so, my ex husband orchestrated the Thomas Monfils mruder in Green Bay, WI on 11/212/1992. He was born on July 4th (1957). In 1992, WI's first on-line legal website in the Nation went live in Villas County, WI. Brown County where the murder of Thomas Monfils took place did not go live until 1997. I tried to come forward about what 'I' knew about the murder at the paper-mill in the fall of 1993 when I was mysterously sought out and hired through a temp agency I'd not signed up with to work an temp job at the Green Bay DA's office on a filing job in the fall of 1993. At that time I tried to tell the DA what I knew about the murder of Thomas Monfils and my X's involvement in the case but the DA didn't want to listen to me. Because the X's d.o.b. was/is on the 4th of July his word was 'to the DA' e.g. gold. They/he simply didn't want to listen to what I had to say. Six men went to prison while he walked away Scot free. Amazing. Truly amazing.

Even more amazing is the fact that Owen Monfils, the relative to the man beaten to unconsciousness, jaw broken, a rope & weight tied around his neck and thrown into the pulp vat with the hopes that he'd never be found, was also my mother's father's legal counsel when he was an alderman of Green Bay, WI, and also 'my' divorce attorney to the X, former Union President of James Rivers paper-mill where Thomas Monfils was murdered on 11/21/1992.

I guess I do not know what to say about what has happened with Boston Marathon. My paternal great grandmother retired from the Boston Store in the 1970's. My biological father who committed the SBS injuries upon me as an infant went on to cause her early death, insisting upon having a 4th of July (1972) party despite the fact she was dying suffering from cancer years prior. She lost the fight and went into the hospital where she died on July 1st, 1972.

FYI: Neither parent has sat one single day in prison/jail for what's been done to me. If what has been done to me, mulitiplied by 10, 20, or even 100 is what's being done in the M.E. to women, I cannot help but be able to empathize with what is going on in the minds of the M.E immgrants to this country and how they might come across a few young ladies like me who have gone through similar life's experiences.

I guess what I mean is that they may perceive the US as being perfect and upon arriving and meeting unfortunate souls like myself that have experienced such injustices may start to second guess their deciding to come to this country and fall back into a 'hate the U.S.' mentality state of mind.

Anyway, I continue to try to seek justice by means of the US Justice system for what has been done to me, my son with my beloved Michael C. Anderson and Michael himself who my biological father murdered nine years 'after' our son was taken from me in October of 1976.

God Bless,
Patti S.J. Mackenzie

Anonymous

What 'is' the point? And what 'will' it take for 'the so called point' to be understood. Why do things like this happen in the US? Or anywhere in the world for that matter?

Libertarian

So, the ACLU gets all up in arms because some people in government wanted to deny this ONE MAN his Constitutional rights, but are SILENT about HUNDREDS or even THOUSANDS of American citizens having their fourth amendment rights TRAMPLED by the government in their warrantless house-to-house search? Don't be HYPOCRITES, address this gross violation of Massachusetts citizen's rights !!!

Anonymous

Where is the outrage over the elephant in the room of this episode that no one is talking about, not even the ACLU? This is MUCH bigger than the issue of how one terrorist suspect is handled after his arrest.

When did America become an out-in-the-open police state?

Since when do we shut down an entire city and conduct door-to-door (warrantless) raids on innocent peoples' houses?

Does the 4th Amendment actually still exist?

ZenDog

The Case To Impeach: Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.)

By now all of us, I am sure, are intimately acquainted with the events that transpired on Boylston Street, in Boston, on Monday, April 15, Patriots Day.

We are acquainted with the twin bombs and everything that came after: the intense investigation, the photographs, the shootout, the lockdown of a major metropolitan area and the intense manhunt.

We are acquainted with the victims: Krystle Campbell, 29; Martin Richard, 8; Lingzi Lu, 23, and MIT officer Sean Collier, 26.

We know that each of these human beings died as a result of the callus actions of two men, and we know this because of extensive photographic evidence. We now know who they are, and we know one of them is dead, and the other is in custody.

And Finally, we know that four members of Congress did issue a statement calling for the surviving perpetrator to be turned over to military authority.

http://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=283aeb5a-ffc4-7534-730b-b9df7e3a648f

  • “The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans. The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent,”
  • Joint statement by: Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.)
    • No doubt, all of us are by now well acquainted with the suspect in question. His name is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he is 19, and a citizen of these United States. Naturalized to be sure, but he is a citizen, having lived among us since the age of nine, having gone to our schools, lived and played along side our children. He is, without any question, one of us.

      What these legislators have proposed is that this young man, this citizen, be classified as an enemy combatant, and be turned over to military authority, for an indefinite period, as a response to his criminal conduct. Most of us are well aware that any of our children may fall victim to the process of radicalization today. It is a prospect that none of us would wish, for anyone. Yet it can, and it has, happened, many times in recent memory. Never once has such a suggestion been made. Until now. That it has been made, on this occasion, seems so incredulous, that many of us may be apt to think to ourselves, they must be joking.

      But this is no joke. By weight of their authority alone, such a statement becomes credible. This then is a very serious matter, and we must devote our undivided attention. We must do so now, for if it is acceptable for one of our children to be so declared and held indefinitely, then any of our children may treated in like manner under similar circumstance, and we do not perceive clearly where all of this may end.

      The current President has insisted that we will not engage in enhanced interrogation. Let us be frank. What he has said is that we will not permit torture to remain as a matter of state policy, under any circumstances. He has also dispensed with the term: enemy combatant. The legislative actions that produced such terms and instituted torture as a matter of state policy may, perhaps, be forgiven, in that they were a response to an event that shook this nation, overwhelmed it with grief, inspired not only the imperative of response, but also an outpouring of rage.

      What this President has done is to have stepped this nation back from the abyss where only darkness and tyranny rule.

      What these four legislators have proposed is to propel us back toward that darkness.

      We have, in this nation, erected long standing curbs to such action. They come to us in the form of our Constitution, wherein the right of due process has been enshrined.

      The rights granted the People of these United States come to us at high cost, they were not easily won, and we see they are not easily maintained. We see that in time of war we may set them aside, however briefly. We have seen war waged between brothers, between father and son, and we have seen this nation torn in half in that dark hour. Yet we did emerge the stronger, with steps toward the promise of equality for all. Each step bore with it a heavy price, the price of American blood. Our fathers’, and our grandfathers’ blood.

      We cannot today, take this most recent, most heinous criminal act, and convert it into an alter of war, whereon the memory, and the blood of three American children and one foreign national - a guest in our house - may be sacrificed. If we are to preserve all that has been purchased at great sorrow and great cost, from that day to this, we must hold these four legislators accountable to their sworn oath, to uphold the United States Constitution.

      This they have not done, and so must be impeached.

      Maddow: The legal process ahead for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

      Gothamist: Can The Boston Bombing Suspect Be Deemed An "Enemy Combatant?

      The Case To Impeach: Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.)

      D. Winter
      ZenDogBlog.net

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