Why did members of the U.S. Senate insist on voting this week on empowering the U.S. Government to imprison people forever without charge, citizens and noncitizens alike?
Because if the Government couldn’t imprison people forever without filing charges, it would have to tell people what their rights are.
I’m not kidding. The process of reading someone their Miranda rights is the process of the U.S. Government telling people under its power what their rights are. For instance, that “right to remain silent” is the right against self-incrimination, and it’s a constitutional right straight from the 5th Amendment.
So when members of the U.S. Senate tell you that the government must imprison people forever to keep them from being read their Miranda rights…
Senator Lindsey Graham, November 30 2011: “The question is, Are we going to change that and say in the 21st century, in 2011, every American citizen who chooses to cooperate with al-Qaida can no longer be interrogated for intelligence-gathering purposes by our Department of Defense and our intelligence community; that they have to go into the criminal justice system right off the bat, where they are given a lawyer and are read their Miranda rights? If we do that, we are going to deny ourselves valuable intelligence.”
Senator Kelly Ayotte, December 1 2011: “In our country we need the authority to, in the first instance — the presumption should be to hold those individuals in military custody so that we are not reading them Miranda rights.”
… they are telling you that in order to keep people who haven’t been convicted of any crime ignorant of their rights, they want to imprison such people for ever.
These are the new American values.