Chambliss Wants Tsarnaev Named Enemy Combatant
WASHINGTON — Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) said the Obama administration needs to go further to limit Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s rights as part of the Boston Marathon bombings investigation.
“I urge this administration to do the right thing and deem this suspect as an enemy combatant so that we get as much intelligence as legally possible before the suspect is Mirandized,” Sen. Chambliss said in a statement released on Saturday.
Late in the day, CNN reported that Tsarnaev suffered an injury to his throat and may not be able to talk, according to a federal source.
But prosecutors have already announced they’re prepping a special team called the “High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group” to go in as soon as possible.
The special interrogators are not required to read his Miranda rights, including his right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present.
“They want to understand the entire scope of this network so they can learn from this and stop it the next time,” said Todd Stein, who teaches national security at Georgia Tech. “They want to exhaust every possible lead before shutting down the interrogation of this individual.”
Stein said the high-value interrogation team was created by the Obama administration three years ago.
“It was a direct response to the Christmas day bombing, and a lot of heat they got from Congress over the fact that they did not use all the information they possibly could to stop the next terrorist attack,” Stein told 11Alive’s Jennifer Leslie.
In that case, the suspect was Mirandized early on, and critics saw a missed opportunity.
“Given what we know, and more importantly don’t know, about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, this terrorist should be fully interrogated as an enemy combatant before any consideration is given to providing Miranda warnings,” Sen. Chambliss said in his statement. “I am disappointed that it appears this administration is once again relying on Miranda’s public safety exception to gather intelligence which only allows at best a 48-hour waiting period that may expire since the suspect has been critically wounded.”
Tsarnaev’s father has told reporters he wants his son to tell everything and be honest.
But he doesn’t have to talk, regardless of whether he hears his Miranda rights.