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Friday, June 12, 2009
ConWeb Misleads on Mirandizing Detainees
Topic: The ConWeb

A June 10 WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling regurgitates a Weekly Standard report claiming "the Obama Justice Department has quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, according a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee." Since Schilling made no apparent effort to verify anything on her own, she has written an article that is dubious at best.

By contrast, the Washington Independent quoted Gen. David Petraeus as saying, "The real rumor yesterday is whether our forces were reading Miranda rights to detainees and the answer to that is no." And the Washington Post's Greg Sargent contacted a Justice Department spokesman, who said: "There has been no policy change and nor blanket instruction issued for FBI agents to Mirandize detainees overseas. While there have been specific cases in which FBI agents have Mirandized suspects overseas, at both Bagram and in other situations, in order to preserve the quality of evidence obtained, there has been no overall policy change with respect to detainees."

In other words, if there is indeed a policy to Mirandize detainees, it appears to have begun in the Bush administration. Indeed, the author of that Weekly Standard report, Stephen Hayes, said himself that "There are reports that this was happening on specific bases as going back as early as July 2008."'

The rest of the ConWeb behaved only slightly better on this story, reporting the claim but not the full truth.

A June 11 Newsmax article by Dave Eberhart repeats the claim and includes the Justice Department statement, but Eberhart ignores Hayes' statement that the Mirandizing began under the Bush administration.

David Limbaugh, in a June 12 column that appears at WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, asserted that "There are reports that [Obama's] Justice Department has quietly ordered the FBI to give Miranda warnings to enemy combatants captured at war in Afghanistan" without noting reports that it apparently started under the Bush administration.

Rich Galen, in his June 12 column, also repeated the claim without noting that it apparently started under the Bush administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 12, 2009 11:31 AM EDT

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