Archive - May 17, 2010

Bananas En La Cabeza

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Memo to everyone from John Fucking McCain to Eric Fucking Holder: YOU ARE DUMB.

ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?"

A significant fraction of the right-wing just shit their pants. and the rest are pretending to.

That, of course, is the Miranda warning. Drilled into the American psyche through decades of cop shows since it was brought into play in the late 60s. Yet somehow, despite being exposed to it for more than 40 years, people must never have figured out how it works or why it's necessary. Because if they had, they'd realize the conservatard anti-Miranda backlash makes no fucking sense at all. For example, Liz "Why Do You Have A Microphone" Cheney:

"When the administration captures a terrorist and their first instinct is to inform him that he’s got the right to remain silent, that is exactly the wrong way to win this war." - Cheney, showing us all what Luke Skywalker would have been like if he'd said "OK, Dad!" at Cloud City.

Cheney thinks we should make them talk so we can find out who trained them, and if we inform them of their rights, they might not talk. Now, I do think we should learn where the Times Square bomber trained, so that we can provide it with funding. Because that had to have been the shittiest terrorist training camp ever. Let's give them money so that they can keep failing to explain that not all fertilizer blows up.

Of course, we generally find all that stuff out anyway, whether the suspect is told they have rights or not. But Miranda warnings are a police thing, and hacks like Liz Cheney are still trying to cling to the failed doctrine that fighting this like a trillion dollar war is the awesomest idea in the history of awesome ideas, so their motives are as clear as their thinking is murky.

"Obviously that would be a serious mistake... at least until we find out as much information we have [sic]. Don't give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it's all about." - John McCain, on Imus.

You know, some people are giving McCain a sort of a pass on all the insane stupidity he's been spouting lately, claiming it's because he's in that tight primary battle with the completely bugfuck J.D. Hayworth. But that's actually a much more severe indictment than the other possibilities - that he was like this all along and hid it when it was convenient, or that he's got the brainworms. It means that John McCain is willing to lie and be wrong at the drop of a hat in order to keep his job. Which, to be fair, we could have assumed from the word "Senator", but he's still in the upper echelon of the egregiousness rankings here.

Not to mention his complete misunderstanding, which is either willful, or, again, brainworms. Nobody is granted rights by the Miranda warning; they're informed of them. The rights in the Miranda warning are in the Bill of Fucking Rights - the fifth, against self-incrimination, and the sixth, the right to an attorney. And even if you grant the Bush-era idea that Constitutional rights extend only to U.S. citizens, the Times Square bomber still had those rights the moment he was naturalized.

Which means all not giving him the Miranda warning does is make all the stuff you can get out of him inadmissible in court. And I know it's also bad form amongst the pants-shitting set that American citizens arrested for a crime get to go to court, but you make a very poor "original intent" constitutionalist when you argue otherwise. We don't read people their Miranda rights because we're terrorist-hugging hippies who want to make sure prisoners get their rights, their tea, and their scones. We do it because if we don't do it, they won't go to jail.

It's incredibly easy to establish that the wingnut crusade against Miranda is moronic at worst and disingenuous at best, designed solely to give tribalist lowbrow monkeyfuckers a face-saving out whenever the Obama administration catches the latest half-assed "jihadist" and their non-functioning bomb. Which is why this, which I mentioned last week, completely fucking baffles me.

"Mr. Holder proposed carving out a broad new exception to the Miranda rights established in a landmark 1966 Supreme Court ruling. It generally forbids prosecutors from using as evidence statements made before suspects have been warned that they have a right to remain silent and to consult a lawyer." - The New York Times.

All that does is hand Liz Cheney an expensive prosthetic leg to stand on. Fuck that. Let her keep doing what she's been doing - using her daddy's credentials as a crutch. This is why I get driven completely insane by this administration. You have a clear, fact-based case where the opposing side is completely in the wrong, based in the Bill of Fucking Rights, and you don't even try to mount a strong defense of it, you just try and find a way to shut up the yapping by finding a way to give in a little.

At which point you might as well just put a fruit basket on your heads and conga-line the fuck out of D.C., because that's never how you win anything in politics, and it's never how to win over your base who knows damn well just how wrong you are.