Article I Aghast that Article III Insisted on Separation of Powers

It turns out Obama’s DOJ has not discovered new respect for accused rights since holding Manssor Arbabsiar and Faisal Shahzad two weeks without seeing a judge or lawyer after all. Rather, the magistrate who signed the complaint Sunday night made the decision on Saturday.

A federal judge made the call to advise the Boston bombing suspect of his Miranda rights, even though investigators apparently still wanted to question him further under a public-safety exception.

[snip]

The judge first told the Justice Department on Saturday she intended to read Mr. Tsarnaev his rights on Monday. One U.S. official said the judge cited the intense television coverage of the capture as one reason for initiating the criminal prosecution.

Kudos to Judge Marianne Bowler for the courage to stand by the law.

Meanwhile, the Members of Congress who learned about this yesterday were outraged Article II didn’t tell Article III to fuck off. Mike “Like he was J Edgar Hoover” Rogers even wrote Eric Holder about it (as if Holder had sway over Bowler).

House intelligence committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) said in an interview Thursday that Justice officials should have pushed back on the judge’s plans. He wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder late Wednesday to register his concerns.  “What I find shocking is that the judiciary proactively inserted itself into this circumstance and the Justice Department so readily acquiesced to the circumstance,” he said. “The court doing this proactively they may have jeopardized our ability to get public-safety information.”

[snip]

The revelation came late Wednesday at a briefing before the House intelligence committee. One lawmaker in the meeting asked FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce why the FBI didn’t raise objections, according to another U.S. official.

Mr. Joyce said in essence it wasn’t the FBI’s role to object to such a determination, the official recounted.

The answer stunned many of the lawmakers in the room. “The whole tenor in the room changed,” the official said.

Remember, by the time Bowler read Dzhokhar his rights, multiple government witnesses were leaking publicly that the government was convinced there was no imminent threat, the entire point of the public safety exception. No one was even pretending this was about public safety anymore.

Nevertheless, the House Intelligence Committee is outraged — outraged!! — that a judge did her job.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

8 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    I would respectfully suggest to the House Intelligence Committee that they do their own effing jobs, instead of trying to tell the other branches of government how to do theirs. Because if the congressional intelligence committees (or lack of intelligence committees) do their own jobs, maybe we might have an intelligence community that actually can do its job.

  2. jerryy says:

    Wow, blame the judge. Not unusual for this crowd, they have muttered about activist judges before. I wonder how long the outrage will last before they go back to their usual blaming of:

    1) religion(s) — any not of their own, which their own usually involves worshiping what they see in their mirrors.

    2) video games — a little surprising as these are low cost trainers.

    3) Hollywood — also a little surprising since a lot of Hollywood makes propaganda for which ever administration is running the show.

    Some of these leaders seem bent on replacing what is left of our government with a military dictatorship that they run. Maybe those junkets overseas visiting repressive regimes made them jealous. I wonder if they will be calling for outfitting the domestic drones with chemical weapons.

  3. pdaly says:

    Good for the judge and for the rule of law.

    No wonder why the story repeating on the radio all day today is that the suspect told authorities plans of going to NYC to do more damage with his brother but then retracted his statements after being read his rights (and coming down on the pain meds). Push back as well on the ‘he had no weapon in the boat’ story surfacing today. Wonder why the police sat on this fact so long. Everyone could have understood ahead of the capture the police assuming the guy had a weapon on the boat. Why be reluctant to speak the facts after the capture?

    I have to say that recent radio interviews on this particular case has Alan (torture warrants) Dershowitz sounding like a constitution-loving lawyer. Where has he been this past decade? It’s good to have him back.
    from CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/20/us/boston-suspect-what-next

    “Impossible. There’s no way an American citizen committing a domestic crime in the city of Boston could be tried as an enemy combatant,” he told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “It could never happen. And that shows absolute ignorance of the law.”

    [snip]
    “The police have said there’s no public safety issue; it’s solved, it’s over,” Dershowitz said. “There are no further threats. But the FBI is saying there’s enough further threats to justify an exception.” -Dershowitz

  4. joanneleon says:

    Didn’t someone organize an effort to buy 535 copies of those little constitution books and have them sent to Congress at some point during the Bush admin? Sounds like it is time to do that again.

  5. FrankProbst says:

    Posting OT, because there hasn’t been a Boston post in a while: It’s now clear that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stopped talking to the police/FBI right after being Mirandized. The inevitable right-wing freakout doesn’t seem to have happened yet. But I’d like to throw my two cents in early: I don’t think he stopped talking BECAUSE he was read his rights. I think he stopped talking because–as the transcript of the Miranda warning makes clear–he was provided a defense lawyer at about that time, who no doubt told him to keep his mouth shut.

  6. Fractal says:

    Meanwhile, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence thinks we are “hyperventilating” children who need to leave the grownups alone to finish investigating their intelligence silo screwups:

    “Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said during an appearance at a conference in Washington on Thursday that he has seen no evidence that U.S. agencies failed. ‘The dots were connected,’ he said. He also called on the public ‘not to hyperventilate for a while before we get all the facts.’ ”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/anti-terror-task-force-was-warned-of-tamerlan-tsarnaevs-long-trip-to-russia/2013/04/25/0ed426de-addb-11e2-8bf6-e70cb6ae066e_print.html

    WaPo’s lede:

    “Nine months before the Boston Marathon bombing, a U.S. counterterrorism task force received a warning that a suspected militant had returned from a lengthy trip to Russia, U.S. officials said.

    “The warning was delivered to a single U.S. Customs and Border Protection official assigned to Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a cell of specialists from federal and local law enforcement agencies. The task force was part of a network of multi-agency organizations set up across the country after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to make sure that clues and tips were shared.

    “But officials said there is no indication that the unidentified customs officer provided the information to any other members of the task force, including FBI agents who had previously interviewed the militant.”

  7. klynn says:

    “One U.S. official said the judge cited the intense television coverage of the capture as one reason for initiating the criminal prosecution.”

    So, now we have become Hunger Games?

Comments are closed.