Post follows Fox's footsteps with Miranda misinformation

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

The Washington Post reported that there was controversy over whether to read the suspected Times Square bomber his Miranda rights after suspected Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab "stopped cooperating with authorities after being read his rights." In fact, intelligence and law enforcement officials stated that Abdulmutallab cooperated both before and after he was Mirandized, as the Post itself reported previously.

Post advances false Miranda issue

Washington Post: Abdulmutallab was "initially responsive" but "stopped cooperating with authorities after being read his rights." From the May 5 article:

Also triggering debate was the decision to read [suspected Times Square bomber Faisal] Shahzad his "Miranda" rights against self-incrimination. The Miranda issue rose to prominence after the Nigerian suspect in the Christmas Day incident, Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, stopped cooperating with authorities after being read his rights. Some Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said Shahzad should not have been afforded that constitutional right "until we find out what it's all about."

But administration officials said Shahzad, who, like Abdulmutallab, was initially responsive to questioning under a "public safety exception" to the Miranda rule, continued to cooperate after his rights were read to him. They also pointed out that Shahzad is a U.S. citizen and must be tried in civilian, not military, court.

Officials: Abdulmutallab cooperated with interrogators before and after being Mirandized

Abdulmutallab was interrogated, and intelligence and law enforcement officials said he gave valuable information. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair stated on January 20, "The FBI interrogated Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab when they took him into custody. They received important intelligence at that time, drawing on the FBI's expertise in interrogation that will be available in the HIG [High-value detainee Interrogation Group] once it is fully operational." Additionally, FBI director Robert Mueller testified that interrogators interviewed Abdulmutallab "to gain ... intelligence about whether there's another bomb, whether other coconspirators, where'd he get the bomb, all of that information without the benefit of -- or within the Miranda warnings."

Since being Mirandized, Abdulmutallab has cooperated with interrogators. Responding to Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein in a February 2 hearing (accessed via the Nexis database), Mueller agreed that "Abdulmutallab has provided valuable information" and that "the interrogation continues despite the fact he has been Mirandized." Blair testified in the same hearing: "There are decisions that have to be made in which you balance the requirement for intelligence with the requirement for a prosecution and the sorts of pressure that you bring onto the people that you arrest in either form. It's got to be a decision made at the time. And I think the balance struck in the Mutallab was a very -- was an understandable balance. We got good intelligence, we're getting more."

News reports corroborate Mueller, Blair statements. Moreover, Reuters reported in a February 2 article that "a law enforcement official" said "Abdulmutallab is talking and has been talking since last week providing useful, actionable and current intelligence that we've been actively following up on." The New York Times also reported:

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a jetliner bound for Detroit on Dec. 25, started talking to investigators after two of his family members arrived in the United States and helped earn his cooperation, a senior administration official said Tuesday evening.

Mr. Abdulmutallab, 23, began speaking to F.B.I. agents last week in Detroit and has not stopped, two government officials said. The officials declined to disclose what information was obtained from him, but said it was aiding in the investigation of the attempted terrorist attack.

"With the family, the F.B.I. approached the suspect," the senior administration official said, speaking to reporters at the White House on the condition of anonymity because of the pending legal case. "He has been cooperating for days."

Post also reported Abdulmutallab was "cooperating" after being Mirandized

Washington Post: "Officials say he [Abdulmutallab] has been cooperating with interrogators." The Washington Post reported on February 15 that Abdulmutallab "was read his Miranda rights less than 10 hours after his arrest, which Republicans say hindered interrogators in gathering valuable intelligence on al-Qaeda operations in Yemen, where officials say Abdulmutallab was trained." The article further stated, "But administration officials say he has been cooperating with interrogators since his family was brought in to encourage him to do so." From the article:

Congressional Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for charging Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian citizen, as a civilian and extending him the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen. He was read his Miranda rights less than 10 hours after his arrest, which Republicans say hindered interrogators in gathering valuable intelligence on al-Qaeda operations in Yemen, where officials say Abdulmutallab was trained.

But administration officials say he has been cooperating with interrogators since his family was brought in to encourage him to do so.

Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," national security adviser James L. Jones said the administration should have "moved much more quickly" to determine Abdulmutallab's legal status. Jones added: "Having studied this pretty carefully, and being aware of what happened both before he was read his rights and after he was read his rights in this particular case, we are getting the information we need."

Fox News has advanced claim that reading Abdulmutallab Miranda rights compromised the govt's ability to get information

Fox's Doocy also revived Christmas bomber Miranda misinformation. Discussing Shahzad on Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy said, "There is some suggestion that, you know, unlike the 'crotch bomber' on Christmas Day where they -- they talked to him a while and then they read him rights. This time maybe they will try to extract as much information as possible before they Mirandize him." Later in the program, the Washington Examiner's Byron York said the government's "actions are going to be under the microscope because of the controversy over" Abdulmutallab.

Johnson Jr: Christmas bomber "clammed up" after being Mirandized. Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr said on the May 4 edition of America Live that there "was a sense of cooperation at the beginning," with Abdulmutallab, but "after the Miranda rights were read, that he clammed up."

Kilmeade: Abdulmutallab "talked for about 50 minutes then shut up after his Miranda rights were read to him." On February 3, Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade stated that Abdulmutallab "talked for about 50 minutes then shut up after his Miranda rights were read to him ... [a]t the airport and in the hospital. He was quiet after that."

Thiessen: "Dumbest thing we could possibly do" was Mirandize Abdulmutallab. Discussing Brennan's remarks on the February 9 edition of Fox & Friends, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen claimed that the "absolutely dumbest thing we could possibly do" was to "tell [Abdulmutallab] that he has the right to remain silent." Thiessen further claimed that the Obama administration is "politicizing" the handling of Abdulmutallab.

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