‘Are You Kidding Me?’: Terror Expert Reacts To President’s Gitmo Idea


Karen Greenberg, director of Center on National Security, was quoted in a Yahoo News article about President Trump and John Mc Cain’s idea to send terror suspect Saypullo Saipov to the prison at Guantánamo Bay, instead of facing trial in the United States.

President Trump and his occasional congressional critic Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., were in agreement Wednesday on the U.S. federal court system’s shortcomings when it comes to prosecuting terrorists.

McCain, the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters that the man accused of running over cyclists and pedestrians in an ISIS-inspired terror attack in New York City Tuesday should be sent to the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, instead of facing trial in the United States.

“Take him to Guantánamo,” McCain said of Sayfullo Saipov. “He’s a terrorist and he should be kept there and there is [sic]no Miranda rights for somebody who killed Americans.”

Miranda rights refer to a required warning to criminal suspects that they have a right to remain silent and not incriminate themselves

“Are you kidding me? Have we gone back in time? Did we not learn any lessons? Really?” Karen Greenberg, an expert on federal terror prosecutions at Fordham University School of Law in New York, said Wednesday of the president’s suggestion.

Greenberg called Guantánamo’s military commissions a “quagmire,” and said Americans will be explaining to their grandchildren why the 9/11 plotters were not tried and convicted.

But Miranda rights can be suspended under a “public safety exemption,” Greenberg said, if authorities make the case that the suspect needs to be questioned about other possible attacks before he or she is notified of the right to remain silent. That occurred in 2009 during the questioning of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed “underwear bomber,” who tried unsuccessfully to detonate explosives on a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day.

“Miranda rights have not gotten in the way of these very high-profile, potentially dangerous cases in the past,” Greenberg said.


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