By lex, on July 5th, 2011
The NYT has its panties in a twist about the case of Shabaab member Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame who was detained for some months aboard a US Navy warship at sea without being – wait for it – Mirandized:
A Somali man accused of ties to two Islamist militant groups was captured by the American military in April and interrogated for months aboard a navy ship without being warned of his Miranda rights to remain silent and have a lawyer. On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced that the man has been flown to New York City to face prosecution before a civilian court.
Speaking of twisted underthings, California Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon has a knot of his own to pick with the decision to bring Warsame to the US to face trial:
“The transfer of this terrorist detainee directly contradicts Congressional intent and the will of the American people,” he said. “Congress has spoken clearly multiple times – including explicitly in pending legislation – of the perils of bringing terrorists onto U.S. soil. It is unacceptable that the administration notified Congress only after it unilaterally transferred this detainee to New York City despite multiple requests for consultation.”
The administration says that Warsame – Miranda rights or no – is the perfect candidate (finally!) for trial in civilian court, but the theory of his detention may come under close scrutiny:
They said his detention was justified by the laws of war, but declined to say whether their theory was that Al Shabaab is covered by Congress’s authorization to use military force against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – meaning that the United States is now at war with that group — or whether the detention was instead justified by his interactions with Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch, or some other theory.
It will be interesting to see whether Justice – having already been forced into a sharp reversal on the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – will let this guy walk if his case implodes, or whether he will instead be sent to Guantanamo for a military tribunal.