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06/28/2010

05/12/2010

Miranda rights? Obama Administrations says: What’s THAT? Who’s SHE?  »

Apparently, Will Potter and I have very similar brains—except his is smarter than mine. This is frustrating, because the subject of his post yesterday (on the most excellent Green Is the New Red blog) is exactly what I was thinking about writing up for Vegansaurus this morning. ARG! WILL POTTER! GIVE ME A BREAK, WILL YA?

So, it’s already been written about; I’m now going to write about it with more swear words. What is it, exactly? You’re going to love this. Serious. I hope the other Vegansaurs are ready to field the massive influx of people and other media outlets flocking to this captivating post, because today’s topic is: Miranda rights!

Seriously, though. It turns out that despite the fact that Obama was a fucking CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER in his past career as a CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER AND PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, he and his administration are attempting to enact a law that will allow interrogation of people suspected of involvement in terrorist activities without informing them of their Miranda rights. That means that people arrested or detained on terrorism charges won’t be informed of their right to remain silent or their right to an attorney. These rights were guaranteed to Americans in 1966 in one of the most important cases in criminal law, Miranda v. Arizona, the decision of which basically said that interrogating suspects without letting them know that they don’t have to answer questions and that they are entitled to have a lawyer is FUCKED UP and DOESN’T SERVE THE INTERESTS OF JUSTICE ANYWAY, and it is, believe you me, a BIG FUCKING DEAL that these rights are now being rolled back. The idea is that allowing law enforcement officers to interrogate people suspected of terrorist offenses will somehow…um…OK, seriously, I’m having a hard time following exactly why this will help ANYONE AT ALL. I think they’re trying to say that not having to read the five-second Miranda rights statement to suspects is going to allow officers greater “flexibility” to really, FINALLY, crack down on the terrorists (who have been getting off so lightly!), not to mention the fact that they’re allowing exceptions to major, big-time constitutional rights to be made based on the fact that someone is SUSPECTED of being involved in terrorist activity—as in, not yet confirmed to be a threat? Excuse me, I need a couple seconds to pick the exploded pieces of my head off the floor.

Lawyers obviously have their underpants in a knot over this, but why should vegans care? I will tell you why! Vegans, friends, are subversive, dangerous, suspicious people. With the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and the pursuant fuckery of charging non-violent animal activists with terrorism, it’s not that far-fetched to say that the next person who’s denied their rights and interrogated for hours before receiving proper treatment could be YOU, when you get arrested at that foie gras protest or for laughing out loud on the internets when some anti-vegan jerk gets pied. OK, probably not. BUT! Do you see what I’m trying to say? If you engage in any kind of protest over animal rights (and especially regarding vivisection and animal testing), it’s not inconceivable that the rights that are being whittled away by the Obama Administration could directly affect you. BAM!

So what? Well, yeah, this is just kind of angry-making news. It’s the kind of thing that really makes it hard to deny that these times we’re living in may not be so great after all, and that the Constitution is just as likely to be used as a weapon by Tea-Bagging wackos as it is to be respected and thoughtfully applied by our lawmakers. What to do? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure, but it’s important know about this kind of stuff and talk about it and make sure that people KNOW what kind of bullshit is being sold in the name of the STILL-GOING-ON-EVEN-IF-YOU-DON’T-WANT-TO-ADMIT-IT War on Terror (and/or Vegans). They don’t want us to stay silent? YOU GOT IT.

Whew.  

Finally, apologies if this comes across as paranoid crazy. Writing this post made me feel like I’ve accidentally lit on something vegans and Tea-Baggers can agree on (We <3 the Constitution—albeit largely different interpretations thereof), which made me feel kind of weird, but I still think it’s an important issue. In conclusion, thanks FOR NOTHING, Obama Administration!

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