Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told PJ Media that the Obama administration made a “terrible mistake” by treating Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a “normal criminal” instead of a “terrorist,” calling the decision “irresponsible.”
“I think somebody who attempts to kill a lot of Americans and who clearly was influenced by an outside ideology should be treated as an enemy combatant. I have no doubt about that at all,” Gingrich told PJ Media on the red carpet of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“I think it’s a huge mistake to read Miranda rights to a terrorist because in fact as he did, they just shut up and you want them to be able to be debriefed to find out who’s supporting them, who else is out there organizing, where did their money come from. It’s a terrible, terrible mistake to treat them as though they were a normal criminal when they’re a terrorist.”
Some Republicans have agreed with the Obama administration’s handling of the situation.
“He’s an American citizen, correct? Then he should be treated like any American citizen and that means due process, and yes civilian [court]. As much as it may be painstaking for the American people, it’s what’s right for all Americans,” Florida GOP Rep. Trey Radel told PJ Media on Capitol Hill last week.
Gingrich said Republicans like Radel are wrong, arguing that questioning Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is part of a “national security” investigation, not a criminal one.
“They’re wrong. Historically, they’re wrong,” Gingrich told PJ Media.
“The FBI was questioning him, the FBI wanted to continue questioning him, it was very irresponsible for that magistrate to walk in, insist on his Miranda rights and in effect cut off what is a national security investigation, not a criminal investigation.”
Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan said informing the suspect of his Miranda rights while the FBI was questioning him about the Boston attack was “dangerous” to the public.
“It’s confusing, it is horrible, [a] God-awful policy, and dangerous to the greater community,” he said. “And we have got to get to the bottom of this, and we’ve got to fix it right now.”