Appearing on ABC’s ‘This Week’, Republican U.S. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana says the 19-year-old terror suspect apprehended in the Boston Marathon bombing cannot share any information at this moment due to a bullet wound to the neck.
“The information we have is that there was a shot to the throat. And it’s questionable whether — when and whether he’ll be able to talk again,” Coats told ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos. “Doesn’t mean he can’t communicate, but right now I think he’s in a condition where we can’t get any information from him at all.”
Coats is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and was on the Sunday morning politics program to discuss the Boston attacks.
He was also asked whether the alleged bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, should have been read his Miranda rights after being arrested.
“I think we should stay with enemy combatant until we find out for sure whether or not there was a link to foreign terrorist organizations,” Coats said.
The Justice Department announced last week it would question Tsarnaev for a period without reading him his Miranda rights. That decision has re-ignited a debate about how to treat those suspected of committing acts of terror against the U.S. domestically and abroad.
The New York Times reports a slim majority of Americans support the idea of giving terror suspects Miranda rights.
In a statement, ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero voiced concern, saying every criminal defendant is entitled to be read Miranda rights and the public safety exception should be read narrowly.
“We must not waver from our tried-and-true justice system, even in the most difficult of times. Denial of rights is un-American and will only make it harder to obtain fair convictions,” he said.
Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina quickly said they favored holding Tsarnaev under the laws of war, which would allow him to be interrogated without any Miranda warning or defense lawyer.