Axelrod: Obama is open to reviewing Miranda issue

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is open to the idea of reviewing Miranda warnings for terrorist suspects, senior White House adviser David Axelrod said Monday.

Axelrod’s comment came after Attorney General Eric Holder said changes by Congress may be needed to allow law enforcement more time to question suspected terrorists before being told about their right to a lawyer and their right to remain silent during interrogation.

Holder’s weekend statements got a mixed reception from Republicans on Capitol Hill, with Sen. Lindsey Graham saying he was generally pleased with what he heard from the attorney general.

Graham said: “I’ve been advocating a long hard look at all of our laws regarding the threats we face.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Holder’s statements on Miranda were overdue.

“I would remind Attorney General Holder that we have been very much at war with international terrorism for a long time,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

In an interview with CNN, Axelrod said: “I think the president is open to looking at that issue. … Certainly we’re willing to talk to Congress about that.” Axelrod said any changes would be in the area of adjustments, not a wholesale revision.

A group of families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks expressed concern about any move toward modifying Miranda.

“We urge caution and we invoke reason: We have laws that work to protect our citizens and our security,” said Donna Marsh O’Connor, spokeswoman for September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. “We should not proceed down a road that may become a slippery slope towards the curtailment of fundamental due process rights.”