TAPPER: Critics say that he should not have been -- some critics say he should not have been his Miranda rights, the right to remain silent, et cetera. Now, I know that the public safety exception was invoked, so before he was read his rights, he was interrogated. But does the current Miranda system, which was created before I was born and was updated, this public safety exception, in 1984 -- so none of the crafters were really aware of this plot, this threat that we face today.
Does it give you the flexibility you need?
HOLDER: Well, that's one of the things that we're looking at. I think we have to first say that the system that we have in place has proven to be effective. We have used our law enforcement authorities that we have as they now exist very effectively. People have been given Miranda warnings. People have continued to talk, as was the case here, as was the case with Abdulmutallab in Detroit.
But I think we also want to look at make determinations as to whether or not we have the necessary flexibility, whether we have a system that can deal with the situation that agents now confront. The public safety exception comes from a case called Quarles that dealt with a -- the robbery of a -- of a supermarket.
We're now dealing with international terrorism. And if we are going to have a system that is capable of dealing in a public safety context with this new threat, I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public safety exception. And that's one of the things that I think we're going to be reaching out to Congress to do, to come up with a proposal that is both constitutional, but that is also relevant to our time and the threat that we now face.
TAPPER: What kind of modification are you talking about, more time for the -- for investigation before the Miranda rights are read or what?
HOLDER: Well, I think a number of possibilities, and those are the kinds of things that we'll be discussing with Congress, to make sure that we are as effective as we can be, that agents are clear in what it is that they can do and interacting with people in this context, so we're going to be working with Congress so that we come up with something that, as I said, gives the necessary clarity, is flexible, but is also constitutional, is also constitutional.
TAPPER: Senator Joe Lieberman and some others introduced legislation this past week which would give the State Department the right to strip the U.S. citizenship from anyone who is designated a foreign terrorist agent. I understand the administration does not support this and thinks that there are constitutional issues, but there's a point that Senator Lieberman made about the fact that President Obama currently has the authority -- at least according to Lieberman, who's the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee -- to order the assassination of a U.S. citizen, the cleric Awlaki, and -- well, this is what Senator Lieberman had to say.
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LIEBERMAN: If the president can authorize the killing of a United States citizen because he is fighting for a foreign terrorist organization, we can also have a law that allows the U.S. government to revoke Awlaki's citizenship and that of other American citizens who have cast their lot with terrorist organizations.
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