I just watched a discussion on the Fox News show The Five about the Boston Marathon Bomber. The hosts all seemed upset that the suspect had been read his Miranda Rights. One even lamented that it was just a Magistrate and not a Federal judge that had Mirandized the man. There was talk of how there had been talk of reforming Miranda Rights in the past and this had been allowed to lapse.
As I watched this I could not help but be astonished at how so many seemingly intelligent people could be apparently so ignorant of what Miranda really is. Miranda notification does not bestow rights upon a person, it only informs them of protections they already posses. There is no such thing as "Miranda Rights", which are some how granted only after a person is read the text of it. A person already posses these protections from the very beginning. The news media, Fox included, act as if the bomber could not have chosen to remain silent from the very beginning of questioning and demanded a lawyer. They seem to act as if the very act of informing the man of his legal rights was somehow going to strip the investigators of a vital tool used to get to the bottom of this heinous crime.
What is truly frightening is the idea that it's OK for the government to violate your rights as long as you don't know about them. What the proponents of withholding Miranda notification are in essence saying is that it's fine for the government to try and get you to relinquish you right against self incrimination if you don't know you have it, but that the same acts are wrong if you do know your rights.
While it is true that generally statements made prior to a Miranda notification cannot be used against you, that is not always the case. The standard has usually allowed for LEO to be given a small window of leeway if an imminent threat existed. The government is trying to lengthen something tha use to be seconds or minutes to hours and days.
There is a court-recognized right to be mirandized, a right to be told one's rights. This invented right, that has consequences when violated, is what is referred to as "Miranda Rights."
While I would agree that there is logically no such thing (I call those "rights" "invented rights") there is no question, from a practical standpoint, that defendants have a "right" to be read their rights and that not being mirandized, whether or not any real rights are ever violated, will be seen by the courts as a violation of the defendant's rights.