ProfessorBainbridge.com | Steve Bainbridge | "But still...." A Fitting Epitaph for FreedomRope. Not for Shahzad. For Peter King. He's a bigger threat to America than some half-assed bomber will ever be. And he took an oath to defend the constitution and laws of this country. A country, I may add, WHERE THERE ARE RULES ABOUT THIS SORT OF THING.
The morning after the arrest of 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad at John F. Kennedy airport on Monday evening, the usual suspects in the GOP took to print and the airwaves to whack away at the president and his top lawyer. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) mocked the idea that Attorney General Eric Holder might read the suspect his Miranda rights or consider trying him in a civilian court."But still...." It would make a fitting epitaph for freedom.
"I hope that [Attorney General Eric] Holder did discuss this with the intelligence community. If they believe they got enough from him, how much more should they get? Did they Mirandize him? I know he's an American citizen but still," King said.
He can swing right next to Joe Lieberman, who thinks that you should forfeit your citizenship and all accompanying rights, for being SUSPECTED of terrorism.
In arguing against the reading of Miranda rights to terrorism suspects or affording them other constitutional protections, opponents of civil liberties run up against a powerful argument when dealing with American citizens.
Joe Lieberman has a creative solution: Take away their citizenship. "If you've joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States and trying to kill Americans, I think you should sacrifice your rights of citizenship,"How in the name of Sacco and Vanzetti do you know someone has actually attacked the United States until you go through all those pesky hassles like giving them a fair trial? You just take Joe Lieberman and all his powerful friends' word for it?
There's a reason that the Constitution specifically mentions that you need at least witnesses to convict somebody of treason. They didn't bother specifying the requirements for any other crime. That's because they new spurious accusations of treason were very dangerous and very likely to get lobbed around to gain political position. Shame and pox on Lieberman for forsaken his sworn duty to protect the constitution.
PS Don't think I'm letting McCain off the hook for saying Shahzad shouldn't have been Mirandized either. In addition to his disgusting authoritarianism, McCain displays profound ignorance:
John McCain’s wish that the suspected Times Square bomber not be Mirandized is…well…stupid and a sign that maybe McCain shouldn’t be tasked with legislating since he knows so very little about laws. Miranda doesn’t grant suspected criminals their rights. It informs them of the rights they already have. Not reading him his rights just risks having good evidence thrown out of court and makes a conviction of a potentially very dangerous person harder to achieve. This is really just head shakingly stupid and/or careless pandering, neither of which is at all respectable or, for that matter, forgivable.