Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 4, 2010

RIGHT ON CUE, MCCAIN STARTS COMPLAINING.... Faisal Shahzad was taken into custody late last night, suspected of being responsible for the failed car bombing in Times Square over the weekend. Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen who lives in Connecticut, is at the center of what appears to be a larger international investigation.

It was only a matter of time before leaders of the Clown Caucus weighed in on the subject.

It would have been a serious mistake to have read the suspect in the attempted Times Square car bombing his Miranda rights, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday.

McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a longtime leading Republican on national security issues, said he expected the suspect in the case could face charges that might warrant a death sentence if convicted.

"Obviously that would be a serious mistake until all the information is gathered," McCain said during an appearance on "Imus in the Morning" when asked whether the suspect, 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan [should be read his rights].

I predicted this a couple of hours ago, but then again, it was a pretty obvious guess.

Look, I know McCain's in a tough primary and has to prove himself to the far-right, but this Miranda-related demagoguery is growing stale.

Najibullah Zazi was Mirandized, and the entire case went beautifully. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was Mirandized, and the results have been excellent. When shoe bomber Richard Reid was taken into custody, the Bush/Cheney administration read him his rights five minutes after he was taken off the plane he tried to blow up, and McCain never said a word. It's been standard practice, especially with American citizens upon their arrest, for years -- spanning administrations of both parties.

Can't McCain just let the grown-ups do what they do without offering suggestions from the peanut gallery? The Joint Terrorism Task Force caught the suspect 48 hours after the attempted bombing; the frequently-confused Arizonan should probably trust them to know how best to proceed.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (38)

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Comments

I'm sorry, for the past year or so I've ignored the stupidland that is John McCain's world. Why exactly is it a bad idea to read Shahzad his rights? It's not as if his rights as an American citizen magically disappear if the authorities fail to remind him about them.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 4, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

When these clowns were confronted with how the Bushies handled the Reid case, they (mistakenly) claimed that he was a US citizen, hence the need to Mirandize hime.

Well Shahzad really is an American citizen, yet it was still wrong to Mirandize him. Your modern GOP, where even the illusion of trying to be honest is completely unnecessary.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on May 4, 2010 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Oops, my bad. I completely forgot about that bill the GOP passed around 2007 which revoked the writ of habeas corpus. So I guess even as an American citizen, your rights do go away if the government decides you are an 'enemy combatant'.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 4, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

"...a longtime leading Republican on national security issues"

this is the guy that doesn't know the difference between sunni and shia.

Posted by: ahoy polloi on May 4, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Fear. Hate. Kill. Repeat.

Posted by: what was said on May 4, 2010 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

It's equally insane to suggest that this suspect would be eligible for the death penalty if convicted of an attempted bombing. No American citizen is eligible for capital punishment for attempting (but ultimately failing) to perform a capital crime. Clown Caucus indeed.

Posted by: mryoureonfiremister on May 4, 2010 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure JD Hayworth will soon be complaining that the suspect wasn't immediately put through a wood-chipper.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on May 4, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

The right has fetishized Miranda since it was first made law.

Nothing's changed.

Posted by: Gummo on May 4, 2010 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sick of tough guy John.
He has no excuse for going against settled law.
When does he go away?

Posted by: Maude on May 4, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

The rights guaranteed in Miranda actually do not only apply to American citizens, they apply to everyone subject to US law. Period.

But, I guess John McCain, Esq., didn't get that memo.

Posted by: David Eoll on May 4, 2010 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Would have been nice if Bush had caught bin Laden in 48 hours.

Posted by: Mudge on May 4, 2010 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus Tapdancing Christ, arresting someone and NOT Mirandizing him is the damn mistake - unless you WANT anything and everything he says to be ruled inadmissible by even the most activist judge.

Does McCain have any comprehension of how our justice system works? Any comprehension whatsoever? Never mind, I do believe he just answered that question for me...

Posted by: EdTheRed on May 4, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

But....this man's a war hero!

Posted by: mikefromArlington on May 4, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Country first, my friend.

Posted by: John Sidney McCain III on May 4, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

"It's not as if his rights as an American citizen magically disappear if the authorities fail to remind him about them."

Like it says in the Constitution, you can't be compelled to incriminate yourself -- unless you're suspected of something really horrendous. Then, fess up.

Posted by: Grumpy on May 4, 2010 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

EdTheRed beat me to it . John "Granpa" McCain needs to pull up the easy chair and watch reruns of Law and Order on TBS. This will probably do wonders towards informing him of what happens to careless police and prosecutors. It is one of the main plot devices every other show.

Posted by: john R on May 4, 2010 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Good question Maude 10:28. When does this tired old dumb man go away? The most heroic thing he could do at this moment is to retire, and count his wife's money. He simple has not gotten anything correct since before he won the rethug nomination for prez.

Posted by: Ted76 on May 4, 2010 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

What greater act of heroism and patriotism than to be willing to be subject to unmitigated scorn and utter ridicule by your fellow citizens if that is what what you face when you try to defend your country against its enemies?

Well done, Captain McCain.

Posted by: gregor on May 4, 2010 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Was Tim McVeigh Mirandized? Similar MO: explosive attack on civilians.

What's the difference in these cases? As Atrios would say, "thinking...thinking..."

Posted by: RSR on May 4, 2010 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

He "simply" has not gotten anything correct since before he won the rethug nomination for prez. Maybe simple is an apt description of his thought process.

Posted by: Ted76 on May 4, 2010 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

This whole notion that a suspect stops talking just because he is informed of his rights is absurd. First of all, most breathing adults are already aware of their rights if they have watched American TV for more than five minutes. Secondly, with all of the really good reasons for a suspect not to talk - avoiding conviction, not betraying your comrades, etc. - having heard the Miranda warning pales in comparison. McCain's position is stupidity piled upon constitutional ignorance.

Posted by: BH on May 4, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

MacSpluttering Idiot should be forced to wear a permanent squeaky toy around his neck so that every time he splutters some stupidity the squeaky toy goes off ... that's all the perspective anyone would need ...

Posted by: stormskies on May 4, 2010 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Reply to mikefromArlington: Yes, we all know he served in Vietnam. And the way he usually speaks is the following: a noun, a verb, and POW.

Posted by: Rich S. on May 4, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Senator, you do have the right to remain silent. You, also, have the right to have a court appointed attorney to say stupid things for you, but, you do that ever so well on your own, do you not?

Posted by: berttheclock on May 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

You know what I love most about this?

It was, after all, Miranda vs. *Arizona*

Posted by: ajw93 on May 4, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain should have retired years ago when he still had a shred of integrity left. In less than two years, McCain has managed to undo everything he built a career on, selling his soul, sacrificing all, just to preserve his Senate seat.

Here we go again, folks. Instead of praising the quick action of alert NYC citizens, the competence of NYPD and the FBI, and the help of the federal gov't in the intervention, investigation, and subsequent apprehension of a home grown would-be terrorist, let the criticism and politicization begin. Only cement-headed conservative politicians would deny that terrorism is a fact in the modern world. Rather, they pretend that every terrorist attempt can be prevented.

Listen to the Monday morning quarterbacks, the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" from the "tough guys" on the right. Cue the profiling mantra, suggesting that all vehicles be thoroughly searched before entering Times Square, regardless of the disruption. Blame the May Day marches, al Qaeda, even the writers of South Park. According to the rightwing, all brown people are suspect, naturalized American citizens or not; people of color, especially those with Middle eastern roots or Muslims, are all terrorists. Republicans would have us hunker down in our bunkers and allow the terrorists win, as per the Cheney model.

All the Party of No has left to work with is fear-mongering, conspiracy theories, racism, and criticism after the fact. This is the party of "Help, our world is changing, and we can't cope!" Pathetic.

Posted by: Carol A on May 4, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

As a naturalized citizen, Shahzad is probably acutely more aware of his rights than your average American. Unlike typical Arizonans Shahzad had to pass an examination and swear an oath to become an American citizen.

McCain is not following his brain fart to its obvious conclusion.

If you can arrest and execute a naturalized citizen without providing fundamental rights, then all of the American soldiers who where maimed, fought for, and bled for this country on their way to becoming naturalized citizens are suckers and fools and the myth of the "strength and decency of Americans" is pure bullshit.

Shame on John McCain. Why doesn't he support our troops?

Posted by: Winkandanod on May 4, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's good thing McCain isn't President, now isn't it? Talk about "rush to judgement!" What a gift to a defense attorney, having the President of the United States declare that a defendant deserves the death penalty.

And the right wingers complained that Obama tainted the outcome of a case simply commenting that a police officers actions "seemed stupid."

Posted by: g on May 4, 2010 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Can't McCain just let the grown-ups do what they do without offering suggestions from the peanut gallery?"

Wait a minute, I thought according to leftwing Obama asskissers like Steven Benen "protest and dissent" were American?
Oh that's right that only applies to loud-mouthed liberals whining and caroing about a REPUBLICAN president.

Posted by: Donna on May 4, 2010 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

"According to the rightwing, all brown people are suspect, naturalized American citizens or not; people of color, especially those with Middle eastern roots or Muslims, are all terrorists."

Yep Carol according to people like you ANYONE who disagrees with Obama is engaging in sedition. YAWN

"All the Party of No has left to work with is fear-mongering, conspiracy theories, racism, and criticism after the fact. This is the party of "Help, our world is changing, and we can't cope!"

Whatever happened to "Protest and Dissent are American? LOL

Posted by: Kevin on May 4, 2010 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Whatever happened to "Protest and Dissent are American? LOL"

The problem is that you're confusing "protest and dissent" with "being a moron." If John McCain thinks it's dangerous to read an American citizen his Miranda rights when he's arrested, John McCain is a clown.

Posted by: Tim on May 4, 2010 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Protest and dissent are patriotic but that doesn't mean you are immune from criticism when your protesting amounts to abject ignorance about basic procedural protections in the realm of law enforcement.

I don't understand the right wing. They get to say whatever they want, make loud-mouthed ignorant claims and then furiously shriek and whine when their idiocy is demonstrated. There is no right in the constitution to not be told you are wrong about something.

Posted by: JG on May 4, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Donna: Wait a minute, I thought according to leftwing Obama asskissers like Steven Benen "protest and dissent" were American?
Oh that's right that only applies to loud-mouthed liberals whining and caroing about a REPUBLICAN president.

Project much? Wow.

No one is saying that McCain can't protest and dissent.

We're just using our own rights (which I'm sure you'd defend, right?) to protest and dissent by pointing out that McCain hasn't the first clue what he's talking about. Again.

Posted by: jvill on May 4, 2010 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, let Grandpa be. He got confused, as usual; he thought it was Miranda RITES, not rights. Something that's read during the funeral service and premature in this case. No wonder he objected.

Posted by: exlibra on May 4, 2010 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

So, if we didn't read this guy his rights and we weren't allowed to use anything he said in court, including if he fingered anyone else, would conservatives still think this was the right move?

It's obvious that they're still imagining we're picking up Al Qaeda on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and refuse to acknowledge any other circumstance.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 4, 2010 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Man oh man just checked back on here and the leftists here are sure thin-skinned? YAWN

Posted by: Donna on May 5, 2010 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

I get it now: According to our liberal friends if you oppose and speak out against a Republican President it's "patriotism" but if you speak out and oppose a Democrat president it's "sedition".

Posted by: Nutroots-whiner on May 5, 2010 at 4:12 AM | PERMALINK

great post as usual!

Posted by: TomPier on May 7, 2010 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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