Miranda and the Times Square car bomb

Miranda rights are again at the center of an investigation into a criminal/terrorist act in the U.S.

At a news conference today, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said Faisal Shahzad, arrested in the attempted car bombing of Times Square, was questioned by authorities before he was read his Miranda rights. He did not say how long he was questioned before he got the famous “you have the right to keep silent” warning, but said he cooperated before and after the reading.

Sen. Joe Lieberman suggested changing the law to strip citizenship — and the accompanying rights — in cases like this:

“Don’t give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it’s all about,” Sen. John McCain added.

Nothing seems to be preventing investigators from finding out what it’s all about. In just a few days Shahzad was picked up with nothing original to go on but a smoking SUV, it’s been determined he attended a “terrorist training camp” in Pakistan, and was losing his Connecticut home to foreclosure.

Still the Miranda warning is still a flashpoint in the incident, although conservative commentator Glen Beck and some civil liberties advocates appear to be on the same side.

“He is a citizen of the United States, so I say we uphold the laws and the Constitution on citizens… If you are a citizen, you obey the law and follow the Constitution. [Shahzad] has all the rights under the Constitution,” Beck said.

Maybe that’s the news.

  • bsimon

    Senators Lieberman & McCain should know better.

    Bob writes “Sen. Joe Lieberman suggested changing the law to strip citizenship — and the accompanying rights — in cases like this”

    But wouldn’t that mean presuming guilt? That seems to fly in the face of a core principle of our entire system of justice – the presumption of innocence

  • Michael

    Last I looked, citizenship is not a prerequisite to having Miranda rights.

  • JackU

    Is it me or do Senators Lieberman and McCain become less relevant with each opportunity they have to speak in public?

  • TJ

    @bsimon: You’re presuming that the honorable Senators from Arizona and Connecticut have principles, or would recognize one if it waterboarded them.

  • Rwolf

    Sen. Joe Lieberman has already endorsed McCain’s March 4th bill S.3081 that would strip Americans of Habeas corpus: Under the McCain bill, U.S. Government would need only designate an American Citizen was an “Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent” suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or U.S. civilians to cause their indefinite detention in military custody, without right to an attorney or trial.

    Joe Lieberman’s proposed bill would make it easy to strip Americans of their Citizenship and hold them as “Unprivileged Enemy Belligerents” as U.S. Government would only have to show a U.S. Citizen or group had slight-interaction with a foreign group that touched a terrorist organization, for example Irish Americans living on the east coast of the United States contacting their alleged IRA relatives in Northern Ireland. Since many political groups intersect, even unknowingly with alleged terrorists, Lieberman’s bill would make it possible for a U.S. Government administration to do large sweeps of U.S. Citizens denying Americans Habeas corpus, to try them in military tribunals. One might want to ask who put Lieberman up to introducing this fascist bill that favors Israel. It should be noted Joe Lieberman’s March 4th endorsement of McCain’s bill S.3081, The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010” strips Americans of Habeas corpus; there appears to be a pattern here between McCain and Lieberman legislation. McCain’s bill S.3081 would eliminate several Constitutional protections allowing Government to arbitrarily pick up Americans on mere suspicion—with no probable cause. Your political opinions and statements made against U.S. Government could be used by Authorities to deem you a “hostile” “Enemy Belligerent” to cause your arrest and indefinite detention. S.3081 is so broadly written innocent anti-war protesters and Tea Party Groups might be arrested and detained just for attending demonstrations; Government could charge that attending demonstrations “materially supported hostilities.”

    McCain’s legislation S.3081 could like Lieberman’s proposed bill be used by a corrupt U.S. government administration to crush anyone that dared question government. Under McCain’s S.3081, an “individual” need only be Suspected by Government of “suspicious activity” or “supporting hostilities” to be dragged off and held indefinitely in Military Custody. Government would have the power to detain and interrogate any individual including Americans without probable cause. Government need only allege an individual kept in detention, is an Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States; its coalition partners; or against U.S. civilians. How could one prove to Government they did not purposely do something? “Materially Supporting Hostilities” against the United States could include any person or group that spoke out or demonstrated disapproval against an agency of U.S. Government. It is foreseeable many Americans might go underground to Resist Government Tyranny. Definition for Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent: (Anyone Subject to a Military Commission)

    At least under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needed probable cause to detain a person indefinitely. Passage of S.3081 will permit government to use “mere suspicion” to curtail an individual’s Constitutional Protections against unlawful arrest, detention and interrogation without benefit of legal counsel and trial. According to S.3081 Government is not required to provide detained individuals U.S. Miranda Warnings or even an attorney. It is problematic under McCain’s S.3081 that detained individuals in the U.S. not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel will be prosecuted for ordinary crimes because of their alleged admissions while in military custody.

    S.3081 if passed will frighten Americans from speaking out. S.3081 is so broadly written, it appears any “individual” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against or an entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners might be detained on the basis he or she is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent”, “supporting hostilities against U.S. Government.” The “supporting hostilities” provisions in S.3081 are so broad Government could use “suspicion” to detain U.S. corporate executives on the premise their corporations “supported hostilities” by providing goods or services to a nation engaged in hostilities against the United States.

    (Make Your Own Determination If The Analysis Herein Is Correct) See McCain’s 12-page Senate bill S.3081 at:

    assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/ARM10090.pdf