Saturday, May 8, 2010

Republicans ready to junk the Constitution after arrest of Times Square bomber

After the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square car bomber,Republicans almost immediately began politicizing the attempted bombing, complaining about the protections American citizens receive from the Constitution and think they should be junked when it came to Faisal Shahzad who is an American citizen.

Using the attempted bombing as an excuse to play to the basest instincts of their political base, mostly the lunatic fringe in this country, Republicans like John McCain, and Mitch McConnell have said that Shahzad should not have been given his Miranda rights "until we know more".

What these Republican defenders of our democracy seem to forget is that reading an American citizen his Miranda rights is the law. You know, that thing that Republicans beat their chests about at picnics on the 4th of July and crow about in schoolyard mentality TV commercials at election time.

Lindsay Graham,(R.Sen.S. Carolina) added his voice to the insanity during a senate hearing on the Times Square incident, complaining about Shahzad getting his Miranda warning. He did so by trying to draw a parallel between a soldier on the battlefield capturing an enemy having to read them their rights and Shahzad's arrest, showing that when it comes to some issues, even a normally rational Republican like Graham can turn into an idiot. The difference is, a solider doesnt arrest anyone. He or she captures and doesn't arrest. Soldiers didn't apprehended Shahzad it was FBI and NYPD and the law requires that Constititional rights be read to an American citizen within a reasonable time of arrest -- as soon as authorities are satisfied that the person in custody has no information regarding any other attacks imminent or otherwise. And that is what happened with Shahzad.

Graham himself admitted that you cant try an American citizen in a military tribunal only in a a criminal court. But as soon as that is acknowleged then it's required that Shahzad be read his rights.

As an American citizen, not reading Shahzad his rights could have jepoardized his prosecution. It even raises the possibility that he could have gotten off scott free. There is not a judge in the country whose hands would not have been tied and probably have been forced to throw out any evidence or information gotten from Shazhad if he gave it without being read his rights.

Graham further left his senses in his briefcase when he said "you dont have a constitutional right to get on an airplane without being searched. The Founders never contemplated flying".

The Founders never comtemplated television, radio or the internet yet no one argues that freedom of the press and freedom of speech applies to these mediums. And in fact you do have a constitutional right not to be subject to unreasonable search and seizure. Its called the 4th amendment. But given the events of 911 no one can call the random searching of persons or bags either getting on a plane or taking any form of public transporttion, unreasonable.

Republican concerns aside, law enforcement has reported that Shahzad has been very cooperative and has provided valuable information both before and after being read his rights, including admitting that the was the bomber, that he received his training at a terrorist camp in Pakistan and he gave information about those camps. According to CBS News, Shazhad has been "singing like a bird". And, by the way, without water boarding. To date 10 people have been arrested in Pakistan, largely as a result of information provided by Shahzad.

But it still didnt stop Republicans from politicizingt the Times Square incident and grandstanding about Constitutional rights.

Shahzad was not initially read his rights. He was questioned about other imminent threats as the law allows. He was questioned for over 10 hours without being Mirandized. It;s called the Public Safety Exception. Once it was determined there were no immediate threats and that Shahzad had no information about any immediate threats to public safety he was Mirandized so authorities could begin questioning him about his own failed attack.

Republicans seem to think the Constitution, whose sole function is to protect American citizens from too much government power, is some kind of convenience or appliance, something they can apply or not apply or switch on or off, depending on to whom, what and where they want to apply it. They protest too much government when it comes to giving healthcare but have no problem trampling on Constituional rights when they want to prey on fear.

In spite of the Republican junk-the-Constitution point of view, authorities are getting so much information from Shahzad that his appearance in court had to be postponed while he continues to talk.

Republicans like McCain are trying to use the event politically. He is being challenged in Arizona by a Tea Party conservative. But this is New York, not Arizona and no one here cares about McCain's political problems here. Nothing that McCain, McConnell or any other Republican congressman has to say matters here..

The people who caught Shazad 53 hours after his car bomb was discovered know what they're doing and they will continue to do their jobs and do it the way they see fit. and according to the law and the Constitution. And with no help needed from those ready to junk it.

1 comment:

Jack Crow said... are the Democrats.