May 5, 2010
In addition to providing an excuse to expand New York’s electronic panopticon, last weekend’s fizzle bomb event has prompted the usual neocon suspects in Congress to call for severely rolling back the civil liberties of Americans accused of terrorism.
|Lieberman and McCain want to deny American citizen Faisal Shahzad his constitutional right to a fair trial.|
“If you’re attacking your fellow Americans in an act of war you lose the rights that come with citizenship,” Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman told reporters yesterday. Lieberman, often called the senator from Israel, wants to amend a U.S. law “that says that if an American citizen is found to be fighting in the military of a nation with whom we are at war, they lose their citizenship.”
“If they [investigators] make a judgment that this was a terrorist act, the person should be turned over to the military,”said Lieberman. In other words, if the government decides a suspect is a terrorist, he should be denied his rights as specified by the Sixth Amendment.
Faisal Shahzad, the American citizen busted soon after the Times Square incident, is spilling his guts to the feds. “The bearded Shahzad, 30, built his makeshift bomb in a Connecticut garage after undergoing explosives training in a remote Taliban-run region of Pakistan in a recent five-month trip there, a federal complaint charged,” reports The New York Daily News.
Shahzad must have fallen asleep during the explosives lessons. The device attributed to him was an amateurish mishmash of gas cans and propane tanks cobbled together with a toy clock timer. It was generally described as “crude” by the corporate media.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, professional car bombs with high explosives attributed to al-Qaeda and the Taliban explode on a regular basis.
“Like the Christmas Day bomber, we were lucky that both of these folks were incompetent — they couldn’t trigger the explosives,” said Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo).
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Was Shahzad incompetent, or was his “bomb” designed to be a dud?
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was deliberately and intentionally allowed to keep his US entry visa as the result of a national security override issued by U.S. intelligence. Detroit lawyer Kurt Haskell maintains that he saw a well-dressed Indian man aid the accused bomber as he boarded the plane despite the fact that he had no passport and was on a terror watch list.
Deputy FBI director John Pistole said Shahzad was placed on the No Fly list just hours before he was arrested Monday.
According to senator John McCain, it was a “serious mistake” to read Shahzad his Miranda rights. Attorney General Eric Holder said that Shahzad was “initially questioned under a public safety exception to the Miranda rule and was cooperative.” He was later read his Miranda rights.
“The Supreme Court has held there’s no constitutional obligation to give him Miranda rights,” said Republican Rep. Pete King. In other words, according to King, a suspect has no right to remain silent and ask for legal representation.
Military commissions only have jurisdiction over “alien unprivileged enemy belligerents.” Shahzad is a naturalized American citizen. Lieberman, McCain, King, and other neocons want to create two classes of American citizens — those that are granted their constitutional rights and those who are not. The government will decide who gets constitutional rights and who does not.
Earlier this year Obama approved the “targeted killing” of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric. The killing of citizens declared by the president to be “terrorists” was first announced as state policy by Obama’s director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, in February congressional hearings. “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” Blair said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.”
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