Law enforcement authorities in New York City, with an alacrity and a seriousness that should cheer everybody, very quickly unwrapped the mysteries of this weekend's Times Square bombing attempt and have arrested Faisal Shahzad, a United States citizen. He is now in custody.
All of which made law enforcement look like a pretty valuable and effective tool in the war against terrorism. Too valuable and effective! And that's why Senator John McCain was rousted from whatever nap he was taking to go on "Imus In the Morning" and start fearmongering about it:
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.
Poor dear! He doesn't seem to know that Mirandizing criminal suspects is something that we do here in America to criminals. Especially in instances where the goal of relevant law enforcement authorities is to make the suspect "face charges" and potentially result in a "death sentence," a process that would require a "trial" and "evidence" that doesn't get "excluded" because of the failure of authorities to Mirandize the defendant. And it is certainly something that we do to American citizens.
But McCain and his friends in Congress have been waging war against Miranda and reality for some time. Remember how worked up they got when the Christmas Crotchfire bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was Mirandized by authorities? My, how many tiny feet were stamped over that. But authorities just kept calm, carried on and conducted a highly successful investigation:
The family of the failed Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab, played a pivotal role in getting their son to start cooperating with federal authorities in sharing information about Al Qaeda, a senior administration official said Tuesday evening.
Abdulmuttalab has been cooperating with authorities and sharing intelligence since last Thursday, another administration official told ABC News.
The family was "instrumental in gaining Mr. Abdulmuttalab's cooperation," said the senior administration official. The information Abdulmuttalab is sharing has been described by other officials as fresh and actionable.
"It has been very successful," the official said, "as far as gaining his cooperation that will allow us then to follow up on that information." He said the intelligence gained "has been disseminated throughout the intelligence community."
"One of the principal reasons why his family came back is because they had complete trust in the US system of justice and believed that Umar Farouq would be treated fairly and appropriately," the senior official said. "And that they would be as well."
There seems to be this belief that once a suspect is read his Miranda rights, the spigot to actionable intelligence is turned off. But Abdulmutallab gave up information before he was read his rights and continued doing so afterwards. So, you can consider that myth disintegrated.
Of course, again, the suspect in the Times Square case is an American citizen, so not reading him his rights is something of a non-starter.
Anyway, if John McCain could just pipe down and let the grown-ups do their job, that'd be great!