07/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Faisal Shahzad Investigation: Lieberman's Response Is A Solution In Search Of A Problem

Yesterday, we noted that the eminently reasonable tone that initially pervaded the entire discussion of the failed Times Square bombing attempt of American citizen Faisal Shahzad had finally broken, with John McCain leading an assault on reading Shahzad his Miranda rights. Of course, the fact that Shahzad was read his rights had no impact -- by which I mean zero, none, nary a whit, the null set -- on the investigation. Shahzad talked before, he talked after -- this is pretty standard-issue criminal justice procedure, working precisely the way it should.

Also, let's remember, Shahzad is an American citizen. This, even Glenn Beck understands -- nay -- takes a stand.

Anyway, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is going to make all of that moot, by introducing the "Ha, Ha, We Can Now Arbitrarily Declare You To Be A Non-Citizen, Anytime We Want, Because While The Law Enforcement Process Was Working Just Fine, I Have To Do Something To Demonstrate How Super-Duper Angry I Am (Sound Of Tiny Feet Stamping) About The Terrorism Act of 2010."

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) announced plans to introduce legislation to strip the citizenship rights of Americans who commit acts of terrorism, a proposal already drawing support from both parties.

Classic Lieberman! It is an exemplar of the Solution In Search of A Problem style of lawmaking, only -- just for fun -- it has a whole set of deleterious personal liberties implications. Per Alex Pareene:

This law would apparently target people with "ties to a foreign terrorist organization." But what constitutes "ties"? How is it conclusively proven that this person was working with a foreign-based organization? What if they're wrongfully accused? What's the standard of proof? Lieberman's bill would create a new "authority" to determine all those things. If only we had some sort of existing method by which we determined whether or not Americans were guilty of crimes!

Yeah, Alex, but did you know that if a defendant in Shahzad's position cannot afford an attorney, "one will be provided at state expense?" Sounds pretty monstrous!

Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) are said to be interested in what Lieberman comes up with, which essentially means that a bipartisan group of lawmakers are poised to help Lieberman park his explosives-laden Nissan Pathfinder right next to the "rule of law!" (If you see something, say something!)

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