I know he's an American citizen but still

The title is from a quote by Representative Peter King, lamenting that the Feds might actually have the gall to Mirandize an American citizen who has been arrested.

Miranda warnings are not actually required per se, but statements by un-Mirandized suspects will generally be tossed out of court.  So I think the whole Miranda thing is overblown, but Representative King's words tend to summarize for me the slippery slope of civil rights exceptions.  Someday, you too may be the "but still."

On top of Mr. King's statement and our local Sheriff's continuing proclivity to walk into businesses and zip-tie everyone with brown skin until they can produce birth certifications  (yes, he did it again last month and again the other day) comes Joe Lieberman's new bit of law and order paranoia.  Apparently, after watching a 24-hour festival of 1970's Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson crime dramas, Lieberman proposed:

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Scott Brown (R-MA), joined on the House side by Reps. Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Charlie Dent (R-PA), today introduced a little publicity stunt in legislative form called the Terrorist Expatriation Act, making good on Lieberman's pledge to find a way to strip the citizenship of Americans"”whether naturalized or native born"”who are suspected of aiding terrorist groups. It does so by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act, which lays out the various conditions under which a person may renounce or be deprived of citizenship....

Finally, note that the bill's definition of "material support" for terrorist groups explicitly invokes the criminal statute covering such actions.  Which is to say, revocation of citizenship under the new bill is triggered by committing a particular federal crime. Except that the Immigration and Nationality Act only requires that one of the predicates for revocation be established by a "preponderance of the evidence." So in effect, the bill takes what is already a crime and says: Proof of guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" is no longer a prerequisite for the imposition of punishment for this crime.

"Preponderance of the evidence" is the same standard under which McDonald's lost several million dollars because its coffee was too hot.


  1. MJ:

    Joe Lieberman also has close ties to the Israeli government, a known (but sanctioned) terrorist organization. Maybe he should be deported.

  2. mahtso:

    I do not see anything in the link to guanabee to show that the Sheriff was involved and, to the contrary, it appears that the actors were federal agents (ICE based on other sites' reports/comments). Have I missed something, or is your bias showing?

    Nevertheless, perhaps the sad irony is that under SB1070 Abdon would have been cleared immediately because he presented a driver’s license. So apparently, the Az law is far less onerous than federal law (assuming ICE was acting in conformity with the law.

  3. Elliot:

    Native-born Americans who are "suspiciously brown" might try the Philippe Roaché technique: chew gum.

  4. mark ii:

    The Miranda issue is not even a civil rights matter. There already exists a special exclusion to Miranda with respect to national security issues and the so called "ticking bomb" rational. WIth this exception, even statements made without the Miranda warning are admissable in court.

    But, the libertarian critics miss this issue completely. In matters of terrorism and mass attacks, we must balance the national security interests of the United States with the prosecutorial interest of convicting a criminal. In my view, the Obama Administration has gone too far down the "criminal justice" route and because of this they are losing opportunities to gather intelligence that will allow us to capture more terrorists and prevent attacks.

    This TImes Square (would be) Bomber can be convicted even if his entire apparent confession is tossed out. The physical evidence is more than enough to convict him. In my opinion, he should not have been Mirandized at all. We should have made sure that he continued to talk, and we should have used whatever means possible to make him talk. Arguing the slippery slope is ridiculous because that argument assumes that probably cause does not exist. In this case, as in all similar cases, there was more than enough probable cause to use even enhanced techniques against these people.

    Again, even if all of his statements are not allowed as evidence in court, we have more than enough physical evidence to convict him. Therefore every effort should be used, including enhanced interrogation techiniques, to gather every possible piece of intelligence to prevent and eliminate threats to the United States.

    His rights cannot come at the cost of the rights of the rest of society.

  5. txjim:

    I would trade all inhabitants of Northern Mexico straight up for the equivalent population in the USA currently living on subsidies. Those cats have a work ethic like mine that needs no translation. As a side benefit, once the trade is done I would bet Ron Paul's constituency would grow nicely. I can see it now - cabrito for protein, Shiner Bock for carbs, Tejano Brothers for tunes. Hell Yeah! Gimme some of that!

  6. Dr. T:

    "... Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Scott Brown (R-MA), joined on the House side by Reps. Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Charlie Dent (R-PA)..."

    I'm so thrilled! A tri-partisan idiot fest. If a terrorist is convicted and imprisoned for life, who gives a crap whether he has his citizenship removed?

    We need no new federal laws regarding domestic terrorists. We don't even need existing federal laws to deal with domestic terrorists. Blowing things up, burning buildings down, killing or wounding bystanders, poisoning water supplies or food, kidnapping for political purposes, etc. are crimes in every state. So are failed attempts to commit such crimes. So are conspiracies to commit such crimes.

    Grandstanding federal politicians should STFU and do something meaningful such as eliminating wasteful federal spending. (That alone would keep politicians busy for years.)

  7. Henry Bowman:

    I amazed that Arpaio can get away with behavior such as that described...hasn't anyone sued the department successfully?

  8. sch:

    There have been some comments suggesting they learned a bit from the fiery underpants episode and questioned
    Shazad first with by a group whose info gained could not be used to prosecute the guy but was intended to get
    as much acute information as possible from a willing responder about who/what/when/where on the theory there
    may be others involved and need to know is paramount. Then he was Mirandized and any info there would be
    usable for prosecution.

  9. mesaeconoguy:

    There have been some comments suggesting they learned a bit from the fiery underpants episode

    I’ll show you underpants, you sniveling Steve Nasholes!!!!!!

  10. tehag:

    There should be a hearing on whether or not Shahdaz is an American citizen. He's naturalized, right? If so, he swore and oath of allegiance. He's admitted placing the bomb. From his actions, I conclude he falsely swore the oath, and was therefore never granted citizenship.

  11. anon:

    In face of these tough economic times, let's simplify. If the police had the right and obligation to shoot everyone suspected of any crime on sight, we could save ourselves all these costly judges and lawyers, not to mention jails and the rules would be clear and concise (and not all that different from today!) - don't piss off your local constabulary. And the question of when and how people use those constitutional rights y'all talk about so much would be solved unambiguously once and for all.

  12. Che is dead:

    Yeah, yeah, every time Arpaio slaps the cuffs on a "brown person", it's a criminal violation of their civil rights. How do we know, because the pro-illegal race baiters and pseudo-libertarian bedwetters say so. The authorities have always had the right to detain and question people under reasonable suspicion. Funny, how investigation after investigation of Arpaio's methods fails to establish any real violations. Why is that? I missed your post on the American citizens who were attacked, beaten and robbed by a mob of friendly brown people, and their sympathizers, after peacefully counter-protesting the pro-illegal May Day tantrum in San Francisco. I guess violating their civil rights doesn't count.

  13. Peter:

    It was my understanding that the change in the law was to correct a loophole. It currently states you can loose your citizenship for joining a foreign military. As foreign military are only considered to be the official militaries of other countries joining terrorist organizations wouldn't count. The idea is that if we know a US citizen is training in an Al Queda camp we could use that information to revoke his citizenship before he returns to the country. As long as that is all the change in the law does then Im fine with it.

  14. Steve W from Ford:

    I must say the links you have in this post sure do not prove your case and the description you give is seriously misleading.
    The first link goes to a story about a truck driver who was detained at a weigh station. I do not know about Arizona but for most every other state I have experience with the weigh stations are NOT run by the local sheriff's office but rather the state patrol or dept of highways so it seems unlikely this is Arpaio's responsibility.
    In the second link one finds the story of a raid, with a valid search warrant on several McDonalds plus the home of the owner, who certainly did not appear to be Hispanic. The raid netted 21 arrests with 30 more expected. Only one of those arrested was a citizen and she was able to prove her citizenship shortly and was released a few hours later. The other 20 were apparently not legal residents and were turned over to the feds. Now two of those arrested were managers of the Mc Donalds stores raided and one had worked there for over 10 years and yet was an illegal immigrant! I sure don't see where you have much to criticise when the arrests were done pursuant to a valid search warrant and the woman who is an American citizen was released very quickly.
    Do you believe no citizen should ever be held for suspicion for any crime or just not for illegal immigration?
    I mean really, the Anglo owner of the McDonalds had over 50 people working for him that were not legal residents, two of which ran the joints, and you have a problem with Arpaio raiding them?
    Wow, you are a bit out of touch on this one.

  15. Che is dead:

    Hey, your brown homeboy has a message. I don't know, does he sound like a libertarian to you? Just askin'.

  16. Elliot:

    Che is Dead: "Yeah, yeah, every time Arpaio slaps the cuffs on a “brown person”, it’s a criminal violation of their civil rights. How do we know, because the pro-illegal race baiters and pseudo-libertarian bedwetters say so."

    Please stop getting straw all over the floor in here. You're making a mess.

    If you can cite someone who actually claims that every arrest of a person of a particular racial profile amounts to a rights violation, please do so now. Or, you could retract what you just wrote and discuss what others have actually written or said, like a grownup.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't want even one person who has come to this country to do honest work to be hassled, either by law enforcement or by an unnecessarily expensive process.

    If you're worried about violent criminals, keep in mind that violent crimes are already illegal. It's not necessary to hassle peaceful individuals who have done no harm to anyone else, who just want to work hard in the land of opportunity.

    If you're worried about welfare leeches, the solution is to stop redistributing taxpayer money to anyone, legal citizen or not. Again, if someone comes here to work, they shouldn't be punished because other people come here and exploit the system.

    "Funny, how investigation after investigation of Arpaio’s methods fails to establish any real violations. Why is that?"

    Why have so many of the Chicago political machine politicians (the Daley dynasty) and their cronies maintained power for decades, despite obvious corruption?

    Why was Bull Connor never held to account for his rampant abuse of black people?

    When someone like Arpaio is popular and protected by a sympathetic DA, he can stave off any objective investigations into his abuse of power.