May 7, 2010

The Flying Fickle Finger of Guilt

Hatched by Dafydd

I'm a little tired of seeing everything and everybody blamed for the failed intelligence, failed security, and failed prevention of the ultimately failed bombing that Faisal Shahzad failed to perpetrate... that is, blaming everybody except Barack H. Obama, of course. I come not to praise Obama, but to accuse him.

Here are a few facts:

According to a CBS story published Tuesday, May 4th at 2:41 PM, Shahzad was arrested "late Monday night." That would have to be Monday, May 3rd. The story includes the following sentence: "Shahzad... was later read his Miranda rights and continued to cooperate with authorities after that, [Deputy Director of the FBI John S.] Pistole said."

If Shahzad was arrested "late Monday night" and Mirandized prior to Tuesday afternoon, when the story was posted, that means the Feds questioned him less than one day before telling him he had the right to clam up and lawyer-up. This is insane, but hardly unprecedented; they did pretty much the same with the Undiebomber.

(It's irrelevant that Shahzad chose to keep on yapping; just as our counterterrorism strategy cannot be "hope the bombs fail to explode," our terrorist interrogation strategy cannot be "hope the detainees waive their Miranda rights.")

The supposed reason he was Mirandized so quickly was to make it easier for prosecutors to try the case. But that's hardly the most burning issue, is it? It's much more important to determine whether he acted alone, whether he had accomplices who might carry out further bombings -- successfully, this time -- and whether he was part of a large plot directed from Pakistan, by the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or some other international terrorist organization. Prosecution is far down the list of critical tasks, particularly if we can hold him in custody until we finish interrogating him, using enhanced techniques as necessary and legal.

In the case of a terrorist attack, safeguarding the country takes precedence over a criminal prosecution. The inverted priorities are stupid and incompetent.

In a segment on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, I heard some administration spokesman say that they couldn't hold Shahzad as an unlawful enemy combatant because "he is an American citizen.... We can't just hold an American citizen without charges indefinitely." But is he really an American citizen? Let's examine that a bit more thoroughly.

First of all, it was the Obama administration itself that made him a naturalized American citizen on April 17th, 2009. The president and his federal government clearly dropped the ball by not investigating Shahzad more thoroughly -- just as they did in the months leading up to the Fort Hood massacre last November.

But unlike natural-born citizenship, naturalization is not irrevocable.

In order for Shahzad to become naturalized, he must have filled out form N-400 Application for Naturalization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Reading that form, I notice the following on page 7:

B. Affiliations.

9. Have you ever been a member of or in any way associated (either directly or indirectly) with:


c. A terrorist organization?

10. Have you ever advocated (either directly or indirectly) the overthrow of any government by force or violence?

And on page 8:

D. Good Moral Character

15. Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?


24. Have you ever lied to any U.S. government official to gain entry or admission into the United States?

Shahzad was naturalized in April of 2009; less than two months later, he flew to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he claimed to have undertaken explosives training.

Considering that he had flown to Pakistan many times in the last eleven years, it is a reasonable inference that he did not suddenly develop an interest in -- and contacts with -- terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The most reasonable interpretation of the facts suggests that Shahzad was already in contact with the Taliban and/or al-Qaeda and/or Lashkar-e-Taiba before last April.

If so, then Faisal Shahzad lied on his Application for Naturalization. Lying about a material fact in order to obtain citizenship makes the application fraudulent, which is grounds for administrative denaturalization.

In other words, the Obama administration had an excellent case for stripping Shahzad of his U.S. citizenship... after which he could be held as an unlawful enemy combatant and even transferred to the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. So much for the risible claim that his "American citizenship" required the FBI to Mirandize him less than 24 hours after being captured.

Don't let's get buffaloed again: There was no reason at all to Mirandize Faisal Shahzad -- not within 24 hours, nor afterwards. Rather, President Obama should have directed the Justice Department to call an immediate immigration hearing to strip him of the shield of American citizenship precisely so that he could be held as an unlawful enemy combatant and interrogated for as long as it takes to extract all possible intelligence from him.

Anything less constitutes a dereliction of duty on the part of our (ugh) Commander in Chief. Ask not at whom the flying, fickle finger of guilt points; it points directly at B.O.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 7, 2010, at the time of 3:33 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Sabba Hillel

Based on all the T.V. shows and news reports and everything else, is there anyone who has not heard about "Miranda" rights? If I were a terrorist and actually wanted to lawyer up, I would do what the criminals on T.V. do and say "Either read me my rights or let me go."

That is what happens in every crime movie shown.

The above hissed in response by: Sabba Hillel [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2010 5:26 AM

The following hissed in response by: DK

"...President Obama should have directed the Justice Department to call an immediate immigration hearing to strip him of the shield of American citizenship..."
and he would have if he was serious about fulfilling his oath of office.
But, since when has an "empty suit" ever been serious about anything?

The above hissed in response by: DK [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2010 10:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi

Not that it matters here, but after five years you cannot have your citizenship revoked anymore.

At least, not in the 9th circuit. Not sure if there is a supreme court case covering that.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 9, 2010 7:15 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

Your argument rotates on the idea that the Taliban are considered "Terrorist Organizations." Interesting post over at HotAir... Ed Morrissey points out that the Taliban are not legally considered Terrorist Organizations by the United States. Both Pakistani and Afghanistani versions are missing from our official list... even though we are at War with them. So he technically COULD be legally telling the truth.

Go Team US!! Fight that, er, Ethnically Non-Diverse Adversary!

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 11, 2010 6:32 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

Bah! Need an edit button... here's your Linkage to the HotAir article.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 11, 2010 6:33 PM

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