In a mini-profile at Colorado Springs Fox 21 this week, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton said that U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad, suspected of planting a truck bomb in Times Square, should be stripped of his Miranda rights and subject to “enemy combatant” military commission justice.
“If they treat him like a criminal, rather than a terrorist, I think that’s wrong. You don’t keep America safe by reading terrorists their Miranda rights,” she said.
Fox didn’t ask her to elaborate on the controversial statement, the sentiment of which has been objected to by even hawkish conservatives such as Fox host Glenn Beck. Conservatives are saying that this is simply a constitutional matter where knee-jerk instincts should be resisted, that no American can be denied the due-process protections they were born into. They say those kinds of transgressions of the law could easily be abused and turned against any suspected American.
“[Shahzad] is a citizen of the United States, so I say you uphold the laws and Constitution on citizens,” Beck told viewers. “He has all of the rights under the Constitution,” and “We don’t shred the Constitution when it’s popular. We do the right thing.”
Others have been making comparisons to the treatment received by right-wing white American terrorists such as the Huratree militia members in Michigan and Timothy McVeigh, all of whom enjoyed full U.S. citizen rights.
Norton last year criticized the Obama Administration for granting criminal rights to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underpants bomber, who sought to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it descended to land in Detroit en route from Amsterdam on Christmas day. Norton said that in granting Abdulmutallab criminal justice instead of the stripped-down embattled and so far legally ineffective Bush-era military commissions justice system, Obama was demonstrating that he cared more about protecting the rights of terrorists than about protecting the lives of American citizens.