Thursday, May 06, 2010

Honor With an Expiration Date

Some Republicans—notably Senator John McCain (AZ)—are outraged that terrorists like Faisal Shahzad are entitled to the same Miranda rights as ordinary criminals. “"When we detain terrorism suspects, our top priority should be finding out what intelligence they have that could prevent future attacks and save American lives," McCain said. "Our priority should not be telling them they have a right to remain silent."

Apparently McCain another priority should be to mak sure these same terrorists have open access to firearms and explosives. Yesterday Senator Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) Homeland Security Committee interviewed witnesses—including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly—with an eye toward finally passing legislation forbidding those on terrorist watch lists (like the No Fly List) from purchasing such weapons; the NRA has beaten back such efforts in the past.

McCain sits on Lieberman’s committee; except for yesterday’s hearings, when defending his mutually exclusive positions might have proven inconvenient. He’s not alone in his willingness to deny terrorists all rights other than the right to bear arms, but he’s the most offensive. Here’s a man who built his career on honor and doing the right thing, staying behind in a Vietnamese prison camp because it wasn’t his turn to get out, and later traveling to Vietnam to show bygones were bygones. Now he’s such a pandering hypocrite the words “pandering” and “hypocrite” have petitioned the Oxford English Dictionary to have their definitions changed.

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