Take a look at this interesting tidbit from today’s New York Times:
George LaMonica, a 35-year-old computer consultant, said he bought his two-bedroom condominium in Norwalk, Conn., from Mr. Shahzad for $261,000 in May 2004. A few weeks after he moved in, Mr. LaMonica said, investigators from the national Joint Terrorism Task Force interviewed him, asking for details of the transaction and for information about Mr. Shahzad. It struck Mr. LaMonica as unusual, but he said detectives told him they were simply “checking everything out.”
It would be very interesting to say the least what it might have been about the sale of that Norwalk house that would have brought the sale to the attention of the JTTF, wouldn’t it ?
Granted, it could have been nothing serious. Perhaps Shahzad wirted part of the sales proceeds back to his family in Pakistan and that raised a red flag. Nonetheless, it’s not every day that a house sale gets attention like that, I would assume.
As Doug noted yesterday, some Republicans are questioning whether the indvidual that tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square should be read his Miranda rights. Apparently, the fact that Faisal Shahzad is an American citizen guaranteed basic civil liberties under the Constitution and Bill of Rights shouldn’t matter.
Appearing on Fox and Friends on Tuesday morning, Glenn Beck said, “We don’t shred the Constitution when it’s popular,” explaining that since Shahzad cannont be treated differently because of the protections afforded to him.
Joe Lieberman got on the air yesterday and basically took John McCain’s ignore the Fifth Amendment idea one step further:
In fact, he’s even got a bill ready:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) thinks he’s found a work-around on the whole Miranda rights debate for U.S. citizens accused of terrorism: Strip their citizenship and ship them to Guantanamo.
Lieberman plans to introduce a bill that would amend a decades-old law aimed at yanking citizenship from U.S. citizens who fight for a foreign military.
“I’m now putting together legislation to amend that to [specify that] any individual American citizen who is found to be involved in a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by the Department of State, would be deprived of their citizenship rights,” Lieberman said Tuesday.
Such a law would potentially cover terror suspect Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-born American citizen charged in connection with the attempted car bombing in New York City’s Times Square. He was apprehended Monday night at the city’s John F. Kennedy airport after he boarded a flight to Dubai.
“If you have joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States and trying to kill Americans, I think you sacrifice your rights of citizenship,” Lieberman said.
Only hours after Faisal Shahzad was taken in to custody at Kennedy Airport, John McCain was on the air suggesting we deny him his civil liberties:
It would have been a serious mistake to have read the suspect in the attempted Times Square car bombing his Miranda rights, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday.
McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a longtime leading Republican on national security issues, said he expected the suspect in the case could face charges that might warrant a death sentence if convicted.
“Obviously that would be a serious mistake…at least until we find out as much information we have,” McCain said during an appearance on “Imus in the Morning” when asked whether the suspect, 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan.
“Don’t give this guy his miranda rights until we find out what it’s all about,” McCain added.
McCain isn’t alone in jumping the gun:
Rep. Peter King (N.Y.), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, wants to know whether the Justice Department consulted with the intelligence community.
“I hope that [Attorney General Eric] Holder did discuss this with the intelligence community. If they believe they got enough from him, how much more should they get? Did they Mirandize him? I know he’s an American citizen but still,” King told POLITICO.
After being closed most of the night, Times Square in New York City was finally reopened this morning:
A crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks was discovered in a smoking Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of Times Square on Saturday evening, prompting the evacuation of thousands of tourists and theatergoers on a warm and busy night. Although the device had apparently started to detonate, there was no explosion, and early on Sunday the authorities were still seeking a suspect and motive.
“We are very lucky,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a 2:15 a.m. press conference. “We avoided what could have been a very deadly event.”
A large swath of Midtown — from 43rd Street to 48th Street, and from Sixth to Eighth Avenues — was closed for much of the evening after the Pathfinder was discovered just off Broadway on 45th Street. Several theaters and stores, as well as the South Tower of the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, were evacuated.
Mr. Bloomberg was joined by Gov. David A. Paterson, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and other officials at the early morning press conference to give a chronology of the vehicle’s discovery, its disarming, and the investigation that has been launched. The mayor and police commissioner had returned early from the annual White House correspondents’ dinner in Washington.
At 6:28 p.m., Mr. Kelly said, a video surveillance camera recorded what was believed to be the dark green Nissan S.U.V. driving west on 45th Street.
An interesting point over at The Corner in an analysis of the Chechen situation:
After all, it is impossible to imagine a harsher and more brutal treatment than the one Moscow and its henchmen have been inflicting on the local populace for the past decade. In just one example, Putin’s enforcer in Chechnya is one Ramzan Kadyrov, a semi-literate thug, whose main qualification seems to be his professed wish “to die a 100 times for Putin.” Kadyrov and his private band of cutthroats rule Chechnya like a feudal fiefdom in which kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder of suspected opponents are commonplace and in which people who dare expose Kremlin’s puppet are at greater risk than the terrorists themselves, as the recent murders of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, and lawyer Stanislav Markelov testify.
None of this would have been possible without the direct support of the Kremlin, and therein lies the final and most important root cause. It is to be found in the undemocratic and politically oppressive regime, the predatory nexus between the interests of business oligarchs and the Kremlin and the corrupt law enforcement apparatus that is more adept at being a political police than in dealing with terrorists. A root cause many call Vladimir Putin.
But I thought that Islamic terrorists only attacked because they hate the West and want to spread Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world?
Doug Bandow asks:
Gee, is it just possible that a few Muslims somewhere might feel the same way about America’s wars, Israeli treatment of of Palestinians after decades of occupation, U.S. support for Arab dictators, and the like?
There were back-to-back terrorist attacks on the Moscow subway system this morning:
Moscow, Russia (CNN) — Russian investigators combing two subway stations attacked by female suicide bombers think Chechen rebels may have been behind the rush-hour strike that killed dozens of people.
“Our preliminary assessment is that this act of terror was committed by a terrorist group from the North Caucasus region,” said Alexander Bortnikov of the Federal Security Service, in reference to the investigation at one of the blast sites.
“We consider this the most likely scenario, based on investigations conducted at the site of the blast,” Bortnikov said. “Fragments of the suicide bombers’ body found at the blast, according to preliminary findings, indicate that the bombers were from the North Caucasus region.”
Two female suicide bombers set off explosions that rocked the two subway stations in central Moscow during rush hour Monday morning, killing at least 38 people and wounded more than 60 others, officials said.
Although the Chechen rebels have yet to claim responsibility, Bortnikov’s statement is a strong implication that Chechen rebels fighting for independence were behind the strike.
This isn’t the first time that Chechen terrorists have struck in the heart of Russia. In 2002, a group of Chechen rebels took over 800 people hostage in a Moscow theater. By the time that was over over 120 hostages were dead. And, in 2004, a group of Chechens invaded a school in Beslan and more than 300 people, including 150 children were killed.
No doubt, Moscow will respond.
According to conservative activist Debbie Schlussel, an overwhelming amount of the revenues from the annual concerts promoted by talk show host Sean Hannity to help families of fallen soldiers are going to pay overhead and other expenses:
[L]ess than 20%–and in two recent years, less than 7% and 4%, respectively–of the money raised by Freedom Alliance went to these causes, while millions of dollars went to expenses, including consultants and apparently to ferret the Hannity posse of family and friends in high style. And, despite Hannity’s statements to the contrary on his nationally syndicated radio show, few of the children of fallen soldiers got more than $1,000-$2,000, with apparently none getting more than $6,000, while Freedom Alliance appears to have spent tens of thousands of dollars for private planes. Moreover, despite written assurances to donors that all money raised would go directly to scholarships for kids of the fallen heroes and not to expenses, has begun charging expenses of nearly $500,000 to give out just over $800,000 in scholarships.
According to its 2006 tax returns, Freedom Alliance reported revenue of $10, 822, 785, but only $397,900–or a beyond-measly 3.68%–of that was given to the children of fallen troops as scholarships or as aid to severely injured soldiers.
During debate over legislation that would have required President Barack Obama to begin bringing troops in Afghanistan home by the end of the year, which was overwhelmingly shot down, Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) explained to his colleagues the fiscal and constitutional case for ending military actions in the Graveyard of Empires:
No doubt you heard about Andrew Joseph Stack flying his Piper Cherokee into an office building where about 200 IRS employees worked in northwest Austin, Texas. In addition to the intentional plane crash, he apparently set his home ablaze and possibly booby-trapped his car with a bomb. His suicide note/manifesto was briefly posted here, before the webhosting company took the site offline “due to the sensitive nature of the events.”
You may recall a report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center last winter that equated support of many “extreme” views common in libertarian thought, including resistance to the current tax levels and system, with domestic terrorism. It’s obvious from the note left by Stack that he is no fan of the government, specifically calling out the IRS and FAA, as well as Congress’ manipulation of the tax code. It will likely be a few small correlations between Stack’s manifesto, his actions, and the MIAC report that generate more government scrutiny of those who oppose the continued growth of the federal government.