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.
It all comes down to this:
Republicans say that suspects like Abdulmutallab and potentially Shahzad should be classified as an "enemy combatant," which gives authorities more leeway in seeking intelligence through interrogation and other methods.
The Arizona Republican, however, said he expected the criminal justice system to play itself out in such a way that Shahzad would face the death penalty, if convicted.
"There's probably about 350 different charges he's guilty off -- attempted acts of terror against the united States, attempted murder," said McCain, cautioning that he's not privy to the charges with which Shahzad might be charged. "I'm sure there's a significant number to warrant the death penalty."
Here's the problem with this twisted logic. This man is a United States citizen. Unless we have declared war on ourselves, it would be a bit difficult to have him classified as an enemy combatant. Even more fundamentally, where does that line fall? Should any US citizen arrested for what appears to be an act of violence against another person be stripped of his or her constitutional rights?
If McCain dreams of a day where this guy is executed because he tried and failed to turn a Nissan Pathfinder into a supercharged Molotov cocktail, he ought to be demanding that his Miranda rights be read to him immediately on videotape in order to survive any and all challenges to his arrest on Constitutional grounds.
McCain and his pals make a lot of noise about returning to constitutional fundamentals, but they don't have the first clue what those fundamentals are. Perhaps he should take a refresher course.