Thursday, January 21, 2010

McConnell: Who Made the Call on the Christmas Bomber?

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is asking some important questions regarding the Obama administration's decision to the treat the Detroit-bound Christmas bomber as a civilian rather than thoroughly interrogate the terrorist. McConnell made the following remarks today on the Senate floor:

“Mister President, yesterday several members of the administration’s national security team testified before the Senate concerning the attempted Christmas Day attack by the Nigerian terrorist of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. This testimony was troubling, and left some wondering why the administration is subjecting this terrorist to criminal prosecution instead of gaining the valuable intelligence that is needed in our war on Al Qaeda.

“Admiral Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, stated frankly that the Christmas Day Bomber should have been questioned by the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group; Blair went on to say that neither he nor other important intelligence officials were consulted on this matter. This raises several troubling questions:

“First, why were Miranda rights given to the obvious terrorist after only a brief session of questioning, which predictably ended his cooperation?

“Second, at what level of authority was this decision taken to treat him as a criminal defendant instead of an unlawful enemy combatant? Who made this decision?

“I asked this question last night of John Brennan, the President’s senior counterterrorism adviser, three times and he refused to answer. I think that the Senate is entitled to know precisely who authorized this.

“A year ago the President decided to revise the Nation’s interrogation policies, and to restrict the CIA’s ability to question terrorists. The administration created a High Value Detainee Interrogation Group to question terrorists. Why wasn’t his group brought in once this terrorist was taken into custody?

These questions underscore the naivete of the Obama administration. The lack of competence is bad enough, but these kinds of mistakes actually endanger our lives.

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