Shocking information came from Wednesday's Senate hearings with the Administration's top intelligence and homeland security officials. At the top of that list was the admission that Nigerian would be bomber Abdulmutallab had been interrogated with an eye towards criminal prosecution by local FBI officials. He was not interrogated by intelligence specialists with an eye towards collecting key information that could prevent future attacks. And after Abdulmutallab was given his Miranda rights, he stopped talking altogether.
Just who it was at the Dept. of Justice who made these decisions is not clear. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) has demanded answers but none have been forthcoming. At Wednesday's hearing Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael E. Leiter and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told lawmakers that they were not consulted about the charging decision.
Late breaking news from the White House briefing by Robert Gibbs fingers Attorney General Eric Holder as the culprit in deciding that the underwear bomber would be treated as a criminal and not as a terrorist.
Meanwhile, we also learned that a special unit to interrogate prisoners for intelligence value which Obama promised in his first days in office would replace the CIA's program of enhanced interrogations is not even operational and was not used.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that if Abdulmutallab had been interrogated by specialists in intelligence and Al Queda that we might have learned who the plotters behind the attack are, where they are and what future attacks they plan.
Andrew McCarthy, the prosecutor who put the Blind Sheikh who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 in jail bemoans what we have lost:
Lots of things: gathering intelligence, for one. We have now had confirmed — by President Obama himself, along with top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan — that, while Janet Napolitano’s system was working so well, Abdulmutallab was an untapped well of operational intelligence.
He’d been training with al-Qaeda for weeks in Yemen, now one of the hottest hubs of terror plotting. He was undoubtedly in a position to identify who had recruited him, who had dispatched him on his mission, and who had trained him in fashioning and detonating chemical explosives. He was in a position to tell us what al-Qaeda knows, that Janet Napolitano apparently doesn’t, about our porous airline-security system. He was, moreover, almost certainly in a position to pinpoint paramilitary training facilities, to tell us about other al-Qaeda trainees being taught to do what he was trying to do, and to fill many gaps in our knowledge of the terror network’s hierarchy, routines, and governmental connections in Yemen.
That was not to be. The Obama administration decided that forging ahead pell-mell with a criminal prosecution was more important than acquiring every morsel of useful information Abdulmutallab has to give. That meant telling him, immediately upon arrest, that he didn’t need to speak to the government at all if he didn’t want to. It meant promising to get him a lawyer. It meant he could only be questioned for a few hours — by agents who happened to be on the scene but probably didn’t know much about al-Qaeda’s Yemeni operation. It meant the assignment of a defense lawyer and required court appearances that instantly shut down all questioning.
In these same hearings Dennis Blair admits that we will make "new mistake[s]" in the war on terror. Next time though, we might not be so lucky.
Treating terrorists like common criminals will get more Americans KILLED! That's why it was so refreshing to hear Scott Brown win big in Massachusetts with this message: "In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them."
Wouldn't you love to return to the day when adults were in charge of national security?