Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stunning, stubborn national-security incompetence

Quoting from Senator Sessions' statement released after hearings regarding the Christmas Day bomber:

I am deeply disturbed by the stunning revelations from today's oversight hearings in the Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees. The decision to prosecute Umar Abdulmutallab in civilian court, which required him to be given a Miranda warning and access to a defense lawyer, may have cost us crucial intelligence about current and future plots against our country. Even more alarming, we learned today that these rash decisions were made without consulting key counter-terrorism officials in the administration, including the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair. 

In his testimony today, Mr. Blair stated that the administration failed to deploy the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group that was put in place for this very purpose. We learned that the administration had no policy in place to determine whether Abdulmutallab would be treated as a civilian or as an unprivileged belligerent-that, in effect, these decisions were made "on the fly" without any meaningful consideration of the consequences. And we learned from FBI Director Mueller's questioning that responsibility for the decision to switch gears from intelligence collection to criminal processing lies with an unnamed high-ranking official at the Department of Justice. 

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

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