Even the Washington Post has come out in opposition to the Obama administration’s decision to treat the crotch-bomber (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab) as nothing more than a common street criminal:
Whether to charge terrorism suspects or hold and interrogate them is a judgment call. We originally supported the administration’s decision in the Abdulmutallab case, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to try Mr. Abdulmutallab turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a crime-and-punishment model.~~~
…Some intelligence officials, including personnel from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, were included in briefings by the Justice Department before Mr. Abdulmutallab was charged. These sessions did provide an opportunity for those attending to debate the merits of detention vs. prosecution. According to sources with knowledge of the discussions, no one questioned the approach or raised the possibility of taking more time to question the suspect. This makes the administration’s approach even more worrisome than it would have been had intelligence personnel been cut out of the process altogether.
The fight against an unconventional enemy such as al-Qaeda cannot be waged exclusively or effectively through any single approach. Just as it would be a mistake to view all terrorist acts as law enforcement challenges, so would it be unwise to deal with all such incidents as acts of war. All paths must be seriously considered before a determination is made.
I cannot for the life of me fathom how anyone could believe giving Miranda warnings to a terrorist is a good idea. Yes, I know the left has many rabid peaceniks who are more naive than a 5 year old but come on…..Miranda warnings for a foreign terrorist suspect? He is not a US citizen and he was trained by and is a part of a non-state entity which has declared war on us. He simply does not have the same protection afforded to a US citizen. He is an enemy combatant. No Miranda warnings are necessary. (see Aye’s excellent commentary for more)
But lets say the administration believes the warnings are necessary to get a conviction. Fine….but should the first goal be to get a conviction?
I mean what do we want to question him about? Myself, I would want to know the what, where, when, how and why on his training and what further plans our enemy has in store for us. Who cares if we can’t use that information in court against him? We are talking about protecting our country. The eyewitness accounts and huge amount of evidence collected is plenty for a good prosecution team to convict the scumbag but a conviction SHOULD NOT be the President’s goal. Getting the information needed to protect our shores against further attacks should be goal numero uno.
Bill Otis, a former federal prosecutor, nails Obama hard:
What the Post still fails to understand is that the administration’s “myopic, irresponsible and potentially dangerous” blunder in this case was less a result of one bureaucratic miscommunication than of the inherent confusion at the base of its thinking about terrorism and the law. As long as there is indecision about whether violent jihadists should be treated as standard criminals or as the illegal combatants they are, blunders like this are inevitable. The administration’s policy is not the nuanced approach the Post takes it to be. It is wishful thinking masquerading as a nuanced approach.
It’s obvious that Obama cares only about how he is viewed, how well liked he can be, in doing his job rather than just doing the job right. That job’s biggest purpose is to protect the homeland. He neither made himself better liked nor protected our country in this case and I’m afraid he will do worse over the next few years.