Feb 12 2010
We all know the liberal news media is clueless to the core, so they miss a lot of things. But we are now faced with a much more serious question when it comes to the current administration: are they completely clueless or are they serial liars? I used the above picture to at least set the stage for the lesser of two evils – total incompetence. I fear it may not be that rosy.
The matter surrounding this questions is sadly deadly serious. It revolves around how to treat enemy combatants who are part of a multi-pronged attack force headed our way to kill us. Today there are three excellent reviews on why the Obama administration royally F’d up when dealing with the Christmas Day Bomber – who nearly killed 300 innocent people on a plane over Detroit.
Three articles out today highlight why the lame comments from the administration – trying to cover up their misstep – are even more damning than the mistake they made lawyering up a foreign enemy combatant on our soil. What we are stuck with is either we have total incompetents trying to stop deadly and determined terrorists, or we have ideologues who could care less about American lives lying to us about what they are doing. Either way, this is about as ugly as it gets.
First up is a great piece by Stuart Taylor in the National Journal, as he shreds Eric Holder’s BS excuses for screwing up with the Miranda rights for one Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab:
Holder claimed in a February 3 letter to Senate Republicans that it is “far from clear” that the government has the legal authority to hold a suspected enemy combatant captured in the United States without access to an attorney. He said that Mukasey, in his previous role as a U.S. District judge, had ruled that a detainee named Jose Padilla “must be allowed to meet with his lawyer,” and that a federal Appeals Court in New York had later found the military detention of Padilla to be unlawful.
Holder misleadingly omitted critical facts. First, Padilla was a U.S. citizen. Second, Mukasey’s ruling did not involve Padilla’s initial interrogation but rather his right — after more than eight months in military detention — to have a lawyer’s help in petitioning for release. Third, the Supreme Court reversed the Appeals Court ruling for Padilla on jurisdictional grounds in 2004. Fourth, the justices held the same day, in the case of Yaser Esam Hamdi, that a U.S. citizen captured abroad and linked to “forces hostile to the United States” can be held in this country without charges as an enemy combatant. Fifth, another federal Appeals Court, in Richmond, Va., later upheld the military detention of Padilla in the U.S. and also (as Holder noted in passing) of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a suspected Qaeda agent from Qatar who was arrested in Peoria, Ill.
Emphasis mine. Did Holder mislead from ignorance or malice? I’ll let everyone decide for themselves, but it is clear he was completely and utterly wrong.
Then there is this piece from Michael Mukasey, the above cited judge by Obama’s Ministry of Misinformation, who also shreds the BS coming from the administration:
Contrary to what the White House homeland security adviser and the attorney general have suggested, if not said outright, not only was there no authority or policy in place under the Bush administration requiring that all those detained in the United States be treated as criminal defendants, but relevant authority was and is the opposite. The Supreme Court held inHamdi v. Rumsfeld that “indefinite detention for the purpose of interrogation is not authorized” but also said in the same case that detention for the purpose of neutralizing an unlawful enemy combatant is permissible and that the only right of such a combatant — even if he is a citizen, and Abdulmutallab is not — is to challenge his classification as such a combatant in a habeas corpus proceeding. This does not include the right to remain silent or the right to a lawyer, but only such legal assistance as may be necessary to file a habeas corpus petition within a reasonable time. That was the basis for my ruling inÂ Padilla v. Rumsfeld that, as a convenience to the court and not for any constitutionally based reason, he had to consult with a lawyer for the limited purpose of filing a habeas petition, but that interrogation need not stop.
It is pretty amazing all those lawyers and legal eagles in the Obama administration just can’t seem to grasp the precedence here. This is as lame a cover up as I have seen, and the mistake they are trying to hide is serious:
There was thus no legal or policy compulsion to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant, at least initially, and every reason to treat him as an intelligence asset to be exploited promptly. The way to do that was not simply to have locally available field agents question him but, rather, to get in the room people who knew about al-Qaeda in Yemen, people who could obtain information, check that information against other available data and perhaps get feedback from others in the field before going back to Abdulmutallab to follow up where necessary, all the while keeping secret the fact of his cooperation. Once his former cohorts know he is providing information, they can act to make that information useless.
Yes, the intelligence is gone, the accomplices have run to cover and the other weapons are now on their secondary or tertiary paths and targets.
But the Ministry’s lies are legion, as Thomas Joscelyn relays in this 3rd article in the Weekly Standard:
President Obamaâ€™s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, made the same point on Tuesday in an op-ed for USA Today. Brennan argued: â€œTerrorists such as Jose Padilla and Saleh al-Mari did not cooperate when transferred to military custody, which can harden one’s determination to resist cooperation.â€
Brennan and Gibbs are wrong. In fact, Jose Padilla only started cooperating once he was transferred into the militaryâ€™s custody and interrogated.
Jose Padilla was arrested at Chicagoâ€™s Oâ€™Hare International Airport on May 8, 2002. At the time, U.S. authorities had multiple reasons to be suspicious of him. Most importantly, senior al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah had been taken into custody in late March 2002 and provided information to authorities that led to the identification of both Padilla and his would-be accomplice, Binyam Mohamed. The two were identified as al Qaeda recruits who had been tasked with a mission inside the U.S.–namely, an attack on a high-rise apartment building.
The FBI even offered to put Padilla up in a hotel so they could continue their conversation. But when the agents tried to turn the conversation towards Padillaâ€™s al Qaeda ties, he shut down the interview. â€œHe stood up and told me the interview was over and it was time for him to go,â€ Fincher recalled during testimony.
Padilla was then read a Miranda warning, arrested on a material witness warrant and transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York.
Padilla would ultimately talk. But, contrary to Gibbs and Brennan, it wasnâ€™t until he was placed in the militaryâ€™s custody–not when he was returned to the civilian court system.
The Obama Ministry of Misinformation is using the perfect example of why what they did was wrong (Padilla), clearly showing how they have left us exposed to other attacks. For this reason alone we could lean towards incompetence – why use the one example that proves you screwed up?
The Obama administration has been trotting out their ignorance for weeks trying to shore up their image, and telegraphing warnings to the terrorists in the process. Their incompetence allowed all those around Abdulmutallab to cover their tracks and change their plans. So I can also understand why they could be lying through there teeth.
Regardless, the terrorists are still heading our way. And all the misinformation in the world (whether from ignorance or lying) will not stop them. Only actionable intelligence can stop suicide terrorists.
Something this administration better realize right now.
Update: More here