Monday, February 08, 2010

Shhhhh! They Don't Know We're Stupid!

There is loud protestation coming from the higher ranks of the Obama administration over the public way in which Republicans have criticized it for its treatment of the Christmas day bomber.

This in today's Detroit News:

An exasperated White House slammed Republicans for playing politics on national security and making ignorant allegations about the investigation into the Christmas airliner plot.

Deputy national security adviser John Brennan complained Sunday that politicians, many of them Republicans, were unfairly criticizing the administration for partisan purposes and second-guessing the case with a "500-mile screwdriver" that reaches from Washington to the scene of the attempted attack in Detroit.

"Quite frankly, I'm tiring of politicians using national security issues such as terrorism as a political football," Brennan said.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was questioned for approximately fifty minutes after he landed on the ground in Detroit. After this brief questioning he was given medical attention for his severe burns and then read his rights as an adopted American citizen, after which he stopped talking to authorities.

Strike one.

It took several days to get the young jihadist talking again, and only then after eliciting the support of his family. When Abdulmutallab began speaking again many days after the bombing attempt, the Obama administration used his reemerging candor as a way to counter criticism that Mirandizing a terrorist hurt their ability to collect intelligence. Abdulmutallab was singing like a bird.

Strike two.

Now, in a quick attempt to attain strike three, administration operatives are blaming critics of the administration for playing politics with the obvious blunders of their handling of Abdulmutallab--as if anyone watching this series of public screw ups wouldn't notice.

Our current administration is the most ill-equipped herd of bumbling nincompoops ever put in charge of protecting the people of the US. One year after taking office, Mr. Obama's crack team of interrogators, the one he promised upon being elected because he had a better way of doing things, is still not formed!

One year after taking office, this administration still did not respond to the foiled attack on Detroit in a manner that would maximize actionable intelligence. For all the FBI knew, there were another dozen bombers lined up over the next week to mimic the smoldering genitalia attack of Abdulmutallab. For all they knew, Abdulmutallab had all the connections needed to expose Yemen's al-Qaida network. For all they knew, Abdulmutallab could speak for days on the workings of African recruitment for the jihad. Yet, after fifty minutes, Obama had all he needed.

The defense of the administration typically refers back to the shoe bomber who, in December of 2001, only three months after the toppling of the World Trade Center, was read his Miranda rights even more quickly than Abdulmutallab learned of his.

This maddening defense completely looks over the timing of the attempted shoe bombing and the painstaking efforts necessary to put in place the legal means by which Abdulmutallab could have been treated differently than Reid.

Guantanamo didn't occur by accident. The Patriot Act, for all its flaws, did not occur by accident. Enhanced interrogation techniques were not pulled out of thin air for fun and games. Teams of specialized interrogators did not just pop up like toadstools after a warm rain. These things took planning, they took effort, and they took time to put into place. It was the Obama administration that in large measure either dismantled or ignored the efforts of the previous administration that would have made it possible to adequately question Abdulmutallab, and much of this dismissal was done for wholly political and not practical purposes.

The terrorists in charge are not idiots. Their bombers might not be the shiniest stones in the river, but those in charge are cunning in their murder. They are fully aware of the advantages they have against an America that puts the rights of foreign jihadi terrorists on a level plane with that of God-fearing taxpaying Americans. They monitor our every move. They have internet!

The administration needs to shut up entirely on its handling of terror suspects. It needs to operate in an atmosphere as secret as the one that encased the recent health care bill. It must assume that al-Qaida is watching its every move. It must assume that there are other crotch bombers just itching for the opportunity to kill Americans.

The way to do this is to get all the information from dedicated jihad seekers that it can. It must keep secret from our enemies the information we receive from captives. It must use the infrastructure already in place because, as Obama is finally discovering, recreating a replacement takes a long time. Finally, it must put the protecting of American lives first, rather than having the deaths of Americans an acceptable trade off against the created rights of foreign murderers.

That this even has to be said is perhaps the worst indictment against the Obama administration, politics or not.

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