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January 21, 2010



On a related matter, watch Amanpour get a well-deserved smack down on her lying about treatment of terrorists.

Watch the video!!


Is unclear from the article whether it was the FBI or customs who arrested AM. And the actual arresting officer, did they get instructions or confirmation from a supervisor? And that supervisor spoke to their manager. No doubt, at some point, there were instructions from the Attorney General. Holder, Obama, the Clinton justice team, ... all share the belief that terror attacks should be down played and treated as criminal offenses. ( I agree the attacks should be downplayed. If AQ had more bombers to send, they would have been detonated already. )


I want to know if there was a Bush era protocol in place when Obama arrived that was subsequently changed.


Holder investigating CIA agents for interrogation is what has changed. It is top down stupidy

Jack is Back!


I watched that when I went to Powerline this morning and I have to tell you that she and Sands were so sure of themselves they didn't even know that they got "fisked" on the spot. The look on Sand's face and Christine's when Thissen asks them which act of terrorism they would have preferred to happen without using EIT(i.e. waterboarding) is priceless. If you watch this do not do so drinking hot liquids, especially the part where Mark points out to Sands that one of the planned attacks could have been near where he lives in London.

What a bunch of wussy weasels.


I want to know if there was a Bush era protocol in place when Obama arrived that was subsequently changed.

Posted by: DebinNC | January 21, 2010 at 10:09 AM

We would have to look at the Padilla case. He was held on arrival in Chicago and then transfered to military custody as an enemy combatant. I doubt he was read his rights when the grabbed him. Oh, and its not like they didn't have time to think about it, since he was pre-identified while in the air for extra screening at the airport in Detroit as a possible bad guy.



Here's the cite to the Supreme Court opinion striking down campaign finance.

Jenny G

According to Amanpour's broad definition of "water torture" (e.g. from being submerged in an enclosed box water to having water periodically poured on your face), taking a shower in the morning is water torture.


To DebinNC--

Yes... the Padilla case. The Bush Admin. would have declared the UNDERPANTS BOMBER an enemy combatant remanded him to the Navy Brig in Charleston, SC and interrogated with military personel for actionable intelligence. When they through with him and any info he had is revealed or becomes stale, indict him and prosecute him, but only AFTER he is thoroughly interogated. The UNDERPANTS BOMBER is even easier because he was UNLIKE PADILLA NOT a US citizen, and the bomber had NO connection with the US other than atempting to down a US airliner and kill US citizens. Thus, unlike Padilla, after interrogation the Bomber would have been remanded for trial by Military Commission. Barry O and Eric holder have completely changed these protocols by NOT interrogating Underpants and indicting him for Civilian Trial in US District Court. Hence, Underpants was Mirandized and will not talk. This is a security calamity, and we will learn how bad when the next AQAP trained bomber kills Americans. Hope and Change.


Edward Luttwak had a WSJ op-ed that was convincing to me:

He says ceramic knives are as effective as metal and can't be detected by airport scanners. And bombs sufficient in power to take down a plane can be hidden in body cavities and evade detection by pat downs and body scans.

I think we are way over doing it on airport security. The fact that AQ has not yet shot up malls or subway cars and instead executes plane based attacks ( to maximize attention and terror ) is convincing evidence to me that they don't have the people/capability needed to launch more frequent attacks.

Per FBI Director Mueller's testimony the agents on the spot made the decision without seeking guidance from above. So, did they not get the memo, or was there no memo advising the FBI (and presumably, local law enforcement) about the desirability of a higher review?

Anyone who bothers to read the Byron York piece has to wonder whether that is really the case. It appears to me that Mueller ("Without getting too much into the details") dodges this very obvious issue. Oh, sure, toward the end he states categorically that he was not personally contacted, but how about this:

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked Mueller, "Who made the decision that Abdulmutallab was going to be treated as a criminal rather than an enemy belligerent?" The answer: the agents on the scene, with no input from the FBI director.

"Abdulmutallab was arrested on the plane after these incidents; there was no prior discussion," Mueller said. "He was handed over, I believe, by the personnel on the plane to CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Proection], who originally had custody of him. He was taken to a hospital in which the FBI took custody of him. It happened so fast that there was no time really at that point whether the transfer was made very quickly, given the moving circumstances, to determine whether alternative arrests could or should be made."

Two things occur to me: 1) Mueller muddies the waters here by speaking of the arrest on the plane. York seems to assume, incorrectly, that that was conducted by the FBI. However, the FBI, says Mueller, only took custody of the nitwit in hospital. But Mueller doesn't actually answer Sessions' question. And York's comment misses the bigger issue entirely: "the agents on the scene, with no input from the FBI director."

Just because Mueller wasn't consulted personally doesn't mean that the agents' actions were not conducted in accordance with oral or written guidance from someone other than Mueller.

And that's how it continues:

Sessions asked again: "Who made the decision that he would be treated as if he were a criminal to be tried in civilian courts and be provided Miranda warnings? Who?"

"The decision to arrest him, put him in criminal courts," Mueller answered, "the decision was made by the agents on the ground. The ones that took him from the plane and then followed up on the arrest -- "

"So the decision was made by agents on the ground based on some protocol or some policy that they understood?" Sessions asked.

"Based on an ongoing, very fluid situation," Mueller answered, "in which they are trying to gather the facts and determine what culpability this individual had, but as important as determining the culpability of this individual, what other threats were out there that needed to be addressed?"

Now, Mueller's statements are very careful, and this is where I'm disbelieving of their apparently clear meaning. Mueller says: "the decision was made by the agents on the ground. The ones that took him from the plane and then followed up on the arrest -- " but he carefully avoids adding: at the instruction of or based on the advice of so-and-so. Like, in the potentially biggest case since 9/11 these agents just winged the whole thing? Maybe, but color me skeptical. Of course the agents made the decision, in the sense that they were the ones on the scene and were the ones who would take the necessary actions, but that doesn't mean they had no advice to go on.

Sessions picks up on that point and wants to know what the the agents' decision was based on. Mueller evades: "Based on an ongoing, very fluid situation." That is simply non-responsive. "An ongoing, very fluid situation" is undoubtedly the context in which the decision was made, but it NEVER constitutes the BASIS for a decision--Mueller very clearly wants to avoid discussing "some protocol or some policy," as Sessions put it.

So, I think Mueller is being evasive here, and that he was very happy to be able to say that he was not personally contacted, thus changing the focus of the questioning somewhat. There were other obvious questions with which the regrettably too deferential Sessions should have pressed Mueller, like, were there any protocols and policies in place for these situations? Did your legal department formulate any guidance whatsoever for handling these situations? Was training provided to agents as to how to proceed in these circumstances?

Well, hopefully Sessions will follow up later.


Yes they kept making the Abdulmutallab/Reid comparison, but they left out Abdullah Muhajir, (Padilla)Al Marri,or Majid Khan, the Baltimore mall planner


One more OBTW. As I understand it, there is no need to read someone their rights when they are behing held to determine their immigration status. That is an administrative, not a legal process. Technically, they are not under arrest, they are just not free to enther the US until the situation is resolved. Since this guy tried to blow up the aircraft, he probably lied on his visa applicaiton as to why he wanted to come to the US. They could have held him administrativly to investigate without ever formally arresting him. Once they were done with that, they could have chosen to either turn him over to the FBI or the military.

Danube of Thought

Luttwak frequently leaves me cold, but I thought his article was quite persuasive. In essence, he says we should be looking for terrorists, not last year's weapon of choice. And in looking for terrorists, a good first step is to identify that large class of people who need not be screened at all.


Say... do you suppose that the TSA isn't about security at all, but about creating a new public service jobs program?


Remember Padilla was a US citizen and theoretically entitled to geater rights than Mr. underpants.

The SCOTUS has invalidated critical art of the misnamed campaign finance reform act and I'm working on something about that for PM.


"... Say... do you suppose that the TSA isn't about security at all, but about creating a new public service jobs program? ..."

I think so. And dare I say, the TSA also takes productive people out of the work force. Every TSA worker is a double burden on the tax payer. They are doing work that is not needed. And they are not doing a private sector job that ( by definition ) is needed.


"... a good first step is to identify that large class of people who need not be screened at all. ..."

What about keeping a database of every person who has listened to or contacted a radical cleric? Investigate them enough to identify them by their drivers license or passport id. Such people are not allowed to serve in the US military. When they fly, at a minimum, they are subjected to extra screening.

Danube of Thought

Isikoff reports on an administration in disarray, and thoroughly teed off at Dennis Blair's comments about the handling of the crotch bomber. It's looking like Police Academy Six.


Let's assume for the sake of argument these poor hapless FBI dolts recovering from the tire marks left by the bus they were just tossed under made the decision all on their own in a fluid situation to arrest and treat this clown as a criminal.

Is there something, other than insane left wing idealogy, preventing Mr. Holder or Mr. Barry from amending that decision and holding him as an unlawful enemy combatant?
I didn't think so.


I was just gonna get on and link the Powerline article with the Amanpour video...see it's already been done.
I tell ya, it is sickening that conservatives always have to "debate" with the opposing guest and the host. Just like Gergen at the Brown debate.

One positive aspect is that I know a few people whose eyes have been opened because of that obvious news bias.


From DoT's link:

Administration officials said the comments by Blair were especially galling because they seemed to vindicate the chief Republican criticism of the handling of the Detroit incident.

They were especially galling, not on their own merits, but because they seemed to vindicate Republican criticism. Yes, that sounds about right for this administration.

We know who Obama's real enemies are.

Jack is Back!

"We know who Obama's real enemies are."

Instead of the TSA and CBP asking you "how much you make" like they did to Michael Yon in Seattle, they will now ask "Republican or Democrat"!


Why don't we just make radical imams quietly "disappear", and stop letting them foment violence against us?

I'm all for freedom of religion and speech, but some things we just don't have to tolerate.

Danube of Thought

Wow. Obama supporter Mort Zuckerman has the most advanced case of buyer's remorse I've ever seen in print.


The proper way to deal with the pseudo-religious clerics on both sides is to laugh at their ideas in public. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.


Amanpour is a liar. When we waterboarded the three terrorists there was a physician on hand and the terrorists were told that they were not going to be killed. This knowledge actually becomes irrelevant from the perspective of the waterboardee, but the fact remains that not one terrorist died from it. To compare that to the Khmer Rouge is sinful.

Rob Crawford

Why don't we just make radical imams quietly "disappear", and stop letting them foment violence against us?

Why quietly? Noisy, public, but plausibly deniable should be the way to go.

You know -- the Holy Arms Depot in their mosque going off during Friday prayers. A "work accident" during bomb training. That kind of thing.

Old Lurker

"Wow. Obama supporter Mort Zuckerman has the most advanced case of buyer's remorse I've ever seen in print."

Warren Buffet is doing a pretty good job back pedaling too.


Heh. Nancy P. doesn't have the votes to pass HC in the House.

Wonderful news.


Scott Brown is making everyone he meets in DC look awkward as heck. "John Kerry announces they will be running a triathalon together as soon as his hip is better."

Kerry just wants to watch Scott's ass.

Oh I'm sorry, that just came out.

BTW the latest podcast of FWDAJ is up - it's the Scott Brown edition.


Scott Brown has political capital. He has to use it or lose it. We have to balance the budget. To do that we have to slash spending. Cut the pay of federal workers. Stop extending unemployment benefits. Remove people from the social security disability roles. I am kind of confident Brown agrees with the need to cut spending. I fear he is not willing to sacrifice his popularity by taking away the public's handouts.

Annoying Old Guy


Normally I can figure out what you meant but this has me stumped.

The SCOTUS has invalidated critical art of the misnamed campaign finance reform act

Did you mean "parts" for "art"? Or is this the case about art critical of politicans and SCOTUS has invalidated the CFR basis for that?

JM Hanes

Loosely cross-posted from the DNI thread:

The current hearings are, at last, putting the Administration's law enforcement approach to terrorism together with questions about the Adminstration's basic competence.

They have undermined professionals in the field, who are now in full CYA mode, at every turn. They have also transferred responsibility for preventative intel gathering from the CIA to the FBI whose mandate, and allotted tools, have always been aimed at ex post facto apprehension and punishment. I've been fulminating over the failure to address that distinction for years, and those two imperatives finally came into stark, direct conflict in Detroit.

If there were controlling provisions in official DoJ policy and regulations, we would have heard about it, and if there were instructions from the DoJ in DC, we presumably, but not necessarily, will [See: New Black Panthers]. Holder's idiosyncratic mix of civilian/military venues offers zero practical guidance. That's the fluid situation. The clear lack of any explicit protocols for assigning precedence to prevention or punishment on the ground virtually predetermined the result. Whodo ya call? Who knows? The FBI did the only thing they did know, for sure, they were empowered to do.


Okay, as usual, I appear to have been right. Andy McCarthy quotes from Senator Sessions' statement after his (Sessions') grilling of FBI Director Mueller (in which Sessions appears to have been more effective than portrayed by Byron York):

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.

So, yes, very strictly speaking the agents on the ground made the decision, but that decision was based, not on "An ongoing, very fluid situation" (Mueller), but on input from "an unnamed high-ranking official at the Department of Justice."


The SCOTUS has invalidated critical art of the misnamed campaign finance reform act

Should read The SCOTUS has invalidated a critical part of the misnamed campaign finance reform act(Sec. 41 b) of the Act


Byron York, Washington Examiner:
[quote]All seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder seeking to learn who made the decision to treat Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the accused Christmas Day terrorist bomber, as a criminal suspect rather than an enemy combatant.[snip]
The letter is signed by GOP Sens. Jeff Sessions, Orrin Hatch, Charles Grassley, Jon Kyl, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn. The lawmakers were rattled by testimony yesterday before both the Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee by some of the nation's top law enforcement and anti-terrorism officials. All of those who testified -- FBI director Robert Mueller, National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano -- said they were not consulted about the decision to handle Abdulmutallab in the criminal courts.

The letter asks who made the decision as well as the basis for the decision. In addition, it asks Holder to answer "whether the administration has a protocol or policy in place for handling al Qaeda terrorists captured in the United States."[/quote]



I think we are way over doing it on airport security.

If by "airport security" you mean scanning and metal detectors and long lines, yes. But it's more a matter of redirecting than reducing. It's clear that 95% of the screening should be done with computers and intelligence (of the CIA sort), 4% with Israeli-style close observation (to look for suspicious behavior), and only 1% actual physical screening with weapons detectors. We seem to be doing it exactly backa**wards. What a shock, that the government would get this wrong.

JM Hanes


Did you wonder about the absence of Eric Holder on the Senate witness list? When you've got the top rung DNI and Secretary of Homeland Security in the hot seats I thought it was a rather intriguing omission. Mueller is not the one who designs DoJ policy; even if he hadn't long survived by keeping his head down, he can hardly be expected to point fingers at -- or answer for -- (his boss) the AG.


jmh,i give the committee the benefit of the doubt and assume they waited until it had the DNI on record. (The Homeland Security Committee got Mueller on record) and now they are moving in on Holder having the on=the-record statements of the others first.


the pseudo-religious clerics on both sides

I'm annoyed by that comment, but I'm also annoyed by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion; far be it from me to suggest one is somehow worse than the other.

Mike Huggins

Speaking of "airport security" Mark Steyn spells out "what must not be named."

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