Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Slade Gorton, a member of the 9/11 Commission, have ripped the administration for giving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day underpants bomber, the cover of a civilian trial.
Mukasey countered Deputy Security Advisor, John Brennan's suggestion that we can get information from the now-lawyered-up Abdulmutallab by offering him a plea deal:
"He certainly should know that the kind of facts that Abdulmutallab might be expected to know have a shelf life that is a lot shorter than the plea bargaining process," he wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week.
Mr Mukasey argues that it was crucial to gain intelligence from him immediately as details about locations, names and other plots is subject to rapid change.
Abdulmutallab could have been held and interrogated in military custody under existing US legislation before a decision was taken whether to charge him before a military tribunal or a civilian court, according to Michael Mukasey, the last Attorney General under President George W Bush.Before civil charges were filed Friday, Abdulmutallab allegedly told authorities that more than 20 young Muslims were in preparation for jihad against the U.S. This from Slade Gorton:
"He was singing like a canary, then we charged him in civilian proceedings, he got a lawyer and shut up," Slade Gorton, a member of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the Sept 2001 terror attacks on the US, told The Sunday Telegraph.In light of the choices for the reasoning behind Obama and Holder's decision to try Abdulmutallab in a civilian criminal court, I would be comforted to believe that this is a knee-jerk administration without a clue about handling national security, but I think these two know exactly what they are doing.
"I find it incomprehensible that this administration is treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue. The president has finally said that we are at war with al-Qaeda. Well, if this is a war, then Abdulmutallab should be treated as a combatant not a criminal."
Holder and Obama do not want Muslims in the hands of military, even though Obama has acknowledged we are in a "war," (and I don't expect to hear that again any time soon), they know some information will quashed in civilian federal court - and details about Islamic terrorism may never get out. Second - even though the criticism would be hotter than hades for the President, there is always the outside chance a case can be dismissed. I don't believe that would be terribly upsetting to him, because after all, we can't blame him for what a federal judge does.
Obama is undaunted by the objections to Gitmo trials in New York. If you think he cares about any distress over Abdulmutallab, and lost intelligence, you are greatly mistaken.