Debra Burlingame was interviewed on WMAL radio this morning about her confronting Barack Obama during a meeting at Ground Zero. She explained her reasons for asking the President to express his opinion to Attorney General about dropping the investigation of CIA officers who conducted the enhanced interrogations of detainees:
Try as they might, the Obama administration can not deny the courier was first identified and determined to be a valuable person to find and follow in the hunt for Osama bin Laden during those enhanced interrogations.
Debra Burlingame was one of fifty 9/11 family members who met in a closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama today near Ground Zero. She asked him, considering that by all reports the enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees was “part of the mosaic” of the intelligence that led to Osama bin Laden, if he would at least give his opinion to Attorney General Eric Holder about dropping the investigation of CIA interrorgators. President Obama replied, “No, I won’t.” Here is the video of her Fox News interview:
The operation hinged almost entirely on the hunt for a single man: a courier working out of Pakistan who had been trusted by bin Laden for years. U.S. analysts and operatives spent years figuring out the courier’s identity, senior administration officials said, concluding that he was a former protege of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-declared mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks who is being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The courier “in particular had our constant attention,” one official said. Detainees “identified this man as one of the few al-Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden, indicated he might be living with or protecting bin Laden,” the official said. But until four years ago, the United States was unable to track him down or uncover his real name. Two years ago, U.S. officials narrowed down the region in Pakistan where the courier was working, senior administration officials said.
During a Fox News interview late last night, Debra Burlingame said, “We need to ask our national security leaders and the President, frankly, why we don’t have an interrogation program; right now we have no interrogation program on its feet.”
Tom Joscelyn of The Weekly Standard writes of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s tenure as president of the Islamic Society at the University College of London:
From January 29, to February 2, 2007, the Islamic Society hosted “a series of lectures” as part of its “War on Terror Week.” One of the lectures, according to the Times (UK), was entitled “Jihad v. Terrorism” and billed as “a lecture on the Islamic position with respect to jihad.”
The lecture was given by Asim Qureshi, who is a “senior researcher” at [former Gitmo detainee] Begg’s organization, Cage Prisoners. Qureshi’s own words make his real purpose plain to see as he is, at times, an overt jihadist. During one particularly troublesome episode, Qureshi was captured in an online video ranting at a rally hosted by Hizb ut Tahrir, an organization that the BBC has found “promotes racism and anti-Semitic hatred, calls suicide bombers martyrs and urges Muslims to kill Jewish people.” Indeed, the video shows Qureshi praising his “brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, [and] Afghanistan.” Qureshi tells the crowd: “We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West.” Qureshi and the crowd then break into a chant of “Allah Akhbar.”
This is the Begg associate that Abdulmutallab invited to speak about jihad during his 2007 “War on Terror Week.”
Note: video posted on YouTube on August 19, 2006
With respect to jihad, Abdulmutallab and his cronies are all for it. As the Times (UK) informed readers earlier this week: Abdulmutallab “is the fourth president of a London student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years. One is facing a retrial on charges that he was involved in the 2006 liquid bomb plot to blow up airliners. [emphasis added mine] Two others have been convicted of terrorist offences since 2007.”
Joscelyn’s report shows Abdulmutallab openly associated with a former Guantanamo detainee and headed a student organization that promoted violent jihad as far back at 2007. It is difficult to believe that the CIA would not open a file on Abdulmutallab back then from such open source material. And one wonders why the CIA did not routinely collect information on Abdulmutallab after Britain denied him a visa and placed him on their watch list in May 2009.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.), the ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, tells NRO that the Obama administration’s national-security apparatus is in “free fall” and showing “no adult leadership.”
After the CIA’s release of documents on enhanced-interrogation techniques, Hoekstra is concerned about how the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder will respond. But he does express confidence in CIA director Leon Panetta, an Obama appointee.
“I do know that Leon feels passionately about his workforce,” says Hoekstra. It was reported earlier this week that a frustrated Panetta confronted the White House in private about the administration’s handling of the document release. Hoekstra says he “tends to believe that the screaming matches and threatening to quit are probably accurate of Leon’s feelings. I find it ironic that his best friends are Republicans on the Hill.”
Panetta, he adds, “is not getting a lot of support from the president. Eric Holder has declared war on his personnel. … READ THE REST.