Richard Reid

Obama stuck with terror-stupid; including Biden saying waterboarding ‘didn’t work’

President Barack Obama has yet to make a “right decision” in the handling and prosecution of the deadliest Islamic radical terrorists captured on his and previous watches.

Obama says he has not made a final decision to move the 9/11 trial out of New York City but he indicates the trial and security costing a mere billion dollars from “his stash,” i.e. taxpayer dollars, will not be the deciding factor. Wherever it is held, Attorney General Eric Holder wants transparency. Apparently, Obama has finally found something he is willing to see C-SPAN conduct non-stop coverage of: the 9/11 trial. Do they still prefer a federal show trial? You betcha!

Meanwhile, Obama’s “intelligence” choir is singing the praises about a Bush 43 intelligence failure: Richard Reid being allowed to remain silent. They skip the verse about only the interrogations of other detainees led to Saajid Badat, his still shoe-bomb armed accomplice in England, ten months after Reid was sentenced. Nor do you hear that in response to Reid suing for his Special Administrative Measures (SAMS) to be lifted, Holder directed a filing be made that they would be allowed to expire on the same day he was touting them against Reid on the DOJ’s web site, June 9, 2009. [Editor — An emailer asked, “Is it possible the SAMS against Reid were lifted that day without his knowledge?” No. The Public Law requires the Attorney General’s approval of all SAMS actions.]

That is not the worst of it.

On November 18, 2009, Holder testified before the Senate that KSM and his co-conspirators would be held in New York City using those same SAMS and did not mention what was “coincidentally” happening in Denver. That same day, an Assistant U.S. Attorney entered Denver’s federal courthouse to tell a judge Reid’s SAMS had ended; Reid could talk to the press, was in general population, and is now communally praying 5-times a day with fellow jihadists in Supermax.

Obama got caught without a HIG-leaf when the Flight 253 bomber’s pants came down. We’ve since learned the decision-paper for creating High-Value Interrogation Groups was at the bottom of the administration’s in-boxes. Instead of ordering the aggressive interrogation of Abdulmuttalab, he was read his rights. Holder is negotiating with a terrorist, and with his lawyer present; Richard Reid is doing what Umar will not do — life.

“The HIG is up!” and running, we are now told. Yet the smart money says Eric Holder has directed they first offer those we have enough to bring to federal trial a sweetheart deal in return for their accomplices, followed by Miranda warnings, their mommies, and negotiations. No, McGruff the Crime Dog licking the faces of cooperating jihadists will not be on the table as that would be “torture.”

John Brennan told a Muslim group yesterday that a 20% recidivism rate among the Gitmo detainees Bush 43 released, “Isn’t bad.” When the choir sang harmony this morning — “Bush did it. Bush did it. Bush did it.” — they forget to chime in with Obama’s first release, Jose Padilla’s accomplice, the also dirty-bomb trained Binyam Mohamed. The two were arrested en route to opening up the gas mains beneath any suitable, fully occupied apartment building they could find in the U.S. They were to ignite an explosion that was to cause the building to collapse. It was to be like the World Trade Center towers, only without the planes.

This morning on Face the Nation Vice President Biden was asked if the administration could ever envision using enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically waterboarding as was used on KSM. Biden flatly replied, “No.” He paused and then added, “Because it didn’t work.”

Oh, no, Joe — it worked on the three of them. In fact, it worked the best when it was used the most; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gave up to interrogators “50 percent of what we know about al Qaeda” and “conducted graduate level seminars” on their methods and operations only after he was waterboarded 183 times.

President Obama is stuck with the terror-stupid.

Reporter-at-large Jane Mayer conducted a series of recent interviews of Eric Holder for a lengthy piece just published in the New Yorker magazine. Near the end, she reports this:

“Late last month, at home, in Northwest Washington, Holder addressed those who have suggested that he and Obama are too weak to take on terrorism. “This macho bravado—that’s the kind of thing that leads you into wars that should not be fought, that history is not kind to,” he said. “The quest for justice, despite what your contemporaries might think, that’s toughness. The ability to subject yourself to the kind of criticism I’m getting now, for something I think is right? That’s tough.””

Tough? Perhaps. But is criminalizing the war the smartest way to protect the American people?

Richard Reid ‘A Mistake, Not a Precedent’ says Andrew McCarthy (actually, Eric Holder set the precedent)

Andrew McCarthy writes in the NRO today “We need not repeat the mistakes of Reid with Abdulmutallab.”

First, there was still very strong reason to believe that a second wave of attacks was imminent. Reid’s attempt strengthened these suspicions. In contrast to today’s relative calm, the country was on the direst kind of war footing: in fear of a raft of new domestic attacks only weeks after a strike deadlier than Pearl Harbor. In exigent circumstances, you tend to go with what you know, because you don’t have the luxury of time to think through something better.

Second, although no one seems to remember this now, the anthrax attacks had just happened. Again, they fortified the sense that the next mass-murder attack was just around the corner. In December 2001, it was all hands on deck to pore over available intelligence reports, look for patterns, and figure out where the next hit might come. Forging a new enforcement paradigm for the litigation of terrorism cases was not a priority.

McCarthy points out Reid was just one of many attacks we saw. Allowing Richard Reid to remain silent did nothing to prevent Flight 253. Instead of making that same mistake, President Bush had thousands of terrorists interrogated and dozens of attacks were prevented; not affording Constitutional rights to terrorists (besides Reid) prevented those attacks. Initially repeating a past mistake with Abdulmuttalab is not mitigated by the fact President Bush “did it” eight years earlier.

McCarthy went on to write:

That brings us to a third point Democrats would prefer to forget: “The Wall,” the internal regulations adopted by the Clinton Justice Department in 1995, had made it practically impossible for intelligence agents to compare notes with criminal investigators and prosecutors. Indeed, the Wall prevented the apprehension of two of the 9/11 terrorists, a dereliction that blew any chance to foil the plot.

The Wall was also a mistake, one that cost lives. I don’t hear anyone in the Obama administration saying we need to regard it as a precedent that binds our hands today.

My words: No, they don’t say it; Eric Holder just does it. He has a habit of repeating major mistakes.

Between August 1997 and October 2000, then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder was formally informed three times that the Wall was preventing the sharing of information between FBI intelligence and FBI criminal investigators.

Eric Holder did nothing to fix a mistake that would have prevented 9/11. By conducting a criminal investigation of the previous administration’s foreign policy, Holder greatly increased the same kind of risk aversion within our intelligence agencies that led to the Wall’s creation.

Lots of people die when Attorney Generals and Presidents make mistakes. Some number of us will live to regret the one just repeated with Abdulmuttalab; others will not be alive to regret it.