The NSC adviser had said that people would be shocked by what we hear:
Obama Terrorism Statement: “We are war. We are at war with al Qaeda”
Obama finally figured out what most of the rest of us already knew. I guess that’s shocking.
Does this mean that the hopey/changy terms used last year like “overseas contingency operations”, and “man-made disasters” are no longer de rigueur?
How does closing Gitmo, and giving enemy combatants civilian trials square with this new-found discovery? How are we going to go forward in this time of war without the ability to get intelligence from enemy combatants in captivity?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Former Bush Atty General, Michael Mukasey asks:
What Does the Detroit Bomber Know?
Even as the initial spin was in progress, Abdulmutallab was chattering like a magpie to his FBI captors about having been trained by al Qaeda and about there being more where he came from.
Braggadocio aside, he was certainly aware of who had prepared the potentially deadly mix that was sewn in his underwear, who had trained him, where the training had taken place, whether there was in fact a South Asian man described by two other passengers who helped him talk his way on to the plane, and a good deal more. Such facts are valuable but evanescent intelligence. The location of people—and with it our ability to find and neutralize them—is subject to rapid change.
Had Abdulmutallab been turned over immediately to interrogators intent on gathering intelligence, valuable facts could have been gathered and perhaps acted upon. Indeed, a White House spokesman has confirmed that Abdulmutallab did disclose some actionable intelligence before he fell silent on advice of counsel. Nor is it any comfort to be told, as we were, by the senior intelligence adviser referred to above—he of the “no smoking gun”—that we can learn facts from Abdulmutallab as part of a plea bargaining process in connection with his prosecution.
Whatever that official thinks he knows about the plea bargaining process, 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, assuming such a process ever gets started.
Well, fear not! Natl Security adviser James Jones assured us that Obama really does not want to see the American people slaughtered by terrorists:
President Obama “is legitimately and correctly alarmed . . . .”
Jones said Obama “certainly doesn’t want that third strike, and neither does anybody else.”
He might want to do some quick “pivoting” on some of his homeland security policies, then, to match up a little closer to his predecessors’ policies.