And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

>>Will this Blatant Disregard for Americans Security finally take Down the Obama Administration?

Posted on: January 26, 2010

High Value – Marc A. Thiessen – National Review Online

Posted using ShareWill the blatant disregard for Americans security in the way the Christmas Underwear bomber was interrogated (Or NOT!) finally convince Obama  kool aid drinkers that this President and his administration are out of touch and care nothing for our lives?  I certainly hope so.

In congressional hearings last week, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said that the Obama administration’s High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), not law-enforcement officers, should have been used to interrogate the Christmas Day bomber. Blair said the HIG “was created exactly for this purpose,” adding, “We did not invoke the HIG in this case; we should have.”

Why was the HIG not ready? Because the Obama administration did not think it necessary. Under Obama, the administration is no longer trying to capture high-value terrorists alive for questioning. So when (much to their surprise) they found themselves with a high-value detainee in their custody, they were caught completely unprepared. Without consulting intelligence and counterterrorism officials, Attorney General Eric Holder directed that he be given a lawyer and told he had the “right to remain silent” — a right he has duly exercised.

This is a massive intelligence failure on a number of levels. It cost us invaluable time-sensitive intelligence. From al-Qaeda’s vantage point, Abdulmutallab was supposed to be dead — vaporized with the plane that he was planning to explode. As soon as they learned that he was in custody, they began scrambling to cover his tracks — closing their e-mail accounts, cell-phone numbers, and bank accounts; putting terrorist leaders and operatives he knew about into hiding; and shutting down other trails of intelligence he might give us to follow. Every minute, every hour, every day that passed while Abdulmutallab exercised his “right to remain silent” cost us invaluable counterterrorism opportunities. Obama officials have said that they can still get information from him in the plea-bargaining process. Putting aside the question of why we should reduce his punishment in exchange for information, by the time we reach a plea deal it will be too late — the information will be useless.

As I explain in Courting Disaster, even if the HIG were “fully operational,” we might be better off with Abdulmutallab in the hands of the Detroit Police Department — because under the rules established by the Obama administration, local law-enforcement officials actually have more tools at their disposal to interrogate common criminals than our military and intelligence officials have to interrogate captured terrorists. The Obama administration has limited the techniques available to the HIG to those contained in the Army Field Manual — a document that governs the interrogation of enemy prisoners of war with full Geneva Convention protections — even though there is a wide universe of lawful techniques beyond those included in the Army Field Manual that could be used to question high-value terrorists.

Local police use techniques beyond the Army Field Manual every day. For example, police detectives and district attorneys regularly use the threat of execution to get ordinary criminals to confess — offering to take capital punishment off the table if a criminal cops a plea or turns in his accomplices. Under the Army Field Manual this is not permitted; detainees cannot be threatened in any way. In other words, President Obama has so denuded our intelligence agencies’ interrogation capabilities that putting the HIG in charge of his interrogation would likely have been a useless exercise.

The irony is that the CIA interrogation program Obama inherited from the Bush administration — and eliminated on his second day in office — contained none of the techniques to which Obama had objected on the campaign trail.
Waterboarding and the other more coercive techniques were no longer part of the approved program (though the CIA director could still request permission from the president and the attorney general to use them on an especially tough case). The techniques Obama eliminated were: the facial hold, attention grasp, tummy slap, facial slap, dietary manipulation (liquid Ensure instead of regular meals), and mild sleep deprivation. That’s it. Every one of these techniques was demonstrated for Obama by CIA Director Mike Hayden during the presidential transition.

Mucho thanks to  my friend AlwaysonWatch.  🙂  BB

2 Responses to ">>Will this Blatant Disregard for Americans Security finally take Down the Obama Administration?"

Even the liberal WaPo has been doing some squawking about BHO’s negligence.

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