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WH ‘Debated’ Using Enemy Combatant

Buried on the ‘Fed Page’ of the Washington Post:

Obama team debated treating Detroit suspect Abdulmutallab as enemy combatant

By Walter Pincus
Tuesday, February 9, 2010; A15

Should Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly tried to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day, have been considered an enemy combatant under the law of war and placed in military detention? The same question raised by senior Republicans last week was considered during a Jan. 6 National Security Council meeting led by President Obama in the White House Situation Room.

The issue arose when Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. brought up the decision to continue the process to formally charge Abdulmutallab with attempted murder and attempted destruction of an aircraft under the U.S. criminal code.

"The attorney general said, ‘I’m going to charge him tomorrow,’ " and "there were questions raised about whether or not he should in fact go to law of war detention status," according to the transcript of a White House background briefing for reporters last Tuesday by two senior administration officials.

At that NSC meeting were Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, CIA Director Leon Panetta, NSA Director Keith B. Alexander, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was not disclosed who raised the question.

In the discussion, it was pointed out that the FBI was working the case, that it had interrogators ready and that two counterterrorism agents were already in Nigeria, beginning a background investigation of Abdulmutallab and his large family.

Two men arrested on U.S. soil were previously deemed enemy combatants — Jose Padilla and Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. Both spent years in a military brig in South Carolina, and neither ever cooperated with interrogators.

And the Washington Post knows this how?

One factor pointed out during the NSC discussion was that when a person is held in military detention and questioned, it inevitably involves people who wear military uniforms. Those present were told that "it was the professional, considered judgment of the individuals who had access to Abdulmutallab that putting him in front of somebody with a military uniform would have made him even more opposed to any type of cooperation," the senior administration official said at last week’s briefing.

"Given what we can do in a military commission and what we can do in the criminal justice system, there was full unanimity on the part of the seniors [President Obama and other NSC members at the meeting] that this was the right way to go," reporters were told last week

This sure doesn’t sound like much of a debate to us. The advantages of holding Mr. Abdulmutallab don’t seem to have ever been raised.

Moreover, why is it inevitable that a person held as a enemy combatant must be questioned by someone in uniform? We doubt that has always been the case, especially given the claims that CIA officers waterboarded two of the 9/11 terrorists.

But even if this were a requirement (which we highly doubt), how is being questioned by someone in uniform more likely to make a suspect clam up than is giving him an attorney who is almost certainly going to tell him to stop talking?

It sounds to us like the administration was just looking for any excuse to treat Mr. Abdulmutallab as a civilian rather than an enemy combatant.

And we know why. – To placate their lunatic ACLU base.

After Abdulmutallab decided to stop talking, was read his Miranda rights and got lawyers, the FBI devised a complex investigative plan, which was outlined to reporters last week…

Notice this order. The Post is claiming that Mr. Abdulmutallab stopped talking before he was read his Miranda rights. We have not seen that suggested before.

And we strongly suspect it is not true.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “WH ‘Debated’ Using Enemy Combatant”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    My favorite part about this whole fiasco is that the MSM keeps repeating:

    “who allegedly tried to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day”

    They wouldn’t want to jump to conclusion now would they?

  2. proreason says:

    He stopped talking before being read his Miranda rights?

    And those rights were read to him after 50 minutes.

    Got it.

  3. jobeth says:

    Using this very calculated reasoning of ‘all our presidents men’ (and prez), that he began talking because he he didn’t have to look at those scary uniforms I just know he will really start talking if we only give him prettier clothes to look at.

    Maybe we could hire a clothing designer to create a fine line of casual burkas we could entice him with. That should totally disarm his resistance.

    This is ridiculous! How about a new paint job on his cell’s walls?…or even a new flat screen tv, would make him more comfortable…thus causing him to talk?.

    Yep, this has got to be the most brilliant group of fools we have ever had in the WH. Good to know they are what stands between us and the terrorists.

    God help us. These guys need to stop playing cops and robbers with cap pistols and get real!!!

    War is mean. In war, people get hurt and killed. You have to decide who it is that gets killed…them or us. When will these… these…(don’t use those words) wusses get that? Are they trying to create a warm fuzzy war? They just can’t be that stupid! That only leaves that they are trying to coddle the enemy. That’s treason.

    Let’s see now…stupid vs treason…..

    We are in deep trouble aren’t we?

  4. BigOil says:

    Why would Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a tree hugging nutjob from Berkeley sit in on an NSC meeting on terrorism man-caused disasters? Is there a national security concern resulting from the carbon footprint of burning underwear?

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