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Hayden – “Obama administration takes several wrong paths in dealing with terrorism”

January 31, 2010

General Hayden makes the point that I was trying to make last night. I wish I had seen this then it would have made things simpler –

None of that happened in Detroit. In fact, we ensured that it wouldn’t. After the first session, the FBI Mirandized Abdulmutallab and — to preserve a potential prosecution — sent in a “clean team” of agents who could have no knowledge of what Abdulmutallab had provided before he was given his constitutional warnings. As has been widely reported, Abdulmutallab then exercised his right to remain silent.

In retrospect, the inadvisability of this approach seems self-evident. Perhaps it didn’t appear that way on Dec. 25 because we have, over the past year, become acclimated to certain patterns of thought.

(…)

Even tough government organizations, such as those in the intelligence community, figure out pretty quickly what their political masters think is not acceptable behavior. The executive order that confined interrogations to the Army Field Manual also launched a task force to investigate whether those techniques were sufficient for national needs. Few observers believed that the group would recommend changes, and to date, no techniques have been added to the manual.

(…)

Some may celebrate that the current Justice Department’s perspective on the war on terrorism has become markedly more dominant in the past year. We should probably understand the implications of that before we break out the champagne. That apparently no one recommended on Christmas Day that Abdulmutallab be handled, at least for a time, as an enemy combatant should be concerning. That our director of national intelligence, Denny Blair, bravely said as much during congressional testimony this month is cause for hope.

Much better explanation of why I think the FBI agents made the only choice that they really could.

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