Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Blair’

Even Liberals Now Recognize Obama Massively Screwed Up Christmas Terrorist Case

January 25, 2010

The editors of the mainline liberal Washington Post describe the Obama administration as being “myopic, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.”  You’d think that would generate some media buzz.

Did the Obama administration blow an opportunity in the Flight 253 case?
Saturday, January 23, 2010

UMAR FAROUK Abdulmutallab was nabbed in Detroit on board Northwest Flight 253 after trying unsuccessfully to ignite explosives sewn into his underwear. The Obama administration had three options: It could charge him in federal court. It could detain him as an enemy belligerent. Or it could hold him for prolonged questioning and later indict him, ensuring that nothing Mr. Abdulmutallab said during questioning was used against him in court.

It is now clear that the administration did not give serious thought to anything but Door No. 1. This was myopic, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

Whether to charge terrorism suspects or hold and interrogate them is a judgment call. We originally supported the administration’s decision in the Abdulmutallab case, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to try Mr. Abdulmutallab turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a crime-and-punishment model.

In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, all said they were not asked to weigh in on how best to deal with Mr. Abdulmutallab. Some intelligence officials, including personnel from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, were included in briefings by the Justice Department before Mr. Abdulmutallab was charged. These sessions did provide an opportunity for those attending to debate the merits of detention vs. prosecution. According to sources with knowledge of the discussions, no one questioned the approach or raised the possibility of taking more time to question the suspect. This makes the administration’s approach even more worrisome than it would have been had intelligence personnel been cut out of the process altogether.

The fight against an unconventional enemy such as al-Qaeda cannot be waged exclusively or effectively through any single approach. Just as it would be a mistake to view all terrorist acts as law enforcement challenges, so would it be unwise to deal with all such incidents as acts of war. All paths must be seriously considered before a determination is made.

The administration claims Mr. Abdulmutallab provided valuable information — and probably exhausted his knowledge of al-Qaeda operations — before he clammed up. This was immediately after he was read his Miranda rights and provided with a court-appointed lawyer. The truth is, we may never know whether the administration made the right call or whether it squandered a valuable opportunity.

Here’s Stephen Hayes’ commonsense response to the Washington Post repudiation of its earlier support for Obama’s

The Washington Post supported the Obama administration’s treatment of Christmas day bomber Umar Abdulmuttalab as a criminal rather than as an enemy combatant. In an editorial published yesterday, It has nevertheless retracted its support. The Post writes that it “originally supported the administration’s decision in the Abdulmutallab case, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to try Mr. Abdulmutallab turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a crime-and-punishment model.”

The Obama administration’s treatment of Abdulmutallab as a criminal accorded the constitutional rights of an American citizen is absurd and indefensible. Yet the administration persists in it.

It is highly unusual to see a prominent newspaper editorial board publicly change its mind. The stated ground for the Post’s original editorial position is lame. It criticizes the decision on procedural grounds. Is the Post incapable of judging its substance?

A defective decision making process is more likely to have resulted in a defective decision, but who cares what process the Obama administration used to come to the wrong decision? The administration is full of world-class liberal chin pullers who would come to the same decision if they had taken more time to think about it. They are simply on the wrong track.

Yesterday’s Post editorial also concludes on a lame note. The Post can’t quite bring itself to the conclusion that the Obama administration’s treatment of Abdulmutallab as a criminal is in fact a mistake. Maybe, maybe not. It professes to have an open mind on that question.

It notes, on the one hand: “The administration claims Mr. Abdulmutallab provided valuable information — and probably exhausted his knowledge of al-Qaeda operations — before he clammed up. This was immediately after he was read his Miranda rights and provided with a court-appointed lawyer.”

That sounds bad. Abdulmutallab was singing like a bird until the FBI read him a Miranda warning. Reasonable people would conclude that he stopped singing because of the warning.

But here the Post injects a note of epistemological uncertainty befitting a college philosophy class. The Post asserts, on the other hand: “The truth is, we may never know whether the administration made the right call or whether it squandered a valuable opportunity.” The truth is, we may never know this only if we are prohibited from employing the most basic common sense to assess the situation.

More importantly, however, the administration’s decision to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal is mistaken on its face. It cannot be defended on the merits in principle and the administration has not chosen to do so. It is an obvious mistake that can be rectified — the administration can dismiss the criminal proceedings and remit Abdulmutallab to the custody of the armed forces as an enemy combatant — but it would be helpful to have reasonable administration allies like the Post editorial board say that it should do so forthrightly.

If the administration now chose to treat Abdulmutallab as an enemy combatant, he might well remain “clammed up.” At that point we would have a good case in which to debate the folly of the administration’s abandonment of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program.

Via Stephen F. Hayes.

Stop and think about it.

To begin with, the “transparent” Obama administration missed FAR more warning signs of the terrorist attack than it acknowledged.  Which already leads one to wonder just what kind of idiots are sitting in the White House?

But that’s nowhere even close to how bad this thing is.  We have a terrorist bomber with al Qaeda connections attempt to attack the United States – and very nearly succeed.  And how does the Obama administration react?  Dumber than a box of rocks, that’s how.  Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, immediately grabs bombing “suspect” Abdulmutallab without even bothering to so much as notify Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, or National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter.

They didn’t just carefully deliberate and then choose to do something stupid with our national defense; they blindly, unthinkingly and moronically chose to do something stupid with our national defense.

But it just keeps getting worse and worse.  The Obama administration, which arrogantly, self-righteously, and incredibly naively and stupidly banned the Bush interrogation system NEVER BOTHERED TO PUT ANY OTHER SYSTEM TO INTERROGATE HIGH-LEVEL TERRORISTS IN PLACE.

So we basically no longer have the capacity to effectively interrogate a high-level terrorist even if we DON’T immediately protect him with Miranda rights first.

Dumb and Dumber are running our nation right now.  And I’ve got bad news for you: “Dumber” is the one running the whole show.

If we suffer another terrorist attack, Barack Obama needs to be impeached.  He has blindly, stupidly, and even WILLFULLY left us defenseless.

And we may be about to suffer a massive attack.

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Obama Proves OWN Partisan Bias In Targeting Bush Officials

April 26, 2009

From Hotair:

Obama’s DNI reminds Obama that “enhanced interrogation” worked

posted at 8:44 am on April 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s top man in the intelligence community sent the President a memo defending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, which the White House edited before releasing to the press de-emphasizing that defense.  Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, pointed out that most of what we know about al-Qaeda came from using those techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, countering leaks last week from the Obama administration that claimed the methods produced no data:

President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.

The New York Times, which got a copy of the memo, also notices some odd redactions from the version released by the White House:

Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past,” he wrote, “but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”

In other words, the Obama administration covered up the fact that even their own DNI acknowledges that the interrogations produced actionable and critical information.  When Dick Cheney demanded the release of the rest of the memos relating that information, he wasn’t just going on a fishing expedition.  Cheney filed a request to declassify those memos in March, and the CIA has yet to decide on his request, but we can no longer doubt that records exist showing the success of those interrogations.

Obama has occasionally suggested a truth-and-reconciliation approach to probing the use of torture by the Bush administration, but this establishes that Obama isn’t terribly interested in “truth”.  Withholding the truth that waterboarding produced information that saved hundreds of American lives, perhaps thousands, shows that Obama values public relations more than he does the truth.  He wants to argue that none of this was necessary to secure the nation against terrorist attacks.  In order to make that argument, he redacted Blair’s memo, including his defense of his predecessors, whom Blair acknowledges had to face some tough decisions to uncover plots against America.

Four former CIA directors opposed releasing the memos arguing that such a release would undermine national security.

WASHINGTON – Four former CIA directors opposed releasing classified Bush-era interrogation memos, officials say, describing objections that went all the way to the White House and slowed release of the records.

Former CIA chiefs Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet and John Deutch all called the White House in March warning that release of the so-called “torture memos” would compromise intelligence operations, current and former officials say. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to detail internal government discussions.

Even Obama’s OWN CURRENT CIA director pulled back from releasing the memos, said administration needed to consider the possibility that the memos’ release might expose CIA officers to lawsuits on allegations of torture and abuse, and urged more censorship.

Obama now has a proven track record of releasing – in the name of “openness and accountability” – only that information which harms his opposition, while refusing to release and even censoring any mitigating information.

Wow.  The most radically liberal Senator in Congress is breaking his promise to be bipartisan and above the political divide as a “new politician,” which was at the heart of his campaign.  He is turning out to be the most divisive president in modern history.  What can I say?  I’m speechless with shock – that there were enough fools in the country who thought he’d turn out any differently to get this leftwing ideologue elected.

And let’s be clear: the buck stops at Obama.  He’s the one responsible for this partisan witch hunt, this criminalizing of political differences.  If the radical left is driving the agenda, Barack Obama is still the man serving as their tool.

Update, April 27: Porter Goss – CIA director from September 2004 to May 2006, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004 – described himself as being “slack-jawed” over the Democrats blatantly obvious lies and demagoguery over this issue.

An article from Atlas Shrugs entitled “Obama Crossed the Line” raises the legitimate anger that should result from Obama’s actions:

If Obama commits treason, is it legal? Obama was not brought up in the USA and lacks American DNA. The fact that he was raised in the largest Muslim country in the world and that his mother was a communist and his Kenyan father was no lover of America tells us a lot about where Obama’s sympathies lie. It tells me that for Obama, it’s payback time, and payback is a bitch.

The problem with starting a process of partisan witch hunting is that it won’t stop.  You can hunt conservatives down now, Obama; but just realize that you’ll be the witch next.