Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Torture Not Required!

Yesterday it broke that the underwear bomber is cooperating with US authorities and providing valuable intelligence about AQ in Yemen that has been confirmed accurate.

US torture The family of the failed Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab, played a pivotal role in getting their son to start cooperating with federal authorities in sharing information about Al Qaeda, a senior administration official said Tuesday evening.

Abdulmuttalab has been cooperating with authorities and sharing intelligence since last Thursday, another administration official told ABC News.

The family was “instrumental in gaining Mr. Abdulmuttalab’s cooperation," said the senior administration official. The information Abdulmuttalab is sharing has been described by other officials as fresh and actionable.

“It has been very successful," the official said, "as far as gaining his cooperation that will allow us then to follow up on that information." He said the intelligence gained "has been disseminated throughout the intelligence community."…

...Abdulmuttalab was talking to FBI agents on Saturday, at the same time Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, issued the Republican response to the president's weekly address, decrying Abdulmuttalab's presence in the criminal justice system.

Collins is just one of many critics questioning why Abdulmuttalab was read his Miranda rights under the criminal justice system instead of being interrogated under military rules.

“There is a reason why these things are done the way they are done and believe me it frustrated the hell out of me to listen to a lot of the comments being made that were criticizing this process," the official said. "But the premium that this White House – that this president puts on these operations – is to make sure that we do everything possible to protect the American people.”

The official said "people with no experience and apparently less knowledge about the case and the issues involved have made it a cause célèbre . As though there were some type of strange practice or action that took place here. When it’s consistent with all the practices of the previous administration.”

Those who had access to Abdulmuttalab concluded that "putting him in front of somebody with a military uniform would have made him even more opposed to any type of cooperation," the official said. "The way to get to him is to use family members who are going to be supportive of what we’re trying to do”

The FBI agents involved in making the decisions "did it exactly the way they were trained to do, the way past practice has occurred without exception," the official said. "There were a lot of politicians who were speaking out who had not one lick of counterterrorism experience who were second-guessing the professionals who have engaged in these issues, very successfully and in a very dedicated fashion over the years. And to have a how-many-mile screwdriver from here to Detroit try to micromanage the process, I find it quite frankly appalling.”

The senior administration official expressed frustration that news of Abdulmuttalab's cooperation was revealed to the public today.

In congressional testimony, the director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair (ret.), said of Abdulmuttalab, "we got good intelligence. We're getting more."

FBI director Robert Mueller said as much as well… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <ABC>

The GOP torture mavens have made fools of themselves.  Their way had two basic problems.  First, torture is a violation of international treaties to which the US is a party.  That makes torture a crime under US law and a war crime under international law.  Second, torture produces flawed intelligence.

Keith Olbermann and Jonathan Alter broke this down beautifully:


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Alter’s point that the GOP’s continual lying that Obama is weak on terrorists provides incentive for terrorists to attack us is certainly valid.  Don’t they care about keeping America safe?  The most helpful event in returning the GOP to power would be a successful terrorist attack on the US on Obama’s watch.  Hmmm….


the walking man said...


TomCat said...

Quite true, Mark. You forgot executed. :-)

Lisa G. said...

Let's just execute him first and then try to get the intel. That should go well.

TomCat said...

Careful Lisa. Thinking like that could addict you to Kool Aid. ;-)