The Senate Homeland Security Committee held hearings into the Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253 this week. Senator John McCain questioned Dennis Blair the Chief of National Intelligence, Michael Leiter the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security.
In a direct question from McCain, these three were asked if they were consulted about the decision to try the Christmas Day Underpants bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in a civilian federal criminal court rather than a US Military court. All three answered that they had not been consulted about that decision. That leaves Barack Obama and Eric Holder directly responsible.
From Senator McCain:
…a terrible, terrible mistake” was made when an alleged terrorist
aboard a Detroit-bound flight wasn’t charged as an enemy combatant and
wants to know why no one to his knowledge has been fired, transferred
or otherwise disciplined in the wake of the Dec. 25 incident.
McCain said the decision to charge the alleged bomber, Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab, as a civilian rather than an enemy combatant may have
resulted in interrogators being unable to get more information. That,
in turn, could “impact our ability to defend this nation.”
“I think it’s pretty clear this individual did not act alone,” said McCain.
Senator Joe Lieberman, Chair of the Senate Committee, was specifically concerned that Janet Napolitano was not consulted about putting Abdulmutallab into civilian courts. Remember, Napolitano immediately said everything went like clockwork – the system worked, and Abdulmullatab’s actions were not part of a larger plot and were not a “threat.” We have a bunch of dangerous clowns assigned to keep us safe and free.
McCain suggested that National Intelligence Director, Dennis Blair, should step down, but President Obama clearly indicated that the people in charge of intelligence say they will “do better,” – he is not firing or transferring anyone.
Dennis Blair said security officials have been “pressured” in recent years to “pull back from tighter standards for traveling into the country.” How does this happen? Why would the Senate Homeland Security Committee not know that the policy for recognizing terrorist has de-emphasized? Government checks and balances are nothing more than policy on paper.Top national security is close to worthless.