Private Underpants In the News
I'm demoting Captain Underpants, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to Private Underpants. He's a nobody, a kid following the pied piper, and the over-reaction to him by our elected officials, is becoming embarrassing. Republicans are using him, just as they are using the issue of the 9/11 trials, to steal the spotlight and rally their troops to get them votes in 2010. How do they even keep a straight face while they are spouting their nonsense?
In today's installment, Attorney General Eric Holder sent this letter to the Senate defending the decisions made following Abdulmatallab's arrest. And Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair seems to have forgotten there's a criminal case pending against Abdulmutallab. Holder should have insisted Blair not discuss details of Abdulmatallab's statements. These statements even go beyond what John Ashcroft was admonished for in the bungled Detroit terror case. [More...]
The suspect has talked to the FBI for hours in recent days, offering what sources say is valuable, sometimes chilling, intelligence.... Abdulmutallab has identified his handlers in Yemen, including the man who designed his underwear bomb, and given extensive details about his training.
...[Blair]reaffirmed today what officials have learned from Abdulmutallab and warned that al Qaeda's pool of suicide bombers may include U.S. citizens and that the terror group may be targeting U.S. nationals overseas for attack.
Blair insists there's no deal on the table for Private Underpants, which I don't believe for a second (it's more likely they just haven't given promised him a definitive number of years yet) but if it's true, Blair's statements are even more prejudicial and inexcusable.
Where's the judge and Abdulmatallab's lawyer? Someone needs to slap a gag order on this case now.
One other interesting tidbit:
FBI officials flew in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's mother and uncle from Nigeria last month to meet with the Christmas Day bombing suspect for 10 days, law enforcement sources said today.
...The terror suspect's family played a pivotal role in getting him to cooperate with federal authorities in sharing information about al Qaeda, according to senior administration officials.
Were they using them as a back-up plan hoping they had veto power, in case Abulmutallab's lawyer told him not to talk? All they have to do is tell a mother that her son will never see the light of day again if he doesn't 'fess up. Who is the kid bound to listen to, his lawyer he's known for a few days, or his mother?
As if that's not enough, we have Blair telling the House committee today that the U.S. can target and assassinate American citizens suspected of terrorism.
The director of national intelligence affirmed rather bluntly today that the U.S. intelligence community has authority to target American citizens for assassination if they present a direct terrorist threat to the United States.
"We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community; if … we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that," Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee.
..."Whether that American is involved in a group that is trying to attack us, whether that American has -- is a threat to other Americans. Those are the factors involved."...According to U.S. officials, only a handful of Americans would be eligible for targeting by U.S. intelligence or military operations. The legal guidance is determined by the National Security Council and the Justice Department.
And Lindsay Graham introduced his bill today to prevent funding for the 9/11 trials. As the ACLU says:
This is a case of déjà vu, with the same senators introducing the same legislation that was rejected by the Senate less than three months ago. The Senate already rejected this proposal, and there is no reason to play out the same scenario over and over again. Congress should stop trying to interfere with criminal prosecutions and let experienced Justice Department prosecutors go forward with criminal trials of the alleged September 11 plotters. The U.S. has successfully tried and convicted more than 200 international defendants on terrorism crimes in federal courts. We see no reason for Congress not to dismiss these bills as easily as Senator Graham's amendment was dismissed last year."
A group of family members of 9/11 victims, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, also weighed in:
[We] support with vigor all efforts by the Obama administration to end military commissions, to convene federal trials, and to restore the rule of law in America. We specifically believe that everyone who is currently detained at Guantanamo should either be charged with a crime and tried in federal court or released. Under no circumstances do we believe that a policy of indefinite detention for anyone constitutes justice for the loved ones we have lost.
We are troubled that the Obama administration has not been able to deliver on its promises and that voices of hysteria and fear are shaping our judicial policies. We, too, hear the fear mongering, but we remain unafraid.
In the final analysis, our families paid the ultimate price. We lost loved ones to a horrific act of violence. We prefer not to lose the fabric of our nation, as well, to the fear generated by those who prefer retribution and revenge to truth and justice.
I don't think there are enough votes to pass a bill that bans funding of the federal criminal trials. If there are, I expect Obama to veto it. This is just Republican grand-standing and playing the politics of fear card, using Private Underpants as their springboard.
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