"Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America; he's worried that someone won't read them their rights.” Sarah Palin, September 3, 2008
, during her vice presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention speaking of Barack Obama’s misplaced priorities.
Do you remember just how furiously elite opinion reacted to the line? I certainly do. I hadn’t seen the Left so angry since Karl Rove remarked in 2005
that; "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."
I think that our know-it-all class owes Sarah Palin and Karl Rove apologies.
The Christmas Day bloomer bomber episode exposed the Obama Administration as people who do not take war or terrorism seriously. Just a few days before Christmas, the Obama Administration was warned that Al Qaida was likely planning an attack. Weeks before the attack, Saudi intelligence warned us that Al Qaida had developed underwear bombs. The US received a specific warning about the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, from his own father. The warning was ignored.
But even the intelligence failures were not the worst of it. Because once they had the bomber in custody, the Obama Administration performed exactly as Sarah Palin predicted. And this matters very much. Great Britain suspended all flights from Yemen and has raised its terror alert, saying that a terrorist attack was likely. ABC News reported that American law enforcement had been warned
to keep especially vigilant for at least two female suicide bombers traveling on western passports. The information is pretty vague and not particularly helpful. There are growing and imminent threats out there and we had a golden opportunity to learn more about them because we had one of the conspirators in our hands.
It might have been different had the Obama Administration not chosen to read Miranda rights to Abdulmutallab and transfer him to civilian custody. According to news reports, for nearly an hour
before he was advised to shut up, he was “singing like a canary,”
and provided a wealth of valuable intelligence. Since then, on advice from his government provided attorney, we’ve learned nothing. Before he was told he had a right to remain silent, Abdulmutallab told his captors that there were dozens of terrorists like him training in Yemen. Abdulmutallab is saying nothing now.
Even the Washington Post described the decision to read Miranda rights to an aspiring suicide bomber as “myopic, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.”
Just as disturbing was the information revealed this week that the decision to read Abdulmutallab his rights was taken without consulting
Michael Leiter, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Nor was Dennis Blair, the director of National Intelligence, asked for his input. FBI director Robert Mueller wasn’t asked either. And the secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, said she wasn't consulted. Not one of the top anti-terrorism officials was asked for an opinion on how Abdulmutallab should be handled. And according to the Associated Press: “There was no effort to call in the elite federal High-Value Interrogation Group, a special unit of terror specialists that the Obama administration said early last year it would create to deal with terror suspects captured abroad.”
But wait! There is no such thing as a High-Value Interrogation Group
to call on. Although its creation was announced with great fanfare last year, in truth it exists only in the ephemeral universe of Obama’s rhetoric. It was only a ruse to give the illusion that Barack Obama actually does take terrorism seriously. Once the illusion was created and disseminated by the adoring media, little if anything has been done since. It certainly is not operational.
The decision to read Abdulmutallab his rights was clearly taken with politics and ideology in mind. Somehow the notion arose from the belief that, just as Karl Rove said, therapy is the answer to terrorism. If we treat terrorists as gently as we handle drug dealers and gang bangers, then they’ll be seduced by the transparent justice of Obama and mend their evil ways.
Obama seems as deluded as Harry Truman, who tried to convince Americans that the Korean War wasn’t really a war, but a “police action.” The more times change, the more Democrats stay the same.