February 3, 2010

Abdulmutallab is talking to the FBI.

FBI agents traveled to Nigeria and enlisted the help of his relatives, who "disagreed with his efforts to blow up American targets."

ADDED: Let's not forget all that criticism about telling Abdulmutallab about his Miranda rights:
Why are we reading Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights instead of taking him somewhere and forcibly finding out where he got the explosive underwear and whatever else he might know about Al Qaeda? Isn’t this, as well as the forthcoming federal court trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, proof that the Obama administration doesn’t really regard the war on terrorism as a war?...

Republican critics like Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich have raised these questions in the past few days....
There were ways, apparently consistent with American criminal procedural rights, to milk Abdulmutallab for information. If the first-linked story is true, the success of the method used must be acknowledged and taken into account by those who say that terrorist suspects/enemy combatants must be treated differently from those accused of ordinary crimes.

69 comments:

traditionalguy said...

The great negotiator's style may work after all. But what do we have to pay for this information????

Diamondhead said...

Most of the information he had is out of date by now, and a good deal of it was probably out of date within a few days after his capture. If we get any useful intelligence out of him now, it's a stroke of good luck - not some wonderful master plan that the head of the FBI wasn't informed about at the time.

Lem said...

NYT alerts Qaeda Umar is talking.

Thank you NYT.

From Inwood said...

Trad guy

You beat me to it.

In addition to the issue of plea bargaining, which means we give him something, there is no justification for Mirandizing him so that we got no info from him as soon as he was captured & before he can get lawyered up. And now, by the time we are getting this info, much of it, & I would argue the important part of it, is stale. His buddies have folded their tents, to coin a phrase.

Disgraceful, inexcusable show.

Repeat after me: it's the war on Terrorism; not the case against terrorism.

From Inwood said...

Diamonhead

I can't type as fast as you!

Maguro said...

Yeah, all that good cop/bad cop stuff works on a dope like Abdulmuttallab. But what if they capture a real operator like KSM or Abu Zubayda?

Are they prepared to interrogate someone like that? I would like to think so, but am pretty skeptical right now.

Lem said...

There was also the presidents spokesman saying Khalid Shaikh Mohammed "will meet his maker".
Something about tainting a jury and getting a judge to trow out a case.

If Khalid Shaikh Mohammed walks Obama should be impeached.

Maguro said...

Bear in mind that KSM's first words after he was captured in Pakistan were "I'll talk when I see my lawyer in New York City".

Not every terrorist is a 20-year old punk like this guy. The terrorists who are high enough in the food chain to have really valuable information won't be as cooperative.

Bob From Ohio said...

I just don't believe it.

Un-named official who just happens to tell a friendly paper that the critics were wrong and the government was right.

No way of course to verify anything.

Very convenient.

SteveR said...

Not only is the timing bad (Dec 25- Feb 1 is too long) but what percent of these guys are going to respond to Mommy and Daddy). Getting lucky doesn't constitute a strategy.

kathleen said...

right, so we're supposed to conclude that waterboarding is always and everywhere unnecessary. evil right wingers just did it for kicks, b/c that's how they roll.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maybe they cut Abdul a deal to regraft his penis back on.

muddimo said...

The problem with torture is that you never know when to stop using it. Detainee X may have important info, better not take chances. So you run everyone through the mill. You start by arguing for its use with KSM and soon want to use it against some dopey kid with identity issues rebelling against Daddy. And then your fellow citizens.


So easy. First to find out info regarding actual terrorism plots, next to find out info on terrorists, next to find out info on potential terrorists, next to find out info on those who might support potential terrorists, etc.


It's not like humanity hasn't been down this road a million times before.

CatherineM said...

Who is saying torture is the only way?

I think this is very convenient after all of the press stating they had 15 min with him before he lawyered and shut up? Very convenient.

I would be surprised if his attorney was letting him speak freely without getting something in return.

EDH said...

Even in this case, I don't see how denying "Miranda rights" would subtract anything from the ability of interrogators to enlist the support of a suspect's relatives during interrogation. In fact, still the opposite.

The idea that either you have to extend full-civillian criminal protections or "tak[e] him somewhere and forcibly" interrogate him -- and thereby necessarily forego such techniques -- is a false dichotomy brilliantly backmasked in this Obama administration PR piece planted in the NYT.

And even Althouse bought into it?

muddimo said...

Hopefully no one is saying that torture is the only way because that would be stupid. But deciding that it is an option, even to be used against persons arrested on US soil, is a big deal with big repercussions. And history shows that for political "crimes" and actual terrorism, it becomes the method of choice.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So easy. First to find out info regarding actual terrorism plots, next to find out info on terrorists, KA-BOOOOOM.....ok lets start again. First to find out info regarding actual terrorism plots, next to find out info on terrorists,......

Everything is easy on paper.

Michael said...

As we shall see, Abdulmutallab has been promised life in prison without parole instead of execution and he is therefore offering up whatever he wants us to know.

muddimo said...

Michael, if so that would be a great deal for us. Well worth it.

Hoosier, I'm not sure you understood my point.

Joe said...

I think the key here is his family, who don't support his views, and, I suspect, Nigerian culture where family honor is important.

Patm said...

First of all, we have absolutely NO WAY of knowing if any of this is true; the press is so far in the pocket of Obama that if the WH says "oh yeah, he's talking now, giving up lots of info" they just dutifully report that. We have no way of knowing it is true.

Secondly, what is the Obama administration giving him for info? Immunity? Sending him home to Daddy? What is the cost?

Obama has totally lost my trust. I don't believe a thing coming out of this gov't anymore and that's the first time I've ever felt that way.

Florida said...

Of course he's now talking.

Obama's goons have had a month to work him over and torture him, so he's spilling his guts.

What ... you thought Obama did away with torture?

He's implemented the Chicago Way.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier, I'm not sure you understood my point.

No, I understood it perfectly. I was only mocking your ‘ it’s so easy’ methods of obtaining info on terrorist activities. I mean that sounds great to do all those things as if uncovering terrorist plots was the equivalent of completing the NY Times Crossword but it’s not. I mean when the President get’s a CIA briefing that says: “bin Laden determined to strike the US” where does one begin?

Let’s say for instance we pick up a suspected terrorist, we’ll call him Bob because not all terrorists are named Mohammed or Abdul. Anyway Bob is picked up for speeding in his U-haul and he’s not looking too good. Run some tests and poor Bob is suffering from radiation poisoning. Well how did that happen? Dunno cause Bob isn’t talking other than to tell his interviewers to go fuck themselves now bring me my prayer rug and haalal meal and don’t touch my Koran with your filthy pig stained fingers. Oh and bring me my lawyer you godless son of a whore.

See how un-easy it becomes? A true fanatic by and large isn’t going to willingly start spilling his guts like on an episode of The Closer. Some need more persuasion because a true fanatic who is seeking martydom is most likely not interested in plea bargaining a jail sentence from life without parole to life with the possibility of parole. In the meantime, our heroes are frantically trying to figure out why Bob has radiation burns because he’s using his right to remain silent. Now I’m sure they will still stand tall on the high ground because they didn’t kick Bob’s ass to get information even though a couple thousand people are remaining permanently silent in a 3 square block area of LA because a dirty bomb just went off but hey, that’s the price of freedom.

Cedarford said...

If the first-linked story is true, the success of the method used must be acknowledged and taken into account by those who say that terrorist suspects/enemy combatants must be treated differently from those accused of ordinary crimes.

False dichotomy, Althouse. Had he not been Mirandized, he still could have been told by his family members they wanted him to talk AS he was being interrogated by the military. As was, it was all stop for over a month as his fresh intelligence info was lost and people in Yemeni and Nigerian and Londonistan networks had time to scut people Abdulmutallab knew to safety.

In fact, the "family approach" is a tool routinely tried on Islamoids by the Brits, Indians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Israelis, Americans. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And remember the US was condemned by human rights groups for trying to induce KSM to talk by saying it would be better for his wife and kids who were in Pak custody after his arrest.
And the "family, relatives" angle was tried on KSM long before any enhanced interrogation that Americans then in power thought vital to save thousands of lives here and in Britain. KSM was a hardcase. Nothing worked until he was waterboarded.

==============
"muddimo said...
The problem with torture is that you never know when to stop using it."

What we know suggests that even with thousands of lives on the line from KSM and AQ's other plots back in the 2002-2003 timeframe...the whole process was controlled, lawyer-reviewed, and only done as a last ditch measure after everything else was tried.

30 out of 5000 detainees were subjected to enhanced interrogation, and 3 were waterboarded. And it is hard to accept the Left's assertion that anything from "going without sleep for days" (part of US Marine, spec ops training) and waterboarding (done by SERE to military inc. pilots, and to various CIA agents) is torture. If so, it is ongiong and that would make Obama "Torturer in Chief".

Kansas City said...

I love Ann, but I'm afraid her old liberal mindset is blinding her here.

If it is true that five weeks later the guy has started to talk honestly (a big if, remember the Obama folks originally said they questioned him for 24 hours and got what he had, when it was actually 50 minutes), it has virtually nothing to do with the correct approach to secure information on a timely basis from a terrorist.

The whole concept of applying, or even being concerned about, Miranda in this context is ridiculous. The guy was caught trying to blow up a plane in the prsence of hundreds of witnesses. Even if you accepted the proposition that the proper venue for trial was civilian court, there was no need to secure information from him for the criminal prosecution. And even if there was, criminal prosecution concerns have to come second to protecting against terrorist attack.

The appropriate response to any effort to Mirandarize a terrorist has to be "you got to be kidding."

edutcher said...

Bob, Maguro, and Patm are all right in what they say.

If the Gray Lady can be trusted, there is possibly some sort of mind game going on; anybody want to bet if Teddy was still breathing good cop, bad cop would be classed as torture?

If there is a plea bargain in the works, he certainly is a flop as a Moslem.

Leland said...

There were ways, apparently consistent with American criminal procedural rights, to milk Abdulmutallab for information.

There are ways, so long as the parents are willing to assist. That is common in American criminal procedures I'm sure. Parent's, regardless if they agree or not with their childs action, will be cooperative to help reduce a sentence on their child. And in turn, hopefully use their influence on the child to get them to cooperate.

But what about those parents, who agree with their child on religious principles. Parents who believe their child's sacrifice secures for their child and them a special place in eternity with their God? Who also receive a big pay day for their child's actions. Do you really think those parents will be helpful? Would you trust those parents?

On the other hand, was there any sign Abdulmutallab parents would have been less helpful if he was held at Gitmo without access to lawyers?

muddimo said...

Hoosier, you completely missed my point. It was not that it is "so easy" to obtain quality information using torture, it was that deciding to use torture is a slippery slope. It is so easy to keep torturing, and expand the criteria for those to be tortured, once you start down that road.


I thought my first paragraph had set the premise but I guess that I should have been clearer. My second paragraph was a warning not a suggested plan of action!

Balfegor said...

There were ways, apparently consistent with American criminal procedural rights, to milk Abdulmutallab for information.

True. I wonder, though, whether his decision -- and especially the advice of his counsel regarding cooperation -- were influenced at all by the very real possibility that if he didn't cooperate, the violent public outcry in the US would force the President to remove him from the criminal justice system and send him to an interrogation facility somewhere. And there were calls to do just that, and claims that procedurally, it would be possible even after the preliminary decisionmaking. Even if you thought there was only a 20% chance of that happening, I'd think that would be a significant factor favouring cooperation -- the FBI/DOJ is a nicer "good cop."

The Drill SGT said...

@Diamondhead had it right, but I'll expand.

This clown was a low level operator. He doesn't know policy or personality or strategy. I'll use the analogy that we were taught at SERE.

If captured, you will talk. you will. what you MUST do is to deny the enemy the short term operational TIME SENSITIVE info.

frequencies, callsigns, locations, codewords to report success/failure, other operatives, other ongoing operations.

All our resistance training was designed to preserve this perishable info for a week. that's all. by then, your capture is known, and headquarters can change codes, protect other teams, move, etc.

Abdulmutallab accomplished his mission to protect the valuable info, we failed.
------------------

Those FIBBies failed by being solely focused on protecting a prosecution rather than protecting the country. (somebody, maybe McCarthy had a great line. it went something like. "They didn't need no stinkin confession, it was an open and shut witness case. They had 288 witnesses, about 286 more than they need."

We needed (and we must next time) work the perp instantly. Saving lives is more important than saving a confession. Don't read anybody Miranda for the first 48 hours.

Cedarford said...

Hoosier - "A true fanatic by and large isn’t going to willingly start spilling his guts like on an episode of The Closer."

It gets better. A true fanatic is told a very interesting thing by his spiritual counselors, akin to the US handling out medals to some especially tough men that held out as long as humanly possible before they began spilling the beans. But with much higher stakes.

That talking willingly is not only a betrayal of honor, but would jeopardize the Islamoids very soul and chances of getting into Paradise. But eventually, based on AQ's experience and widely known amongst Islamoids - Israeli, Egyptian, and Jordanian interrogators got the bravest Jihadis to break. So to keep recruits coming and to not discourage the terrorists and suicide bombers and armed resistors of Zionist Settlers and fighters against Mubarak and all other forms of Jihad -- they were told that resisting to their utmost, practicing Taqqiyah along the way(lies and deception of the infidel or apostate enemy) had to be done - but finally breaking and telling the truth in no way blocked Paradise or was a stain on family or tribal honor.

That is why KSM resisted in a way and to an extent few American POWs in Vietnam ever did - but when he broke, began talking peacefully and honestly. His soul was saved by resisting, honor satisfied.

If you understand that, you understand why attempting to turn Islamoids by teaching the on "learning to love America for our lawyer-run legal system, precious infidel rights, and Holy Constitution & freedoms" is a complete joke.
Why so few will talk for a plea bargain offer or various comforts and delicacies or even college scholarship offers for family members.
It also explains why committed radical muslims tell befuddled US authorities their 30 million reward on Binnie and the 25 million on al-Zawahiri further guaranteed their safety. It made turning them in completely dishonorable. Had our search been looking for cooperation, we would have pursued cooperation in terms of zakat and a blood feud. We would have said we want to get the Islamoids and fairly swiftly kill the AQ leaders for revenge. That we would leave Afghaistan and leave Paki Wazistan alon after that. But in gratitude for cooperation against the heretics that took Jihad down the wrong path, we would spend funds on what village elders wanted done, but never money for betraying a Muslim to infidels..
Likely would have had all AQ wrapped up in 2003.

BTW- A correction. People in America were never educated on what a dirty bomb does, what actions to take if one goes off - by the Bushies. NOr did the Bushies ever seek to change laws that would make a city hit with a few thousand curies disbursed a 100 billion dollar cleanup and people barred from for months to years...in favor of a military civil defense cleanup that did the job in a couple of weeks for a few 10s of millions by a quick decon that ignored EPA "not a speck of radioactity anywhere at any cost" rules.

NO, a dirty bomb wouldn't kill thousands. It would kill a dozen or so people directly from the explosive and shrapnel, a dozen more or less from cancer from the CS-137 or whatever was used. And maybe a few hundred that perished in ignorant panic unrelated to the actual danger of rads disbursed.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Torture him! Torture him!

It doesn't matter to me what approach gets information... who the fuck cares?

What matters to me is that I feel good!

And I have an innate desire for violence against the other, against those who I have some reason to consider not to be worthy of living. That desire for violence is part of my human nature.

So TORTURE HIM! TORTURE HIM!

Even if it makes him not cooperate. Even if it makes him stop giving us information. Even if it makes dead!

The only thing that matters is that the Great American Show give me what I need to feel good!

TORTURE HIM TO DEATH!

And "Miranda rights"? That's just like a face slap to my desire to see pain inflicted on this asshole. What wimps those investigators are! They clearly have no conception of what the people – like me – want to get out of our political system!

Michael said...

Muddimo:

You will note that I said that Abdulmutallab will tell us what "he wants us to know", not what he knows. A Distinction with a difference> aND A BAD DEAL.

Dave said...

'All our resistance training was designed to preserve this perishable info for a week. that's all. by then, your capture is known'

His capture was known almost instantly. And with 200+ people on board, it would have been impossible to keep it quiet, in which case AQ HQ's would be able to change whatever they needed, if it wasn't changed prior to his going on the mission.

Michael said...

JR Hoffman:

It is possible to question someone without torturing them and without giving them Miranda rights. There is a huge middle ground between torture and questioning at length and without lawyers and with the aid of people who know something about the questions that need to be asked sooner rather than later. It is silly to accuse those who want to avoid affording combatants with the rights of criminals with being in favor of torture. We understand that you occupy higher moral ground but don't demonstrate in addition that your intellectual perch is not so lofty.

muddimo said...

JRH provides a convincing rebuttal to my anti-torture posts.

Nichevo said...

C4, just one pooint, in what world could you do a quick and dirty milspec decon for tens of millions? I mean what are your limits for acceptibility?

Just take a chunk of, oh, cobalt, get to the central air conditioning plant or the elevator shafts of the Empire State Building, and ignite it. Radioactive fumes spread through the entire building; maybe some gets out and a plume kills (sickens, whatever) everyone for X blocks on 5th Ave or maybe not, but everyone in the building is dead, number one,

and number two, how do you clean up the building short of demolishing it? Even if ALL you had to do was rip out all the HVAC ductwork, it would be umpty-ump millions, like asbestos but worse. And that wouldn't be all you had to do.

If it were a radius of flat land with no infrastructure worth keeping, sure, you could pave it over, but cities aren't like that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

JRH provides a convincing rebuttal to my anti-torture posts.

Actually he just proves what an idiot he really is. If he thinks we waterboard people to make us feel good then he's a piece of shit.

Hoosier, you completely missed my point. It was not that it is "so easy" to obtain quality information using torture, it was that deciding to use torture is a slippery slope. It is so easy to keep torturing, and expand the criteria for those to be tortured, once you start down that road.

Guess I did, sorry it didn’t seem all that clear. But sure there is always a slippery slope to anything. Let me give you an example: Where I live, we will on New Years Eve and during the Indy 500 we will set up what they call “Sobriety Checkpoints” or as I refer to as good old fashioned roadblocks. They are designed to keep the rest of us safe by stopping cars that go by and checking to see if the driver is too shit faced to navigate his two ton vehicle in a safe manner. Shockingly these are very popular particularly among, yes you guessed it, mothers, particularly ones whose precious childrens were killed by drunk drivers. Now the slippery slope argument is that we’ll be having roadblocks everywhere manned by jackbooted chain-dogs demanding we show our papers and there is merit to that. Problem is it hasn’t happened because the voters trust, within reason, that the powers that be exercise discretion in the number of roadblocks and the manner in which they are employed.

I trust, within reason, our keepers of national security to utilize discretion in obtaining actionable intelligence from captured jihadists. I would say that water boarding Achmed the Goatherder who we picked up in Whatthefuckstan isn’t going to get us much useful information. On the other hand using my example of Bob being picked up and seeing him suffering from radiation poisoning and burns might pique my interest enough that there is a good possibility he has been in proximity to a nuke or dirty bomb and it would behoove us to find out what is going on by any means necessary.

But that’s just me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Drill Sgt lets agree that he was a low level player who actually had intel we could use. Let’s also look at another possibility: He was a patsy from the start. I mean if we accept what we know about the attempt as true, it actually sounds like something from a 3 Stooges episode. I mean you successfully smuggle a bomb on a plane and rather then go to the shitter, lock the door and light it and bring the plane down, you sit in your seat, pull a blanket over yourself and light your dick on fire.
I’m not putting it past AQ to try a rope a dope with this guy and if he was actually that incompetent, I’m betting dollars to donuts that the AQ guys knew it and didn’t give him a whole lot of info that would be considered actionable. That’s just my two cents because when I hear how ‘sophisticated’ AQ is becoming, this whole incident just doesn’t smell right.

LarsPorsena said...

He's talking now?

Well:
The cell phones used to contact him have been dropped and all the cells used to contact those cell have been dropped.

Any safe-houses used in during his stay in Londonistan have been abandoned.

His handlers/controllers have disappeared back into the woodwork.

Any AQ bank accounts that he may have been used have been closed.

Any terror training camps in Yemen he may have visited have been moved.


All the actionable intelligence is gone.

Yes, he's talking now but it's too damn late.

madawaskan said...

I really highly doubt that giving him a lawyer etc. helped a bit-


Intelligence is PERISHABLE.

But ya, let's let the Obama Administration have it both ways, pat themselves on the back all while giving this "individual" his rights.

More rights than any enemy of America before- who at least wore uniforms, and didn't blow up civilians.

Because we are dealing with the least honorable scum Democrats-

PROTECT them.

Good one-keep that allegiance up somehow it makes you feel better than everyone else.

It all goes back to the fact that Democrats don't believe that terrorism is an organized and real threat.

Big Mike said...

I admit that when I saw the phrase "enlisted the help of his relatives" the first thing that passed through my mind was a scene from some B-grade WWII movie where a sinister figure says "you shtill haf relatives in Choormany, nicht var?"

Meanwhile, I find myself in full agreement with Bob-from-Ohio and Hoosier (at 10:38).

And I find myself in complete disagreement with Cedarford's last paragraph. How many people would die from a dirty bomb depend on a variety of factors, starting with the size of the bomb, the amount of radioactive material used, prevailing winds, location (you could kill tens of thousands just setting it off at a big football game, though probably not the Super Bowl where security is extremely tight).

madawaskan said...

Also this guy didn't just get his-

"miranda rights" he's going to get the full compliment that includes-

his lawyers getting the-

Brady rule-

which if you followed Zacarias Moussaoui's trail was a major hurdle for the government when trying a -

TERRORIST.

Jim said...

1) It's a false choice between "forced interrogation" and giving Miranda rights. Let's remember that professional interrogators recognize that information obtained under physical duress is less reliable than that freely offered. The vast majority of all interrogations involve feeding the detainee information (which may or may not be true) which is designed to induce the detainee to give up information voluntarily. For example, telling the detainee he will be freed to his home country if he just tells the truth, that they've already caught his co-conspirators and the first one to sing goes free, etc.

To even insinuate that not affording a detainee Miranda rights is an any way equivalent to subjecting them to rough treatment is to display a fundamental ignorance about how 95% of all intelligence is gathered.

2) All this talk about waterboarding is horse-hockey. Let's not forget that it's been used THREE times....It bears repeating THREE times. And not on low-level flunkies or suicide bombers either, but on high-value targets that were already known to have lots of valuable intel that was needed in a very short timeframe.

3) The simple fact is that, even if one were to assume that choosing to prosecute the guy in civilian court turns out to have been the right decision in the end, that decision was made in haste without the proper people signing off on it. We've already seen Congressional testimony that none of the heads of the agencies responsible for Homeland Security said they were notified or asked about how to proceed. So, even if you make the enormous leap of logic to claim that it was the right thing to do, there can be absolutely no defense of how it was done.

Michael said...

3. Three. III. Tres. 3. It is not a hard concept or a large number but it is the number of combatants that were waterboarded during the terms of GWB. 3. Not three hundred or three hundred thousand or even thirty. Three.

Joe said...

FBI: Talk
Abdul...: I refuse
FBI: We'll make you listen to Obama's speeches
Abdul...: What do you want to know?

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe, you beat me to it,...

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

What about that dude who, just over a month ago, packed honey in his luggage on flight from Burbank to Minneapolis?

He was interrogated after the TSA equipment falsely said there was explosives. Oh, and some TSA screeners even had to be taken to the hospital because they inhaled the fumes from his "explosives".

Should he have been read his Miranda rights before being interrogated?

I suppose you apologists would say NO- no Miranda rights for him, correct? Even though he was a legal resident and wasn't doing anything illegal, and was subsequently released without charges?

But maybe... if he was to be treated as a terrorist suspect, and since his luggage was "containing explosives" according to TSA, he should've been waterboarded or subject to some other rough interrogation to find out what he was hiding, right?

I mean... why not? He should've been roughed up a bit if we're going to take the threat of terrorism seriously, right?

Michael said...

JR Hoffman:

Of course he should be given his Miranda rights. He was on the ground, the idiotic TSA screwed up, there was nothing on fire, nothing smouldering, nothing but some honey in his luggage. A bit of common sense can be used. Norm Mineta or whatever his name was, caused all this TSA stuff because his parents were forced by President Roosevelt to spend the second world war in a camp. The little old ladies and guys with honey in their luggage should probably not be the fourth waterboardee. they should get their rights read.

Nichevo said...

So, JR, there's no common sense in your world? What color is the sky there?

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Michael-

Yeah, but that's not how it looked at first. The situation appeared very different when it was actually time to start the interrogation: His luggage had set off bomb detection equipment, TSA screeners were made "sick" by examining the contents of his luggage, the dude was only a permanent resident and a non-U.S. citizen, and all of this occurred right after the Christmas Day bombing! You don't get the benefit of hindsight when you to read those rights in the thick of a sticky and tense situation.

Besides, isn't it reasonable to presume with the information that was available at the beginning that he could, in fact, be a terrorist and that he was, in fact, hiding something?

I'll tell you: It was reasonable to presume this because that's what the TSA did. Called out the bomb squad and everything. They even put it out in the news that they had foiled a terrorist plot.

Shanna_B said...

yes, but was he given promises to talk...immunity, plea deal, sentencing agreements, etc.

i am skeptical non-citizen terrorists ought to ever have the privilege of american justice system

Hoosier Daddy said...

Should he have been read his Miranda rights before being interrogated?

Actually he should have been released after it was determined that he had honey and not a bomb. That could have been accomplished within 5-10 minutes.

The Drill SGT said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Should he have been read his Miranda rights before being interrogated?

Actually he should have been released after it was determined that he had honey and not a bomb. That could have been accomplished within 5-10 minutes.


Me: So, Suspect, what is in the jar?

Suspect: Label says Honey, Its honey, I bought it at the farmers market?

Me: Care to prove it? Here's a spoon.

Suspect: Hmmm good. Clover with a hint of Jasmine.

Me: Thank you very much for your time, Next time, put it in checked bags, have a nice day :)


JR, you live in a weird world

Original Mike said...

If the first-linked story is true, the success of the method used must be acknowledged and taken into account by those who say that terrorist suspects/enemy combatants must be treated differently from those accused of ordinary crimes.

No, it doesn't. If I put one round in a chamber, spin the magazine, put the gun to my head, pull the trigger, and nothing happens, the fact that nothing happens is NOT a good argument for doing it again.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

JR, you live in a weird world

I live in a world where the TSA called in a few bomb squads, shut down an airport, had some of their screeners sent to the hospital, interrogated a dude for a day, and reported to the press that they foiled a terrorist attack -- all because this poor guy packed some honey in his luggage.

This is reality.

It's not how it should be, it's how it is.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's not how it should be, it's how it is.

Well if the bomb squad could not determine with the 5-10 minute timeframe I proposed that the jar was honey and not a bomb then you have my support that they should not only be fired, along with the TSA people but also sterilized so as not to contaminate the gene pool with idiot offspring.

Michael said...

JR Hoffman:

I would like a link to the news story or news release that claims the authorities stopped a terrorist plot in the honey jar case. I don't believe it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm not sure you're going to find many people here defending the TSA.

I tend to think that the CIA and FBI have a higher calibre of individuals who can handle these things and usually do.

Maguro said...

Michael,

The suspect in the case Julius is referring to is this guy.

Cedarford said...

Big Mike --

And I find myself in complete disagreement with Cedarford's last paragraph. How many people would die from a dirty bomb depend on a variety of factors, starting with the size of the bomb, the amount of radioactive material used, prevailing winds, location (you could kill tens of thousands just setting it off at a big football game, though probably not the Super Bowl where security is extremely tight).

I submit you don't know much about radiation, amount of curies available and LD50s requiring X amount of curies in a certain area that are millions of times more than a terrorist could get their hands on. (2,000 -3,000 curie sources.)

That is why everytime some leader like Saddam or lil Kim comes up with a "Dr Evil radiation bomb" idea, people in the military have to dutifully come back and say it would produce few casualties past what the explosive did...though it would leave a cleanup mess.

Ignorance and panic (people killed in stampedes) to "get out of a city" are the two biggest dangers. If a "dirty bomb" ever goes off near you, Mike, or your family, assuming you aren't injure by the blast or shrapnel - just walk calmly over to the nearest building and wait for instructions.

In general, the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki not killed or wounded by blast or heat/fires did just fine - and the rads released there were 10 million times that in a dirty bomb. 65 years later, I think the chronic and acute radiation deaths are still under 1,000.

*************
Speaking of that, Hoosier...look up Civil Defense vs. "not a speck allowed anywhere except in waste repository rules" that the NRC and EPA have for industrial accidents. One is the way you quickly recover an atom bombed city - surrounding area affected by fallout, a military base or fleet hit by fallout.

Basically, the signword is "dilution is the solution". And "radiation only is a problem if you are exposed to it" and "a certain amount of residual is an acceptable risk".

The basic civil defense plan for curies released on a scale 10 million times greater than a terrorist bomb was to hose down buildings and have sewers and riverbeds mildly radioactive for a few decades, but not in a position where exposure kills anyone. That some fixed contamination would be painted over and left - but with the area roped off or staytimes limited (25 mrem/hr, staytime 4 hours).

All people in the USA needed to do was get one leacture from the Bushies about the low danger of "evidoers" with a radiation contamination source. A little spiel on time, distance, shilding and low risk of death from direct exposure or cancer 30 years hence - but high danger if mass panic and stampedes happened.
And a little thing on how a place bombed would be recovered...with a little sacrifice people would be expected to accept and bear (a little mild contamination would be left and your sewers "hot for a few decades, so don't live in a sewer.)

Ignorance is the greatest danger from some Islamoid with a rad source using it in a bomb.

holdfast said...

If you all will recall, it turns out we don't have a High Value Interrogation Group, like we were supposed to. First Obambi took the mission away from the CIA and gave it to the FBI, who were to form this HIG thing. So now the CIA is out of the business and, as Adm Blair (Idiot-Ret) confessed on TV, they haven't actually got around to forming it yet. So some field agent flunky made the decision to read him Miranda, probably in the full knowledge that AG Holder sees protection of terrorist rights as one of his main missions.

We all know that the Bush Admin made a lot of mistakes, especially in the early days after 9/11, but it is 8 1/2 years later, and it's still amateur hour. This is totally unacceptable, and if Obama won't fire anyone of this string of errors, then he needs to wear all the blame.

Michael said...

Maguro:

Now I understand. It is absolutely prohibited to sleep in the airport, especially the security line (unless of course you are employed by TSA). Bet that bear was surprised when that water started down his nose!! It was the hat that gave him away.

traditionalguy said...

What is wrong with threatening to torture a torturer? There may be good reasons, but what are they again? Is it torture when we return them to Al Qaeda, and add implants into them of homing signal devices for Hellfire missiles? Or is that war??? I just get confused when only the guys who declared war on me war and are trying to kill me are the ones being protected by My government. What can that mean???

SukieTawdry said...

Oh, absolutely, Althouse. Let's bank on every terrorist who makes it into US airspace having relatives who "disagree" with their efforts to blow up American targets. Excellent plan.

Just because eunuch-bomber is playing let's make a deal with prosecutors now (when the intelligence is certain to be stale to the point of uselessness) doesn't mean it was a good decision. It wasn't.

mccullough said...

Maybe we can get Holder's family to convince him to drop the planned civil court charges against KSM and the crew.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@traditionalguy- Oh sure, by all means, threaten to torture the torturer! That is not the difficult issue. The problems arise when you are wrong-- when someone is tortured because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, for instance. Or, as with the "honey bomber" (who wasn't tortured, but apparently if he were it would be honkey-dorey with you, T-guy), as a way for the government to cover up its own incompetence.

What about when innocents are tortured, T-guy? Are you willing to have their blood on your hands? How about when the reason for the "mistake" is because of incompetence?

Nichevo said...

Don't worry, JR, the next one will get through and then you'll have no hard choices to make. Nobody will have to get their hands dirty except the recovery teams.