Winging it on terrorism - Part II

Just as FBI Director Mueller testified before the Senate Judiciary committee, DNI Director Blair testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee that he had no notice of the decision to treat the underpants bomber as a criminal defendant.

He testified that he had a special unit set up to interrogate people caught in terrorist activities and they, not the FBI, were to handle such matters.

Today Newsweek reports that the White House is furious at Blair and want him to retract his testimony:

Obama administration officials were flabbergasted Wednesday when Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair testified that an alleged Qaeda operative who tried to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day should have been questioned by a special interrogation unit that doesn't exist, rather than the FBI.

One senior official described the comments by Blair-the U.S. government's top intelligence official-as misinformed on multiple levels and all the more damaging because they immediately fueled Republican criticism that the administration mishandled the Christmas Day incident in its treatment of the accused Qaeda operative as a criminal suspect rather than an enemy combatant.

"People are annoyed, angry, and frustrated about this," said the senior official, who asked not to be identified, speaking about Blair's testimony. The official added that the White House has ordered Blair to "correct" his remarks. "He's taking a mulligan on this," the official said.

But if you read the testimony of Mueller and Blair together you must consider that the FBI agents who interrogated the terrorist were not to blame:The trouble is at the top--Obama and Holder.

Holder has offered no sensible decision as to when terrorists are to be treated as criminals and when they are to be treated as enemy combatants. He said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was to be tried in New York as a criminal defendant because his actions were aimed at civilians in New York.

This essentially is saying we will decide these cases ad hoc and post hoc, something operational people are not able to do.

People who've never worked in large organizations --like the FBI--might miss this..Protocols are written so that in the heat of the moment every one down the line knows exactly what to do. The claim that no one on the scene told Mueller or Blair means there was no written protocol--not even after the Ft Hood massacre.

The confusion created by Holder and Obama's muddled pronouncements and conduct is so great everyone at the bottom will assume that they are to use the most restrictive handling--treat these bums as criminals, not enemies of the state.Only no one higher up the chain wants to take responsibility for telling them otherwise.

As my friend, Soylent adds in a comment thread at Just One Minute:

The avoidance of responsibility is the hallmark of how the system is set up. Once, God forbid, something terrible happens, responsibility can be delegated downward because there is no established protocol for where it should reside.

That is, sh*t always rolls downhill in a dysfunctional satrapy like Holder's DoJ. Initially, underlings will err on the side of the most restrictive handling. Eventually, they will devise methods to err on the side of CYA.

And just so I can be clear...

Bait and switch civil rights and shifting legal standards like this are the current Administration's remedy for the fear and loathing they say was caused by Club Gitmo and military tribunals.

Clarice Feldman

Just as FBI Director Mueller testified before the Senate Judiciary committee, DNI Director Blair testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee that he had no notice of the decision to treat the underpants bomber as a criminal defendant.

He testified that he had a special unit set up to interrogate people caught in terrorist activities and they, not the FBI, were to handle such matters.

Today Newsweek reports that the White House is furious at Blair and want him to retract his testimony:

Obama administration officials were flabbergasted Wednesday when Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair testified that an alleged Qaeda operative who tried to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day should have been questioned by a special interrogation unit that doesn't exist, rather than the FBI.

One senior official described the comments by Blair-the U.S. government's top intelligence official-as misinformed on multiple levels and all the more damaging because they immediately fueled Republican criticism that the administration mishandled the Christmas Day incident in its treatment of the accused Qaeda operative as a criminal suspect rather than an enemy combatant.

"People are annoyed, angry, and frustrated about this," said the senior official, who asked not to be identified, speaking about Blair's testimony. The official added that the White House has ordered Blair to "correct" his remarks. "He's taking a mulligan on this," the official said.

But if you read the testimony of Mueller and Blair together you must consider that the FBI agents who interrogated the terrorist were not to blame:The trouble is at the top--Obama and Holder.

Holder has offered no sensible decision as to when terrorists are to be treated as criminals and when they are to be treated as enemy combatants. He said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was to be tried in New York as a criminal defendant because his actions were aimed at civilians in New York.

This essentially is saying we will decide these cases ad hoc and post hoc, something operational people are not able to do.

People who've never worked in large organizations --like the FBI--might miss this..Protocols are written so that in the heat of the moment every one down the line knows exactly what to do. The claim that no one on the scene told Mueller or Blair means there was no written protocol--not even after the Ft Hood massacre.

The confusion created by Holder and Obama's muddled pronouncements and conduct is so great everyone at the bottom will assume that they are to use the most restrictive handling--treat these bums as criminals, not enemies of the state.Only no one higher up the chain wants to take responsibility for telling them otherwise.

As my friend, Soylent adds in a comment thread at Just One Minute:

The avoidance of responsibility is the hallmark of how the system is set up. Once, God forbid, something terrible happens, responsibility can be delegated downward because there is no established protocol for where it should reside.

That is, sh*t always rolls downhill in a dysfunctional satrapy like Holder's DoJ. Initially, underlings will err on the side of the most restrictive handling. Eventually, they will devise methods to err on the side of CYA.

And just so I can be clear...

Bait and switch civil rights and shifting legal standards like this are the current Administration's remedy for the fear and loathing they say was caused by Club Gitmo and military tribunals.

Clarice Feldman

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