Senators Urge Administration to Transfer Christmas Bomber to Military Custody

Two top senators urged the Obama administration on Monday to transfer the suspect in the failed Christmas Day airline bombing to the Pentagon, blasting the Justice Department for reading him his Miranda rights and treating him like a common criminal.

FoxNews.com
January 25, 2010

Two top senators urged the Obama administration on Monday to transfer the suspect in the failed Christmas Day airline bombing to the Pentagon, blasting the Justice Department for reading him his Miranda rights and treating him like a common criminal.

Citing reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was “speaking openly about the attack” and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s involvement in it before he was read his Miranda rights, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins said that reading the suspect his rights shortly after his arrest was an opportunity lost.

Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Collins, R-Maine, the committee’s ranking Republican, said officials would be able to continue interrogating Abdulmutallab and try him before a military commission if they treat him as an enemy combatant.

“The decision to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal rather than (an unprivileged enemy belligerent) almost certainly prevented the military and the intelligence community from obtaining information that would have been critical to learning more about how our enemy operates and to preventing future attacks,” the senators wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan.

“Though the president has said repeatedly that we are at war, it does not appear to us that the president’s words are reflected in the actions of some in the executive branch, including some at the Department of Justice,” they wrote.

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