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Brennan: Political 'fear-mongering' serves 'the goals of al-Qaeda'

By Scott Wilson
President Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser asserted Tuesday that "too many in Washington are now misrepresenting the facts to score political points" regarding the administration's handling of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the alleged Christmas Day bomber.

In a brief opinion piece published in USA Today, John O. Brennan described the arrest and interrogation of Abdulmutallab, defending the administration against Republican charges that it missed an opportunity to gain intelligence on al-Qaeda operations in Yemen by reading the Nigerian his Miranda rights.

Brennan, echoing comments he made Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," wrote that "the most important breakthrough occurred after Abdulmutallab was read his rights."

Last week, administration officials said Republican lawmakers, after receiving briefings to that effect, misrepresented the interrogations publicly to portray Obama as being more concerned with legal niceties than keeping the country safe.

"Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda," wrote Brennan, a senior CIA official during the Bush administration. "Terrorists are not 100-feet tall. Nor do they deserve the abject fear they seek to instill."

The Christmas Day bombing case has emerged as a key political issue at the start of a midterm election year shaping up as a difficult one for Obama and his party. Brennan did not name names in his eight-paragraph op-ed. Nor did he cite Republicans as the party chiefly to blame for politicizing the case.

But his nonpartisan credentials give his words weight at a time when Republicans are seeking to use the Abdulmutallab case as evidence that Obama and the Democrats are soft on national security. Brennan, a 25-year CIA veteran, has become the administration's most public face on the issue.

Republicans pounded Obama after Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to detonate explosives hidden beneath his clothes on a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit.

Vacationing in Hawaii at the time, Obama waited several days to speak on the subject to avoid handing al-Qaeda a public relations victory with a presidential overreaction. But Republicans, in particular, viewed the delay as a lack of engagement.

More recently, Republican lawmakers have criticized Obama for choosing to charge Abdulmutallab in a civilian court rather than keeping him in military custody. Administration officials told reporters last week that Abdulmutallab's family has been enlisted to encourage him to cooperate with interrogators, which he is said to be doing.

Republican lawmakers, though, have said treating Abdulmutallab as a civilian grants him too many legal rights and limits the access of FBI interrogators, even though senior intelligence officials supported the decision to charge him that way ahead of time.

Brennan sharply denied the Republican assertion Tuesday, writing that "it's naive to think that transferring Abdulmutallab to military custody would have caused an outpouring of information."

"There is little difference between military and civilian custody, other than an interrogator with a uniform," he wrote. "The suspect gets access to a lawyer, and interrogation rules are nearly identical."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 9, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , National Security  
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Comments

I wonder if he also meant with this quote,

"President Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser asserted Tuesday that "too many in Washington are now misrepresenting the facts to score political points" regarding the administration's handling of Muar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the alleged Christmas Day bomber."

to include the almost 24/7 shrill screaming of the left that started almost before the dust had settled from 9/11 in a concentrated attack on everything the Bush administration was doing to try and protect us while trying to navigate and almost totally untested landscape of Constitutional protections and terrorist threats to destroy us.

The level of hypocrisy coming out of Washington is beyond belief!

Posted by: Sproing | February 10, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse


WELL........."old_sarge"

if you can't defend your man.....

I'm out of here.....can't blame you.

YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME TO JOIN THE

PARTY OF HOPE........

..have a blessed day.

**********

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse


I can understand why ....."Democrats"...

are upset ..........with ....."Obama"

But ....they....should have ....took ...

notice when he...threw ...his minister .

under the bus.......he said.."I can no

more denounce Rev. Wright, than I can

my white grandmother"........then...

HERE COMES THE BUS ......

NOW it is them...so the Democrats should

have seen it coming........

He wants........."POWER"...

So ....now ...he ...is ...sweet talking

the REPUBLICANS....

Not because he has had a change of heart.


IT .......WAS......."Scott Brown"

He .........wants......"HIS HEALTH CARE"

****************

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse


Why are some so upset with these "terrorist" being called "terrorist"?

Maybe the same people who protect......

"jihad Shiite's"...

The same "blogger" who did not want

me to ............post.........that...

the "Ft. Hood terrorist" ....was

on ......Obama's ...."Homeland Security

Team" .....as and advisor.........

I suppose he is one of those ...

"professionals" who are going a great

job for our country, right?

************

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse


like I said "it is good that we have news clips with these lies"

Because when the come back with a different story.........we know the truth.

some want to put their heads in the sand and think that everyone in America is blind like they are.......

Want work......

"Believe what you see, not what you hear"

**********

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse


I am glad that "Fox News" showed clips of news where "Brennan" said last year that Obama did not call this a


"WAR ON TERROR" (what is it?)

He also said that Obama did not believe it was "jihad Shiite"

WHAT DOES HE BELIEVE ???

**

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse


A few days after the "underwear bomber"

Robert Gibbs was on "FOX SUNDAY" with Chris Wallace..............

Chris ask him if he thought after only 50 minutes of interrogating if he thought they got all the information he was going to give?

The answer was "yes"

This administration is willing to do or say anything in order to not show their

inability to "protest" America..

WE DO NOT TRUST ONE WORD THEY

SAY..............

***

********

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Now he is doing some good "marketing"
I was in "MARKETING" for years..... (paulann1)
=============================================

Spoken as one liar to another!

Paul Brennan is not a political operator. He is an intelligence professional with impeccable credentials. He only serves the interests of the nation, not a political party or an ideology. What he said is the truth.

Politicians who know nothing are working at your "marketing" profession to sell the public a load of crap for their own personal political benefit. They are "fear mongers" who resemble fish mongers. Everything they say smells to high heaven.

If you don't have anything worth saying, do us all a favor and shut your trap.

Posted by: old_sarge | February 10, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Brennan knows better than to float the foolishness that there is no difference between civilian and military interrogations." (masssgt)
===========================================
I don't know who you are or if you have ever worn a US military uniform (I did!), but your above assertion proves that you know absolutely nothing about the legal context under which the Military Commissions are now required to operate. The Supreme Court has directed the commissions to follow the Uniform code of Military Justice which provides the same legal rights afforded under federal law. It even requires that the individual be apprised of his rights and provided access to legal counsel.

Military interrogation of this individual would conform to the same rules currently in use by the FBI. Changing custody and prosecution from the federal courts to a military commission would have absolutely no impact on the interrogation and prosecution of this criminal. (I refuse to elevate him to the status of combatant. He serves in no nation's military forces.)

Abdulmutallab entered into US federal jurisdiction the minute he boarded a US flagged aircraft for a commercial flight into the US. His actions violated US federal statutes, not military statutes. His acts are criminal in nature not military. Like all the other terrorists who have gone before him, he should answer to the civilian authorities whose laws have been broken.

Do not buy into the notion that terrorists represent a military threat. They are not warriors. They do not conduct military operations. They are a scourge on civil society like any other criminal who breaks laws. Charge, prosecute and convict them in the courts of the laws that they have broken. Imprison and execute them through the civilian penal system. Do not denigrate the military by lumping these criminals in with them. They do not deserve that distinction.

Posted by: old_sarge | February 10, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Years ago Brennan could have got by with his lies...............not any more.

We watched him on Capital Hill tell us that he did not know who gave orders to give the "terrorist" his Miranda rights.

Now he is doing some good "marketing"

I was in "MARKETING" for years.....

You can say a lot of things without telling the truth.....you can make things look like one thing was done....but in reality another thing was.

His story is like our children's stories were when they were teenagers....

You know...."mom, I did not go to Mary's house and then the mall" ......but what I did was go to the mall.........right?

Mr. Brennan ..........we the people know what went down........we now have 24/7 news.

But we do thank you for all the "trash" you "peddle" .........

ALL the lies this administration can tell want make us believe you....

GET OUT OF OUR FACE.......

******

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Years ago Brennan could have got by with his lies...............not any more.

We watched him on Capital Hill tell us that he did not know who gave orders to give the "terrorist" his Miranda rights.

Now he is doing some good "marketing"

I was in "MARKETING" for years.....

You can say a lot of things without telling the truth.....you can make things look like one thing was done....but in reality another thing was.

His story is like our children's stories were when they were teenagers....

You know...."mom, I did not go to Mary's house and then the mall" ......but what I did was go to the mall.........right?

Mr. Brennan ..........we the people know what went down........we now have 24/7 news.

But we do thank you for all the "trash" you "peddle" .........

ALL the lies this administration can tell want make us believe you....

GET OUT OF OUR FACE.......

******

Posted by: paulann1 | February 10, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"fear mongering" - that's what they say when they can't explain what it is they are doing.

Brennan is a bad choice to oversee our intelligence efforts. Brennan knows better than to float the foolishness that there is no difference between civilian and military interrogations.

Our intelligence apparatus is in complete disarray and Brennan knows it - the Obama administration is tredding water on these matters

Posted by: masssgt | February 10, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

"fear mongering" - that's what they say when they can't explain what it is they are doing.

Brennan is a bad choice to oversee our intelligence efforts. Brennan knows better than to float the foolishness that there is no difference between civilian and military interrogations.

Our intelligence apparatus is in complete disarray and Brennan knows it - the Obama administration is tredding water on these matters

Posted by: masssgt | February 10, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

When the repubs was in control they had nothing to say as they really did not know anything. Now they can't stand it because they are not in control so they just run their mouths. Now someone tell me why the Bush Adm. turned out many of the terrorists mostly turned them over to Saudia Arabia who by the way sent 14 of the 17 here from their country. Why did the repubs not charge them and take them to court??? ANSWER--They might have spilled the beans and put Bush and Cheney in PRISON. COME ON NOW REPUBS EXPLAIN THIS after all they had about five years. WAKE UP YOU FOOLS

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | February 9, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey, quit using the "alleged Christmas Day bomber" in your articles. Who else is suspected? Who was caught and held down by the passengers? This guy is guilty, and should get the death penalty without further comment. He is not a US citizen and is a military combatant. We know he's guilty. He knows he's guilty. Case closed. Either toss him in prison for ever (at Gitmo) or execute him.

In any case, don't continue the "Alleged" wording. It just shows ignorance on your part.

Posted by: papamckie | February 9, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are the joke when it comes to al Qaeda and the war on terror. They blew it, gave it up, so that they could oust Hussein in Iraq. That was their goal all along. The Dumbya and The Dick allowed al Qaeda to live on for eight more years and become a martyr force in the Middle East. Had we captured bin Laden and destroyed his network when we had him bottled up in his cave, we would be talking about a whole different world situation today. The Republicans have no room to question or criticize the handling of this would-be bomber, because we are now doing what Dumbya, et. al. did with Reid, the shoe bomber. They should all go back into their undisclosed locations with The Dick and play cards.

Posted by: ronjeske | February 9, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

The fish stinks from the head down. And, this Obama fish, is beginning to rot at ever so more quickly.

Posted by: ComradeRahcuk | February 9, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@JohnAdams1 - You would believe anything as long as it fits your prejudices.

Posted by: elzoid | February 9, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The only one playing politics is President Obama. Anyone so stupid as to give miranda rights to the diaper bomber when he was not even on our soil, is beyond help. The only person jeopardizing our safety is the President and his inept merry men who are putting terrorists into criminal courts when they clearly belong in military tribunals. This is insanity. Once the diaper bomber was read his mirada rights he stopped talking. Obama and his motley crew called in the FBI that got family to plead him to cooperate. When he did they told everyone to not say anything for national security. Well who do you think started telling everybody? You got it. President Obama sings like a canary to try to make him look good. Brennan has no business lecturing anyone. These people are inept.
Yes we are worried about out safety when these people clearly have no clue what they are doing.

Posted by: greatgran1 | February 9, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse


jjj141:

"So was it OK when the Bush administration prosecuted these in civilian courts, in residencies? He tried Mossaoui, shoe bomber, plus the original bombers from the 1993 WTC bombing were tried in NYC"

No it wasn't okay. The Moussaoui trial was a fiasco that took years to complete. Bush learned his lesson. And we know the Clinton administration's triumphant result of the '93 bombing trial: 9/11. You happy with that outcome?


Posted by: Jeff08 | February 9, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The need to read a terrorist his Miranda rights is only to successfully prosecute him in court, but since he's a terrorist, if you got the goods on him and don't need to use what he says against him in court to get a conviction, it becomes way secondary to the need to interrogate him and get as much info. on his terrorist buddies as possible, hence it was dumb to Mirandize him, and we were lucky he wanted to talk anyway, score another chalupe grande for Taqqiya Bell. What was this foreign enemy combatant going to do if we violated his rights, get a lawyer and sue? He'd rather kill more infidels for Allah and go up with the bomb next time. By the way, Muslims believe that they have a holy dispensation from Allah called Taqqiya to lie to infidels when it helps Islam, so actually his info. should all be suspect. The real question is why he was allowed to get on that plane, that's 100% the fault of the govt., which either didn't practice Muslim Ideological Profiling (MIP), or didn't use it in his case, maybe it was Christmas and they went off leave, I hope it doesn't happen again. The signs of horrible radical Islam winning the hearts and minds of 1.x billion Muslims make it important to get our act together for later when there might be a hundred terrorist attacks a day. See my site for my plan for defeating radical Islam at http://go.to/islamhistory

Posted by: tlwinslow | February 9, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

TO AOB82:

You said it all. We are either a country of law, or not?

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 9, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, is it snowing in Washington?

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Why is there a debate about whether Abdulmutallab should have been given access to a lawyer and read his Miranda rights? It's Constitutional law from Amendment V and Amendment VI and there are no qualifiers.

I have read remarks from some that argue the Bill of Rights because he is a foreigner. It may sound nice but it's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution specifies when provisions apply only to citizens and when they apply generally - see Article II about qualifications for Congress or any of the voting rights amendments which say "citizens". The Bill of Rights applies to Persons or the "Accused", not citizens. If people think that the Bill of Rights should only apply to citizens, they should propose an amendment and change the Constitution.

Posted by: AOB82 | February 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

To mharwick,
Wait a minute-you want to exercise your right to freedom of speech. But if I exercise mine, and it disagrees with yours, then you accuse me of lack of respect.You don't have a clue about what made this nation great.

My issue is that for GOP leaders to deny that they knew the FBI uses the Miranda warning, as required by law, is not the truth.

According to you Bush and Cheney were stupid for trying over 100 terrorist in U. S. Courts during the Bush administration. These terrorist are in American max security prisons, eating American food, wearing American clothes, drinking American water. That is total defeat for them..Bush and Cheney left the rest of the prisones in Gitmo without trial or process. Not the American way.

Refusing to try these people in American courts is waving the "white flag of surrender" to the radical Islamic terrorist. They will recruit and continue to murder because "the US is afraid of us".

In America we are fortunate that we have the FBI-they are the best at investigation and interrogation.

Do you think by taking all the terrorist to Gitmo will prevent any future attack aganist the US? Get you head out of the sand, I respect and support President Obama, he is doing the right thing.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 9, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Jeff08

I pose the same question to you:

So was it OK when the Bush administration prosecuted these in civilian courts, in residencies? He tried Mossaoui, shoe bomber, plus the original bombers from the 1993 WTC bombing were tried in NYC---with Guiliani doing the cheerleading.

Were you complaining then???

Posted by: jjj141 | February 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

mharwick

So was it OK when the Bush administration prosecuted these in civilian courts, in residencies? He tried Mossaoui, shoe bomber, plus the original bombers from the 1993 WTC bombing were tried in NYC---with Guiliani doing the cheerleading.

Posted by: jjj141 | February 9, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"There is little difference between military and civilian custody, other than an interrogator with a uniform," he wrote. "The suspect gets access to a lawyer, and interrogation rules are nearly identical."

Then when not put him in the military system? If there's no big difference, why not at least intimidate him a little with soldiers in uniform?

This Keystone Kops administration is gonna get Americans killed by pussy footing around with terrorists.

Posted by: Jeff08 | February 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

TO JohnAdams1

This information on Rahm Emanuel has been public knowledge for years, you just found out, where have you been?

Google his name and you will find this information in just about every paper in the country for years. He was interviewed on just about every news program after the 2008 election. This is not new information.

Check sir, and you will find that many Jewish Americans who worked in the White House for previous Democrat and Republican Administrations have either supported the Israel government and/or war movement. I suggest you try Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon,Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell-should you suggest they be removed.

Sir, what is your precious opinion on other people in the White House that represent many other religions?

Let me give you a tip, We have a black President, enlighten us as to when your racist mind learned President Barrack Obaba is black, or maybe you didn't know?

Are you a teabagger?

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama is under attack for his wrong-headed decisions to Mirandize enemy belligerents, cut off intelligence, give them jury trials in courthouses in the middle of residences, and businesses at the cost of one billion dollars a year. Trying to blame Americans for speaking out, is bad policy and shows a lack of respect for freedom of speech.

Posted by: mharwick | February 9, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

FOLKS,

Any member of the U. S. Congress who say that they did not understand that the X-mas day suspect was to be read his Miranda Rights is not being truthful with the American public.

That's what the FBI does, they obey the laws of the U.S. Anything the man says without Miranda, is useless in court.

Our country has been treating terrorist suspects this way for over 10 years. All of the sudden the GOP wants to play politics.

The FBIcan make it work, they are very skilled at interogation.

A suspect will either talk or not talk, regardless of Miranda.

Boehner and Cantor should check with the Israeli's-they do not torture, it does not work, it's illegal and lowers your moral compass to the level of your enemy.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing more than FALSE BRAVADO at the last minute to cover up all the mistakes that this President and his cabinet has done in dealing with a TERRORIST who is in war against our country.

And worst is the leaking of information that now this terrorist is talking after weeks of attacks and commentaries by the public.

No, Mr. Brennan, we the american public, lack confidence in your abilities to deal with our national security.

And it is as simple as that!

Posted by: Hispana | February 9, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Democrats,

Wait, Wait: Didn't Obama bow and say thank you?

BYE BYE

DEMOCRATS

Posted by: kstobbe1 | February 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I know I am not the only one who learned jsut today that Rahm Emanuel

1) volunteered and worked for Israel during the time the US was in the fist Gulf war.

2) lerarned yesterday that Rahm Emanuel worked as a "consultant" for Goldman Sachs while in emply of hte us

3) was a director for Fannie Mae during 2002+ and Obama has refused a FOIA request
for his emails and a record of his actions and votes while in the public's employ

how in the name of heaven did we have a person so in the pocket of Israel working in the white house thus providing a reason for the muslim world to disbelieve our intentions.

this infromation about Emanuel was kept hiddine from the americna people yet already we are under atack ie 12/25 attack

Rahm Emanuel needs to leave the white hosue by close of business today.


this is truly shocking and further corrodes our trust in this administration.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | February 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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