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Okay the people who are charged with keeping this country safe are apparently in the dark.  Each of them answers no, they were not consulted as to how to charge this enemy combatant, aka as terrorist.

After all, Abdulmutallab was trained by al Qaeda, equipped with an al Qaeda-made bomb, and dispatched by al Qaeda to bring down the airliner and its 278 passengers. Even though the Obama administration has mostly abandoned the term “war on terror,” the president himself has said clearly that the United States is at war with al Qaeda. So who decided to treat Abdulmutallab as a civilian, read him the Miranda warning, and provide him with a government-paid lawyer — giving him the right to remain silent and denying the United States potentially valuable intelligence that might have been gained by a military-style interrogation?

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“The decision was made by the agents on the ground,” Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, referring to the officials who apprehended Abdulmutallab when the plane landed in Detroit. American agents questioned the accused terrorist briefly before he was taken to a hospital to be treated for burns suffered in the attempt to set off explosives hidden in his underwear. After that, Mueller testified, “in consultation with the Department of Justice and others in the administration,” the agents read him his rights.

And that was that. “Isn’t it a fact, that after Miranda was given … the individual stopped talking?” Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked Mueller.

“He did,” Mueller answered. But Mueller declined to say who made the decision to grant Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent.

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Republicans on the Judiciary Committee increasingly believe there is only one person who can answer: Attorney General Eric Holder.

It was Holder who made the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a criminal trial in New York. It is Holder who has expressed his desire to grant full American constitutional rights to foreign terrorists. It is Holder who is leading the administration’s sputtering effort to move some Guantanamo inmates to the United States. And it is Holder who is apparently cutting other parts of the government out of crucial terrorism decisions like the treatment of Abdulmutallab.

“These days, all roads lead to the attorney general,” says one well-placed Republican source in the Senate. “They seem to have aggregated quite a bit of power inside Main Justice.” The problem is, the Holder Justice Department appears to be handling terrorism issues from a defense-attorney perspective, and doing so without the input of the government’s other terrorism-fighting agencies.

As a reminder Eric Holder was a senior partner with Covington & Burling, a D.C. law firm who represents 17 Yemeni nationals and one Pakistani citizen held at Gitmo.

From C & B’s website:

We represent sixteen men detained at the United States Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  Most of the men have been detained for approximately seven years.  None have been charged with any crimes, and none have been accorded the protections of the Geneva Convention.  In Boumediene v. Bush, 128 S. Ct. 2229 (2008), where we were co-counsel for eleven of the detainees, the Supreme Court held that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus extends to detainees held at Guantánamo Bay.  Following that decision, we have been preparing for habeas corpus hearings to be held in federal district court Washington, DC, for eleven of our clients.

The firm has been involved in the Guantánamo related litigation for the last five years.  In addition to the on-going habeas corpusamicus proceedings, our efforts have included: bringing cases for review of enemy combatant classification decisions in the D.C. Circuit under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005; challenging the destruction of CIA torture tapes in federal court; filing briefs and coordinating the amicus effort in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006); filing amicus briefs in support of Supreme Court review in Moussaoui v. United States, 382 F.3d 483 (4th Cir.), cert denied, 544 U.S. 931 (2005); challenging the government’s practice of redacting information from documents given to security-cleared habeas counsel; and challenging the abusive medical and living conditions that the detainees experience at Guantánamo.

Back to the Washington Examiner piece:

That was the message of Wednesday’s testimony from Blair, Leiter, Napolitano, and Mueller, all of whom were out of the loop on the Adbulmutallab decision. Their accounts left a number of Republican senators shaken; as the GOP lawmakers see it, the decision to read Abdulmutallab Miranda rights was a dreadful mistake, one that could have serious consequences down the line. There should be some accountability.

So on Thursday all seven Republicans on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Holder asking for a full explanation: Who made the decision and why, and whether the administration now has “a protocol or policy in place for handling al Qaeda terrorists captured in the United States.”

These are questions which demand answers.. who set the wheels in motion that allowed this (thankfully) unsuccessful terrorist to be tried as a common criminal and not an enemy combatant?   And why was it done?  And if the final decision was that of Holder, where do his alliances fall, as a criminal defense attorney with his former law partners or as the individual who  is entrusted to enforce the laws of the land, without creating new precedence?  Need I remind anyone that placing enemy combatants under the category of criminals, giving them Miranda rights and supplying them with attorneys has NEVER, until this administration been done, even during the Civil war.

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