On yesterday's edition of "Meet The Press", John Brennan took the opportunity to blast his GOP critics for politicizing the war on terror. A worthy cause, considering how consistently wrong and foolish they've been on all matters related to the failed Christmas bomb attack.
On the show, this part stood out:
BRENNAN: On Christmas night, I called a number of senior members of Congress. I spoke to Senators McConnell and Bond. I spoke to Representative Boehner and Hoekstra. I explained to them that he was in F.B.I. custody. That Mr. Abdulmutallab was in fact talking. That he was cooperating at that point. They knew that in F.B.I. custody means that there's a process then you follow as far as mirandizing and presenting him in front of the magistrate.
None of those individuals raised any concerns with me, at that point. They didn't say, "Is he going into military custody? Is he going to be Mirandized?" They were very appreciative of the information. We told them we'd keep them informed. And that's what we did. So, there's been quite a bit of an outcry after the fact. Where again, I'm just very concerned on behalf of the counterterrorism professionals throughout our government that politicians continue to make this a political football. And are using it for whatever political or partisan purposes.
Yesterday, I gave myself a pat on the back for correctly intuiting that the process went something like this:
1. Captain Crotchfire happens. He is detained and treated as you would anyone who tried to kill people with an incompetently weaponized scrotum.
2. GOP lawmakers are informed.
3. Some time passes. It looks like nothing bad has happened, so this can be politicized.
4. A plan is hatched to politicize this. It does not make any fucking sense, but whatever. People remember being scared, they can be made to be scared of a sad and lonely loser who pasted flammable goop on his balls for the glory of his Sky-God.
5. Al Qaeda is like: "Wow. Thanks for taking an incident that would normally make us embarrassed to be in the terrorist business, and turning it into a super-successful field op! We will definitely associate ourselves with this sad loser."
6. We are honestly asked to entertain the possibility that it would have been better to have tortured this sad loser, so that we could have some false intelligence, presumably on this network of sad losers who paste gunk to their taint and set them afire.
7. The media aids and abets the cynical opportunists who populate the political landscape, and they should all die in the snow but they won't.
Now you can add the eighth part of the process: the part where the same GOP lawmakers, weeks after the fact, now think they deserve a pass because HOW SHOULD THEY KNOW HOW THE F.B.I. works, anyway? Via Spencer Ackerman, at the Washington Independent:
Sure enough, Sen. Chris Bond (R-Mo.) and Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking Republicans on the congressional intelligence committees, insisted that Brennan never specifically told them the FBI would Mirandize Abdulmutallab. "If he had I would [have] told him the Administration was making a mistake," Bond said. The entire Republican leadership, including fact-averse Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House GOP leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) echoed Bond's claims in one form or another. Apparently these men, who claim leadership on national security, know less about FBI procedure than the average movie-goer. Obviously the FBI Mirandizes suspects in their custody.
I think that Hoekstra's inclusion is worth noting, because no one is faster to grandstand on national security issues than Hoekstra. Maybe if, in the end, he's so ignorant in the basics of law enforcement procedures, he should just calm down, shut up, stop twittering, and of course maybe rein in his instinct to turn everything he knows nothing about into an opportunity for personal enrichment.
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