Friday, February 5, 2010


The White House strongly rejected assertions by Sen. Kit Bond on Thursday that administration officials defied an FBI request for secrecy when it held a briefing with reporters Tuesday about Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's cooperation with authorities.

In a letter to President Obama, Bond, R-Mo., scolded the White House for revealing the details of the interrogations, saying the administration is undermining national security by providing details the FBI specifically asked not be revealed.

"FBI officials stressed the importance of not disclosing the fact of his cooperation in order to protect ongoing and follow-on operations to neutralize additional threats to the American public," Bond, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence committee wrote.

"FBI Director Bob Muller (sic) personally stressed to me that keeping the fact of his cooperation quiet was vital to preventing future attacks against the United States," he continued.

"Twenty-four hours later, however, White House staff assembled members of the media to announce Abdulmutallab's cooperation and to laud the vents that led to his decision to cooperate with law enforcement personnel. This information immediately hit the air waves globally and, no doubt, reached the ears of our enemies abroad."

But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs retorted that Bond owes many people an apology for suggesting they revealed classified information that could endanger Americans.

"I think he owes an apology to the professionals in the law enforcement community and those that work in this building, not for Democrats and Republicans, but who work each and every day to keep the American people safe and would not ever, ever, ever knowingly release or unknowingly release classified information that could endanger an operation or an interrogation," Gibbs said.

On Tuesday, the Senate intelligence panel hosted Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, CIA Director Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller, among others, on current and projected threats on the United States that included a discussion of the decision to give Miranda rights to Abdulmutallab. In the conversation, it was revealed that he was now talking.

Afterward, administration officials briefed reporters about cooperation by Abdulmutallab, who was read Miranda rights after just 50 minutes of interrogation about his attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas.

Gibbs said that briefing -- and no other held by administration officials -- uses information that shouldn't be released. However, he conceded that the briefing to reporters on Tuesday was called in order to "contextualize" information released during the Senate hearing that Abdulmutallab was talking again to interrogators.

"For those of you who participated in the background briefing you know that that was something that was not timed purposefully. Soon after that, media reported. We felt it important to contextualize because many of you were e-mailing us what this testimony meant," he said. He added that Bond made a statement in Tuesday's hearing about losing Abdulmutallab's cooperation though he would have known from a briefing with senators a day earlier that the alleged bomber was cooperating. "Again I think the reason that charge was made is only to play politics. I actually don't believe that he thinks that is a serious allegation,. I think if you look at the letter that clearly this is about politics," he said.

Would someone… Anyone… Who reads this blog help me out here, because I just can’t figure this out. Not once did I hear the Bush administration talk about information gleaned from interrogation of terrorists except in vague and general terms without naming names or specifics. But to hear this White House and this press secretary openly talk about information from this guy, makes me have to get the duck tape, and wind it round and round and round my head or it will just explode. Why would you do this? What are they thinking? Why would you divulge you are getting ANYTHING from ANY TERRORIST? Why? Why why why?


Teresa said...

This administration is one of the most stupid & irresponsible bunch of liars in history. This administration needs to put duck tape over their mouths to stop aiding the terrorists. Whomever is elected in 2012 and boots Obama out of office is going to have a HUGE mess to clean up. The Left has always been about political opportunism and not about our safety.

Eman said...

Man do we need a leader right now or WHAT?