February 11th, 2010
07:10 PM ET
5 years ago

White House, Republican spar over handling of terrorism suspect

Robert Gibbs defended Obama adviser John Brennan on Thursday.
Robert Gibbs defended Obama adviser John Brennan on Thursday.

Washington (CNN) – The war of words between the Obama administration and Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri, flared up again Thursday over the administration's handling of alleged Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab.

At issue is the decision to inform AbdulMutallab of his Miranda rights, including his right to remain silent, following his arrest and initial interrogation by the FBI and the administration's decision to try him in a civilian criminal court rather than a military tribunal.

Related: Holder defends decision on Christmas bomber

Both moves have sparked debate, especially after the White House revealed last week that AbdulMutallab is again talking to investigators after a period of silence.

On Tuesday, Sen. Bond, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for the resignation of Obama homeland security and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, saying Brennan "needs to go," and is no longer "credible."

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended Brennan Thursday saying, "I would suggest whether it's to Senator Bond or others on Capitol Hill that these are decisions best left to people that have an understanding of counterterrorism, experience in counterterrorism and law enforcement rather than the politicians on Capitol Hill."

Both the White House and Bond have accused the other of playing politics with battling terrorism.

"John Brennan is supposed to be one of the President's top National Security Advisers – but instead he's acting like a political mouthpiece," Bond said Thursday in a statement to CNN. "My real beef is with this Administration's terror-fighting policies. I'm concerned they have moved us back to a pre-9/11 mentality where we treat terrorism like a law enforcement issue. That failed in the past, and it will fail again."


Filed under: John Brennan • Kit Bond • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Brice

    Why in the heck didn't Bush and all those silly Republicans pin-point 911???? They seem to critize everybody that doesn't act perfect....like them!??????? Morons!!

    February 11, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. liz

    Another case of republican't 'do as i say, not as i do.' Bush era terror suspects were put thru the judicial system, not the military system, with good results. If Obama cut taxes for the rich and outlawed abortion, the lunatic 'right' would condemn him for it. When are these people going to take a trip to realityland? I think they just want some more victims for their torture chambers. Sick bunch!

    February 11, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. valwayne

    Its bad enough that John Brennan is trying to defend the total insanity of reading the underwear bomber his Miranda rights, calling a 50 minutes questioning period a thorough interrogation, and then letting the monster sit silent for a month before flying his family to the US first class to beg him to talk to the FBI. But to then call anybody who objects or questions the insanity supporters of Al-Qeda's goals. Brennan needs to go, along with Eric Holder. This insanity needs to end. People making and defending such insanity to not belong in responsible position in our Government. While they are there we are all in terrible danger!

    February 11, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Peggy Lucas

    I watched the interview with Kit Bond. Every time he was questioned about President Bush's tactics with the shoe bomber, he changed the subject and then gave his big grin. It's about time the Democrats stand up for what is right and defend their policy.

    February 11, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  5. Jean2

    These people should just close their mouths and get busy doing what they were elected to do. The media should hold them accountable instead of giving them a stage for this!!

    The only thing our enemies have to is listen to what our lawmakers are saying, they will tell them all thy need to know. What the plans are and how to destroy them.

    When our country suffers we all do!

    February 11, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. Perusing-through

    REPUBLICAN SENATOR KIT BOND IS BOTH STUPID & HYPOCRITICAL

    Kit Bond had no complaints when Bush-Cheney team 'Mirandize' and tried terrorist shoe-bomber Richard Reid (a Jamaican with British citizenship), in civilian courts when he attempted to blow up a plane.

    Now this same Republican Kit Bond who said nothing during Bush-Cheney prosecution of the war, is having a conniption-fit because President Obama is handling the terrorist in the same manner as did Bush-Cheney.

    February 11, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. What a hypocrite!

    It's interesting that Sen. Bond is so worked up over the handling of this criminal. Republican leaders in Congress were informed of the manner in which this guy would be handled, including mirandizing and arresting by civil authorities, well before it was made public. There was no outcry then. Nor was there an outcry when the Bush administration handled the shoe bomber in the same manner. This is just another pathetic politician twisting a specific situation in an attempt to score political points. It is EXACTLY these types of politicians, on both side of the aisle, that are ultimately so dangerous to this country. Instead of working constructively for the greater good, they are solely interesting in getting re-elected and inflaming the uninformed, fomenting the divisions in this country which are so debilitating to us. Who then is really responsible for destroying our way of life? The terrorists or the self-serving, power hungry politicians? When will the American electorate wake up and figure this out?

    February 11, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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