February 3rd, 2010
03:43 PM ET
13 years ago

Holder defends decision on Christmas bomber

Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder challenged his leading Republican critics Wednesday over the handling of the failed Christmas Day bomber, defending his decision to provide the suspect with Miranda warnings and charge him in a civilian court.

In identical letters to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans in Congress, Holder said he acted with the knowledge of all relevant government departments and agencies in deciding against treating suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab as an enemy combatant.

Holder also noted that similar past decisions on terrorism suspects by previous administrations of both parties received no criticism.

"The decision to charge Mr. AbdulMutallab in federal court, and the methods used to interrogate him, are fully consistent with the long-established and publicly known policies and practices of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the United States government as a whole, as implemented for many years by administrations of both parties," Holder's letter said.

"Those policies and practices, which were not criticized when employed by previous administrations, have been and remain extremely effective in protecting national security," the letter said. "They are among the many powerful weapons this country can and should use to win the war against al Qaeda."

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Filed under: Eric Holder • Homeland Security • Mitch McConnell • Terrorism
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. gary davis harbor oregon

    way to go Mr. Holder . and tell Mitch the twit McConnell to basically shut up . he is sutch a boo hoo baby mr party of NO . all h ver does is cry about the democrats . the democrats are trying to fix the mess his buddy cheney and rove got us into .. so go away Mitch ,and take the rest of the party of NO with you .. bunch of cry baby's 🙂

    February 3, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. american patriot

    Mr Holder will not uphold the law and Indict George W Bush , Dick Cheney, Rumbsfeld, Rice, Gonzalez, Meyers, Bolton and Rove.

    Obama has told him not to enforce the Law.

    Obama new when he was Elected that WE THE PEOPLE wanted indictments and Prosecutions and Prison time for thos crooks and war mongers.
    He said he will not look to the past.
    That meant he will not enforce the law and have them indicted.


    February 3, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Pat F

    Holder is a traitor. He is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    The truth hurts, Democrats. Your prez is a failure, and his cabinet is a bad joke.

    February 3, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. R

    Why isn't anyone talking about the fact that they were able to get actionable intelligents from this guy without waterboarding!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. katiec

    There have been 828 terrorists tried in civilian courts. Conviction rate 88%.
    20 trials in military courts, conviction rate 15%.
    The people so outrageous about terrorist and civil courts do not know what they are talking or complaining about.

    February 3, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Ms. Manners Speaks

    We have a LEADER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE for the purpose of making these types determinations.

    It is not the business of, the role of, the province of, some mere senator from Kentucky to STRAY into the territory of the Attorney General of the United States.

    Even if he were a graduate of law school, he has no business commenting. Exactly how ARROGANT and full of himself is Mitch McConnell?

    Mr. McConnell, handle your business sir and stay out of other people's please!

    February 3, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Gstreet

    It is unfortunate that so many of our congressmen have such a poor view of the American legal system or American values that they would retreat to the legal devices more associated with repressive governments such as North Korea or China. If they feel their legal system is better suited to deal with terrorists captured, maybe they should move to those countries.

    February 3, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Foolish decision. What's more important - punishing the Undiebomber throught the civilian process, or preventing future attacks? The latter, of course. He was questioned for 50 minutes before he clammed up. Had he been on the redeye to Gitmore, perhaps we could have learned far more about his contacts in Yemen, future plans, organizational structure, etc. in time to do something about it. Now, six weeks later, all of those with knowledge are probably enjoying Virgin Marys in North Waziristan.

    February 3, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Avg Guy in Red State Kansas

    How on God's green earth can we EVER expect to salvage ANY of our tattered reputation as a country of laws (many thanks, W!) if we don't have faith in the laws we've created.

    Finally, someone with the testicular fortitude to do it right. Way to go, Mr. A-G!

    February 3, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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