Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan speaks to CNN about the ongoing problem in Yemen:
The Democrats and Republicans can now square off over terrorism and all that it embodies. As the US and Great Britain close their embassies in Yemen, here at home, the 2 primary parties squabble and finger point over who knew what when and who was toughest on terrorism.
At the heart of the matter is the closing of Gitmo. If one steps over that issue, one comes face to face with the fact that the Christmas Day underwear would be bomber is being detained in federal court. Up until recently, interrogators were gathering information. Now the defendant has a court appointed lawyer, he has ‘lawyered up’ and the information is not as free flowing.
Leading Republicans contend that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, was trained and send on a mission by Al Qaeda, therefore he should be held as a military combatant, by the military. Interrogation could continue if he were being held as a military prisoner. According to the Washington Post:
Brennan’s tour of the talk shows — he also appeared on ABC’s “This Week” — came as the administration tried to counter, and move out in front of, widespread criticism of intelligence systems that did not identify Abdulmutallab as an al-Qaeda operative or detect the explosive he was allegedly carrying before he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253.
Much of the criticism Sunday, however, centered on the decision to try him in civilian court rather than hold him as a military prisoner. “If we had treated this Christmas Day bomber as a terrorist, he would have immediately been interrogated military-style, rather than given the rights of an American and lawyers,” Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said on CNN. “We probably lost valuable information.”
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman(I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said it was a “very serious mistake” to send Abdulmutallab to federal court.
While Senator Lieberman is not a Republican, he often sides with them on matters of war and terrorism. Should Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, be held by the military or in by civilian law enforcement? Does it really matter or is this commotion just a political ploy? Should our embassies in Yemen be closed? Should some Gitmo prisoners be returned to Yemen to be punished or set free?
It appears that sides are squaring off over all issues pertaining to terrorism. Rather than uniting us towards a common goal, it appears that it is politics and usual.