[Guest post by DRJ]
The United States has filed a federal criminal complaint against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, charging him with attempting to destroy a Northwest Airlines plane by detonating a high-explosive device. Abdulmutallab has undoubtedly been advised of his Miranda rights and at his initial court hearing, Abdulmutallab told the court he didn’t have funds for an attorney. The judge said the court would assign him one.
Victoria Toensing notes important questions that U.S. intelligence needs to ask Abdulmutallab:
“Questions need to be answered. Where was Abdulmutallab trained? Who trained him? Where is the training facility located? Where is the stash of PETN, the explosive used in the bomb? What are the techniques he was told to use for getting through airport security? Was there a well-dressed man who helped him board the plane without a passport as claimed by another passenger? And, most important, are future attacks planned?
Yes, we could try him first and then interrogate him. But by then the information is stale, especially if he utilizes the same legal challenges Moussaoui did to drag out the process for years.”
But we can’t question Abdulmutallab because, as a criminal defendant, he has the right to remain silent. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have chosen this course but this Rasmussen poll demonstrates they are in the minority:
“Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters think the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim to blow up the airliner as it landed in Detroit should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Only 22% say it should be handled by civilian authorities as a criminal act, as is currently the case.”
What’s more, 58% of Americans would use waterboarding and other aggressive techniques to gain information from Abdulmutallab. In other words, for the moment, more Americans agree with Dick Cheney than Barack Obama.