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Christmas Day Bomber: The Aftermath Continues

In a classic tale of the government telling us something that its obvious to everyone, senior national security officials have stated that the Christmas Day bomber should never have been allowed to board the plane. The officials blame “systemic intelligence failures” when testifying in front of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The handling of the case in criminal court instead of a military tribunal has drawn more partisan lines in an already divided Congress. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell actually criticized the Obama Administration because the charge in criminal court conferred rights on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, something which he believes is not due to such as suspect. However, under the law, Abdulmutallab is still entitled to counsel even if tried in a military court.

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Furthermore, the Christmas Day incident has paved the way for creation of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, an elite terrorism-interrogation program. The group will be comprised of interrogators from the FBI, Defense Department, and CIA. Currently, these specialized interrogation teams will be utilized for interrogations taking place overseas but the Obama Administration said they will follow the Army Field Manual for interrogations, which does not allow for torture techniques. A small government advisory board pushed for the creation of the teams in order to unload the burden put upon the interrogation teams of the CIA, according to Philip Heymann, a former deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration and one of the chief developers of the new teams.


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