GOP Senators Demand Holder Testify on Christmas Day Bomber

Posted January 27, 2010 at 10:15am

Senate Republicans are demanding Attorney General Eric Holder testify before Congress to explain what they see as an inadequate interrogation of the Christmas Day bomber and the Obama administration’s decision to read him his Miranda rights after arresting him.

In a letter to Holder, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Judiciary ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Intelligence Vice Chairman Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Armed Services ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) said they are “deeply troubled that this paramount requirement of national security was ignored — or worse yet, not recognized — due to the administration’s preoccupation with reading the Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights.—

The group also accused the administration of not properly coordinating the early investigation into the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and charged the U.S. should have treated him as an “intelligence resource— rather than a criminal in order to more fully interrogate him.

“Apparently there was little, if any, coordination among key components of the administration’s national security apparatus on how to treat Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Shockingly, the administration then made the hasty decision to treat him as a civilian defendant — including advising him of a right in a civilian law enforcement context not to cooperate — rather than as an intelligence resource to be thoroughly interrogated in order to obtain potentially life-saving information,— the Republicans said in their letter.

In addition to demanding a written explanation of why Holder decided to handle the situation the way he did, the Senate Republicans also call on him to “testify promptly before the appropriate committees of jurisdiction as to these questions and any lessons your department may have learned from this incident.—