Earlier today, I discussed the incoherence -- never mind the foolhardiness -- of the administration's policy of treating alien jihadists as ordinary criminal defendants. As if on cue, it now comes out that the confusion embedded in that policy resulted in a botched and truncated interrogation of the Christmas day bomber. See "Christmas Day Mistake," News Scan, below. Of course we don't know what information was lost by the government's fumbling. We are left to hope it won't change potentially life-saving forewarning into fatal blindness. But this is, after all, the administration of Hope and Change.
The whole sorry episode is explained by Scott Johnson on Powerline, "A Mistake that Can Be Rectified": http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/01/025438.php. Scott follows up here, http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/01/025444.php, and here, http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/01/025452.php. The short of it is that the bomber was turned over to the FBI to be questioned as an ordinary criminal suspect, without so much as consultation with a group the administration says it has established to assess whether captured terrorists should be questioned by a newly-created "elite interrogation unit."
This came out in the (literally) head-slapping Congressional testimony of Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair. Among numerous other things left unexplained by Director Blair was how the "elite interrogation unit" squares with President Obama's pledge to insure that our interrogation practices "reflect our deepest values." Still less does Mr. Blair explain how it would square with the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to which the administration remains hypnotically committed. And least of all is there any suggestion of how this Rube Goldberg contraption of interrogation practices promotes, rather than endangers, the country's safety.