Republicans Trashing Law Enforcement because It Polls Well

The best explanation for why, after having been briefed that underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was in FBI custody (and therefore, anyone who watches TV would know, mirandized), Republicans more recently started attacking the Obama Administration for having mirandized Abdulmutallab is this:

Republicans discovered the renewed power of terrorism in last month’s special Senate election in Massachusetts. Neil Newhouse, the pollster for the Republican victor, Scott Brown, said voters responded to the way Mr. Brown framed the issue, supporting him 63 percent to 26 percent when told he favored charging suspected terrorists as enemy combatants in a military tribunal while his Democratic opponent would give them constitutional rights and a civilian trial.

“This moved voters more than the health care issue did,” Mr. Newhouse said. “The terrorism stuff resonated, and it wasn’t just from the advertising we did.”

In fact, Mitch McConnell all but admitted that he was hitting the Administration on civilian court issues because of Scott Brown’s election in response to a question he was asked on February 3.

“If this approach of putting these people in U.S. courts doesn’t sell in Massachusetts, I don’t know where it sells,” he told a questioner.

He added: “You can campaign on these issues anywhere in America.”

That is, Republicans are attacking law enforcement–even as they have succeeded in getting Abdulmutallab’s cooperation quicker than it took the torturers to get false information out of KSM–because it polls well, because Scott Brown won on a pro-waterboarding platform.

Here’s the timeline:

December 25, 2009: Abdulmutallab attempts to bomb plane; after refusing to talk, FBI reads Miranda warning; John Brennan briefs Republican leadership that Abdulmutallab in FBI custody; FBI tells intelligence partners it will charge Abdulmutallab criminally, to no objections

December 26, 2009: FBI again tells intelligence partners it will charge Abdulmutallab criminally, to no objections

January 1, 2010: Two FBI agents fly to Nigeria to seek help from Abdulmutallab’s family

January 4, 2010: Scott Brown embraces water-boarding, advocates trying Abdulmutallab in military commission

January 5, 2010: Administration considers, but rejects, possibility of treating Abdulmutallab as enemy combatant

January 7, 2010: Obama Administration releases report of what went wrong on terror attack

January 8-10. 2010: 57% surveyed prefer military commission to civilian trial

January 17, 2010: Two Abdulmutallab family members fly back to Detroit to convince him to cooperate

January 19, 2010: Scott Brown wins special election

January 20, 2010: Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins hold hearing on Christmas bombing; Collins complains about information sharing, not Miranda warning; Blair says not consulted before Miranda read, says new interrogation team should have made decision though it is not yet functional

Several days after his family arrives: Abdulmutallab begins to cooperate

January 25, 2010: Lieberman and Collins write letter attacking FBI for giving Miranda warning

January 27, 2010: Mitch McConnell and others write Holder complaining about Miranda warning

January 30, 2010: Susan Collins attacks Obama for Miranda warning in weekly radio address

February 2, 2010: Mueller tells SSCI Abdulmutallab is cooperating

February 3, 2010: Holder responds to Republican critics; Mitch McConnell attacks “law enforcement” approach and later admits it works in campaigns, mentioning Brown’s victory

February 7, 2010: John Brennan reveals that Republican leaders briefed on FBI custody for Abdulmutallab, made no objections

February 9, 2010: John Brennan writes op-ed, “We need no lectures.”

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @bmaz At which point it becomes entirely a PR event, so he's perfect!
1mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @chrisgeidner @espinsegall Agree; not sure I see any equation between practitioners and the courts themselves.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @NSA_PAO: Adm Rogers at #ISSAConf: "We've got to create a public and private partnership" to effectively address cyber threats. #cyberse
4mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ScottGreenfield You need to ask?
4mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz So, hell of a job Klain.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz So Klain takes over as Ebola Czar on about exactly the day all known US ebola patients being cleared and all potential exposures timing out.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Last state based off audit of 34/120 facilities in 1st year: remaining 9 must have been in 4-mo correction window.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel DOJ IG reports on how well BOP meeting new rape prevention standards. http://t.co/QvDURmf3L1 Some prisons now meet, 3/25 do not.
10mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Rory is so proud of her prize. The squirrel did eventually come down from the tree last night. http://t.co/mtZ4KdYpjB
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @RupertStone83 Pretty sure THAT had to do w/how much they were getting from him. How well they were exploiting him.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @RupertStone83 I suspect HIG has greatest incentive to hide details of interrogations where they got most exploitation.
40mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TimothyS Surprised they just haven't renamed. I hear Blackwater is available.
42mreplyretweetfavorite
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