"The nation's intelligence chief said Wednesday that the Christmas Day airline bombing suspect should have been treated as a terrorism detainee when the plane landed. That would have meant initial questioning by special interrogators.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was interviewed by FBI agents when Northwest Flight 253 landed in Detroit after he allegedly tried to detonate a homemade bomb sneaked through airport security in Nigeria and Amsterdam. Abdulmutallab is being held in a prison about 50 miles outside of Detroit.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that he was not consulted on whether Abdulmutallab should be questioned by the recently created High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG.
"That unit was created exactly for this purpose," Blair said. "We did not invoke the HIG in this case. We should have."
This was too large a failure to chalk up to an "d'oh" moment (as Blair implied it was). Mr. President, you have failed the American people in your number one, most fundamental job. Who the heck is in charge here?