Why was it okay for the Bush Administration to prosecute shoe bomber Richard Reid in criminal court, but a very bad idea for the Obama Administration to put Omar AbdulMutallab into the criminal justice system?
Or put another way, why is our justice system equipped to handle a man who tried to blow up an airplane with explosives in his shoes, but unable to handle the a man who tried to blow up an airplane with explosives in his underpants?
UPDATE: Kit Bond's Communications Director Shana Marchio responded to my question via Twitter:
Simple answer - it wasn't - this mistake was corrected w/Padilla
Should've been as enemy combatnt. Like 2day's show, Bond critical of Bush AND Obama Admin. Goal: prevent repeating mistakes
Here is Bond's reponse to a question from Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace this morning about the same topic:
WALLACE: Finally, I want to talk with you, as I did with Mr. Brennan, about politics, because former vice president Cheney and a number of top Republicans have really gone after this administration for its response to -- after Christmas day and suggested that this is another example of Democrats being soft on terror.
But let's go through the record, if we can. It took President Bush six days to react to the shoe bomber Richard Reid. It was the Bush administration that set up this Terror Watch System. And several of the Guantanamo detainees, as you pointed out, who ended up in Yemen were released under President Bush.
Don't Republicans have plenty to answer for?
BOND: Well, I think that the Bush administration really needs to answer for releasing the detainees to Saudi Arabia and other places. And we've seen that's a mistake. And I know -- I'm sure they would admit that's a mistake.
But to continue to make the same mistake would be a tragedy. And I really think that failing to recognize that we are under attack -- the Al Qaida and its related activities and related allies have declares war on us. They're coming after us.
And this is not a case for a series of criminal trials. We tried that in the '90s after the first attack on the World Trade Center, embassy bombings, Cole attack. This is -- this is war, and it's time that we reacted to the war attacks that are coming at us.
Deputy national security adviser John Brennan was also on the Sunday shows, pushing back against this sort of argument. Politics Daily:
Brennan pointed to a series of successful prosecutions of "other terrorists" in civilian courts including Richard Reid, the so-called "shoe bomber" who tried to blow up an international flight in 2001; Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks; Iyam Faris, accused of aiding al Qaeda in a polot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge; and, Jose Padilla, convicted of taking part in a Qaeda plot to detonate a dirty bomb in the U.S.
"We try to adapt the tools in the right way," Brennan said on CNN's State of the Union. "We are also a country of laws. This was an individual who was arrested on U.S. soil. If we decide at some point that we're going to charge and hold somebody under the enemy combatant status, it's a tool that is available to us. We made a decision to do this. "
"We have great confidence in the FBI and other individuals in terms of debriefing. We have great confidence in our court system so that we can use that to our advantage," he said. "And individuals in the past have, in fact, given us very valuable information as they've gone through the plea agreement process."