Wednesday, February 3, 2010

He’s Talking

NPR and several other news outlets are reporting that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the undie-bomber, has been telling the FBI everything they want to know about who trained him, where he was trained, and would probably give up Osama bin Laden’s Facebook password if he knew it.

Officials say Abdulmutallab never really clammed up — he began to be particularly helpful several weeks ago when members of his family were flown in from Nigeria to persuade him to cooperate. They arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 17, and officials say Abdulmutallab began providing valuable information a short time later.

His information was at least partly responsible for the arrest of 10 people in Malaysia last week, officials said. Malaysian authorities rounded up a handful of students, including one Nigerian, who are thought to have been part of an al-Qaida cell.

And he’s doing it all without benefit of torture — excuse me; “enhanced interrogation” — and after he was read his Miranda rights. This was a major talking point for the right wing who said that the Obama administration was being “soft on terror” because they weren’t using Dick Cheney’s rack. How about that?

Oh, by the way, it turns out that the Bush administration was soft on terror, too: Mike Allen at Politico reports that Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, was Mirandized when he was taken into custody in December 2001 and that the Bush administration rejected the idea of a military tribunal. He was tried, convicted, and is now serving a life sentence at the supermax prison in Colorado. How soft is that?