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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 27, 2010 / 12 Shevat 5770

For Dems, a silver lining in Brown cloud

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is a silver lining for Democrats in the Brown cloud that has descended upon them. It's distracted attention from testimony the intelligence failures with regard to the Christmas bomber were more appalling than we'd been told.


On Wednesday, as panicked Democrats wondered what Scott Brown's stunning win in the Massachusetts senate race portends for them, four senior intelligence officials testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee about the interrogation, such as it was, of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who had tried to blow up a Northwest Air Lines flight with a bomb built into his underwear.


The officials were Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, Michael Leiter, chairman of the National Counterterrorism Center, and FBI Director Robert Mueller.


At the Homeland Security Committee hearing, Ms. Napolitano, Mr. Blair and Mr. Leiter said they weren't consulted before the decision was made to treat Mr. Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant.


That decision was made by a senior official at the Justice Department who the Obama administration is unwilling to identify.


Shortly after assuming office, President Obama stripped the responsibility for interrogating terrorists from the CIA and gave it to a new group, the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), which would report directly to the DNI.


Mr. Abdulmutallab should have been questioned by agents from the HIG, Admiral Blair said at the hearing.


"The unit was created exactly for this purpose," the DNI said. "To make a decision on whether a certain person who was detained should be treated as a case for federal prosecution or for some of the other means…We did not invoke the HIG in this case. We should have."


One reason why the HIG wasn't called in, Admiral Blair told Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me), was because "frankly, we were thinking more overseas people" than of terrorists captured in the United States.


Mr. Blair also said he had been pressured to trim the "no fly" list. The DNI was ordered to "amend" his testimony by furious Obama administration officials, said Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff.


"One senior official described the comments by Blair…as misinformed on multiple levels and all the more damaging because they immediately fueled Republican criticism that the administration mishandled the Christmas day incident," Mr. Isikoff wrote.

Letter from JWR publisher


Mr. Blair did issue a statement saying his testimony had been "misconstrued;" that the real reason the HIG didn't interrogate Mr. Adulmutallab is because the unit isn't "fully operational."


It's difficult to say which is more disconcerting: That it hadn't occurred to senior intelligence officials that a terrorist might be captured within the United States, or that nearly a year into Mr. Obama's presidency, he hadn't set up a means to interrogate captured terrorists to replace the one he dismantled.


In any event, until his lawyer arrived, Mr. Abdulmutallab was questioned by FBI agents who regarded this as an ordinary criminal case, and who were not familiar with the information about terrorism gathered by the NCTC.


At the Judiciary Committee hearing, FBI Director Mueller acknowledged Mr. Abdulmutallab clammed up as soon as he was told he had a right to remain silent. But he defended the decision both to treat him as a criminal defendant, and to make that decision without consulting senior intelligence officials, himself among them.


In response to sharp questions from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), a stuttering Mr. Mueller said the decision to treat Mr. Abdulmutallab as a criminal was made "on the fly" by the agents on the scene. He indicated they'd received no guidance from higher authority on how to deal with such situations.


Eric Fehrnstrom, an adviser to Scott Brown, said his candidate's stunning victory was fueled more by Mr. Brown's opposition to treating terrorists as criminal defendants than by his opposition to Obamacare. Panicked Democrats who are urging the president to "pivot" on health care should urge him to "pivot" on terrorism as well. Pressing Obamacare can only hurt the political prospects of Democrats. Continued laxness on terror could get a lot of Americans killed.


But the administration's harsh response to Adm. Blair's honesty indicates the president is more concerned with covering his own posterior than in protecting ours.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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© 2009, Jack Kelly

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