Intelligence Czar Dennis Blair Testifies Christmas Bomber Should Have Been Questioned by Non-Existent Unit

Saturday, January 23, 2010
Dennis Blair, Director of Parts of National Intelligence

Appearing before a congressional committee investigating the Christmas Day bomb attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told lawmakers this week that a special anti-terrorism unit known as the “High Value Interrogation Group” (HIG) should have handled the investigation, and not the FBI or the Justice Department.

Only one problem: the HIG doesn’t exist.
Apparently, the nation’s top intelligence official was not aware that the proposed unit had yet to be formed. And even if it was functioning at the time of the attempted attack aboard the Northwest Airlines flight, it would have been inappropriate to use the HIG for someone like Abdulmutallab.
“That unit was created exactly for this purpose—to make a decision on whether a certain person who’s detained should be treated as a case for federal prosecution or for some of the other means,” Blair told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Wrong again. Officials in the Obama administration told Newsweek that the HIG was created specifically to handle “high value” al-Qaeda leaders who might be captured overseas, and not people like Abdulmutallab who are seized in the U.S.
Administration officials were said to be “annoyed, angry, and frustrated” with Blair for his gaffe, which gave Republicans more fodder for their arguments that the nation is not secure under President Barack Obama’s leadership.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Intelligence Chief Says FBI was too Hasty in Handling of Attempted Bombing (by Spencer S. Hsu and Jennifer Agiesta, Washington Post)


Leave a comment