The White House’s release of information regarding the sudden cooperation by underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab “…has no doubt been helpful to his terrorists cohorts around the world” according to a just-released letter from Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo) to President Obama. (Read the entire letter here.)
Bond’s letter comes just one day after the Obama administration’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials testified in a Senate hearing that they expected another attempted terrorist attack against the United States within the next few months.
In the letter, Bond — the ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — strenuously objects to the release of information purposely published by the White House Tuesday night, the same day that FBI Director Robert Muller personally told Bond that the cooperation of Abdulmutallab had to be kept secret.
“FBI officials stressed the importance of not disclosing the fact of [Abdulmutallab’s] cooperation in order to protect on-going and follow-on operations to neutralize additional threats to the American public;
Bond continues saying, “FBI Director Robert Muller personally stressed to me that keeping the fact of [Abdulmutallab’s] cooperation quiet was vital to preventing future attacks against the United States.”
But — apparently for comprehensively political reasons — the White House briefed selected reporters on that information to damp criticism of how the case was handled. The information was published the following morning in the New York Times.
Bond’s letter concludes, “I urge you, Mr. President, to consider the consequences of publicly disseminating sensitive information vital to the defense of the American people. I do not believe the American people want this information jeopardized to further political arguments.”
The administration’s credibility — and trustworthiness — on national security matters is now in tatters. And, as Sen. Bond writes, the release of information by the White House is helping terrorists around the world.
After Sen. Bond’s letter was released he added, in a television interview, that the release of the information about Abdulmutallab’s cooperation was part of a media strategy.
To which Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs retorted that anyone who would say that “…owed people an apology.”
But Sen. Bond is not in the mood for Gibbs’s snide comment. In turn, Bond said, “After telling me to keep my mouth shut, the White House discloses sensitive information in an effort to defend a dangerous and unpopular decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab and I’m supposed to apologize?”
This debate isn’t over, and will – and should — reach beyond Gibbs to his bosses.
We excused Jimmy Carter because he was inept and stumbled from one policy disaster to another. But Barack Obama cannot be so excused. He and his administration are not stupid. The decisions Obama makes — increasing the dangers we face and the burdens on our economy — are not accidents. They are aimed at producing the results they obtain.
More and more, Americans are concluding that the president’s motives need to be questioned — loudly and determinedly.