Attorney General Eric Holder has sent a letter defending the decision to charge Abdulmutallab as a criminal and read him his Miranda rights. This paragraph stuck out immediately:
“I made the decision to charge Mr. Abdulmutallab with federal crimes, and to seek his detention in connection with those charges, with the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of the government. On the evening of December 25 and again on the morning of December 26, the FBI informed its partners in the Intelligence Community that Abdulmutallab would be charged criminally, and no agency objected to this course of action.”
(1) While those other departments were informed, according to Holder, this evidently doesn't include the senior-most members of those departments -- per their congressional testimony. Senior officials including DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano have testified that they were not informed of the decision. If they were informed, which is unlikely, then they lied before Congress. If they weren't informed, which is likely, then this means those departments have serious communication problems because such an important decision was never communicated up the chain. In other words, assuming Holder is right, then why weren’t the senior-most officials in those departments informed?
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.