Senators on Abdulmutallab
The results of a week-long TWS survey of U.S. senators and their views on the Christmas Bomber.
During the past week, THE WEEKLY STANDARD surveyed United States Senators on the U.S. government's handling of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day bomber. The questions we asked were simple: Does Senator XX believe that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should have been read his Miranda rights? And does Senator XX believe that Abdulmutallab should be tried in civilian courts?
Only one senator offered a clear and unequivocal "yes," in support of the Obama administration's handling of Abdulmutallab: Senator Roland Burris (D-IL).
We received answers from 38 of 40 Republicans. All 38 said that Abdulmutallab should not have been Mirandized and that he should not be tried in civilian court.
Of the Democrats who responded, many gave thoughtful, nuanced answers that were not directly responsive to the questions. Some, like Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas, expressed views that would seem to place her in the "no" category, while others, like Ben Cardin from Maryland, expressed views that suggested they support the administration's handling of Abdulmutallab. Still others, Evan Bayh and Joe Lieberman, said without qualification that Abdulmutallab should not have been Mirandized and should not be tried in civilian courts. (Many Democratic senators have not yet responded to repeated phone calls and emails from THE WEEKLY STANDARD and one staffer, from the office of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, abruptly hung-up on us.)
This issue will be getting more attention next week, in part as a result of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday. So we will be updating the list with additional responses as we receive them. Full statements, from those senators who provided them, are listed below.
UPDATE: Senators Reid and Leahy have been added to the list of senators who support the administration's handling of Abdulmutallab.