Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TPM Bait?

Kevin Drum points to some of the pushback from last week against the idea that the Christmas bomber was mishandled.  My question is: where did that idea come from?  I don't know the answer, and I don't recall anyone reporting on this (although please correct me if I'm wrong).  Here's what a little googling found, but this is really a job, as the item title says, for Josh Marshall's crew.

The statement that seemed to firmly establish the "fact" that something went wrong, or at least the statement that seemed to be quoted all over the conservative blogosphere, is from a January 9 article in the Telegraph:
"He was singing like a canary, then we charged him in civilian proceedings, he got a lawyer and shut up," Slade Gorton, a member of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the Sept 2001 terror attacks on the US, told The Sunday Telegraph.  
The article is written around that claim...but the article gives no further evidence that such a thing happened, nor does it give any reason we should believe that Slade Gorton knows anything about it.  Gorton wasn't first, however.  That might have been Charles Krauthammer, who said in his January 1 column:
Instead, Abdulmutallab is dispatched to some Detroit-area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point -- surprise! -- he stops talking. 
And that's as far as the trail went that I followed.   Krauthammer didn't cite anything for his claim (which, again, now appears to be wrong).

Now, I was on the road that week, so for all I know someone actually reported that the Christmas bomber was talking, then received Miranda, and then shut up. However, the New York Times story on the 26th, for example, reports lots of details from what he told the FBI, but nothing about him not talking.  I didn't have the patience to look through all the stories from the Times before Krauthammer got started, but I can say that a search on "Abdulmutallab" and "Miranda" yields nothing before a Michael Kinsley op-ed on January 5, which responded to the general question about how to treat suspects but did not refer to the allegation that the Christmas bomber stopped talking after being read his rights.

So: anyone know where this thing came from?  Did Krauthammer just make it up?

1 comment:

  1. Krauthammer makes tons of crap up, why not this?


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