Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NYT: Collins Plays Fear Card

The New York Times editorial page:

An election is coming, so the Republicans are trying to scare Americans by making it appear as if the Democrats don't care about catching or punishing terrorists.


Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, suggested--without any evidence--that vital intelligence was lost by [having the FBI arrest and interrogate Abdulmutallab].


The Republican propaganda is a distraction from the real issue: that the counterterrorism system is malfunctioning more than eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Like many of the nation's other problems, Mr. Obama inherited this one. For eight years, Congress failed in its legal duty to oversee the intelligence community and the basic operational tasks of the Department of Homeland Security and correct the abusive system of detention at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere that made our country more vulnerable, not less.
Guess who was chair of the Homeland Security Committee for most of that stretch?

One quibble, though: Collins didn't just suggest that intelligence was lost when Abdulmutallab was placed in FBI custody. She asserted it as fact--and then backtracked.

Her irresponsible, authoritarian rhetoric is certainly getting lots of national attention. But is this the kind of attention she had in mind?

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