Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) on Sunday became the latest Republican to criticize the Obama Administration for handling the would-be Christmas day bomber as a civilian, and Bond’s communications director added on Twitter that trying shoebomber Richard Reid in federal court was a “mistake.”
The comments by Bond, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Fox News Sunday echo calls by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, for Umar Abdulmutallab to be tried in a military tribunal.
But Bond spokesperson Shana Marchio took the stance a step further by saying that President Bush’s decision to try Richard Reid in federal court, where he was convicted in 2003, was a mistake.
Liberal blog Fired Up! Missouri asked Marchio on Twitter why it was “okay for the Bush Administration to prosecute shoe bomber Richard Reid in criminal court, but a very bad idea for the Obama Administration to put Omar AbdulMutallab into the criminal justice system?”
Marchio added that Reid “should’ve been as enemy combatnt. Like 2day’s show, Bond critical of Bush AND Obama Admin. Goal: prevent repeating mistakes.”
We couldn’t find any reports of Bond speaking out against Bush’s handling of the Reid case, but we’ve asked Marchio if he made his views known at the time. We’ll let you know if we hear back.
Here’s a key bit of Bond’s exchange with host Chris Wallace yesterday:
WALLACE: Well, let’s talk about another — I suspect you’re going to say it’s a mistake. Do you think it was a mistake to charge Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant?
BOND: Clearly. As you said in your interview, as soon as they got a lawyer, he lawyered up. Now, they may be able to negotiate over a period of months or years some kind of deal in which he gives them some information.
WALLACE: … How much harder is it going to be to get that information on a timely basis out of Abdulmutallab with him as a criminal suspect, criminal defendant, rather than an enemy combatant?
BOND: Any criminal lawyer has to tell him he has to be quiet, he has to shut up until months from now, maybe years from now, they come forth with a deal saying, “Well, if you’ll tell us who your handlers were, who the other people were, we will limit you — limit your charges.”
We should have held him as an enemy combatant, tried him under the military commissions. The Supreme Court upheld that when we caught German saboteurs in the United States, tried them as enemy combatants.
Late Update: Here’s a clip of Bond on Fox: