As three separate Senate committees today hold hearings on the failed Christmas attack over Detroit, watch for Republicans to take the opportunity to ramp up their criticism of the Obama Administration.
The three hearings today are: a Homeland Security session at 9:30 a.m. ET on the lessons of the episode with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter, and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair; a Judiciary hearing at 10 a.m. ET on “Anti-Terrorism Tools” with FBI chief Robert Mueller and State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy; and a Commerce Committee session at 2:30 p.m. ET on aviation security with Napolitano, Leiter, and 9/11 commission co-chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton.
The Homeland Security panel is also expected to hold a classified session, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A webcast link for the Judiciary hearing can be found here.
Key points of contention and discussion to look out for today include the failure of intel agencies to “connect the dots” and Republicans’ argument that Umar Abdulmutallab should not have been classified as a criminal and tried in federal court.
Judiciary Committee Republican Jeff Sessions said in a statement ahead of the hearing:
But no matter how much is done to repair the bureaucracy, in order to have dots to connect in the first place we must fully equip our military and security agents with the tools they need. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been stripping these tools away. That effort is grounded in a profound misconception—that terrorists are common criminals, not war criminals—and it leads to many other perilous decisions.
They have given terrorists Miranda rights instead of tough interrogations, and have shipped foreign war criminals to American communities for civilian trial.