Reacting yesterday to administration claims that its handling of the Christmas Day ‘underwear bomber’ was not much different from President Bush’s treatment of ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid, former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino claimed comparing the two incidents was like comparing ‘apples and oranges.’
Given the eight years of case law that has materialized since Reid attempted to destroy an American Airlines jet on December 22, 2001, Perino said, President Bush would likely not have reacted in a similar fashion to the Christmas Day bombing attempt. Reid was charged in federal court for, among other things, “interfering with the performance of duties of flight crew members by assault or intimidation.”
The Obama administration has taken heat from critics who say an interrogation room — not a courthouse — is where underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should have been in the days after his arrest. Abdulmutallab was charged on December 26, 2009 in a Michigan district court.
“The decision to treat Abdul Mutallab as a criminal rather than a UEB almost certainly prevented the military and the intelligence community from obtaining information that would have been critical to learning more about how our enemy operates and to preventing future attacks against our homeland and Americans and our allies throughout the world,” Sens. Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins wrote in a letter to the administration. Dozens of Republicans have signed similar letters.