On Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Dana Perino falsely claimed that the Obama administration admitted that it "bungled" the interrogation and Mirandizing of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab following his arrest because "they had to do a review." In fact, the "review" the administration conducted following Abdulmutallab's attempted attack on a Northwest Airlines flight focused on intelligence and national security measure failures prior to the incident and was not focused on Abdulmutallab's detention and interrogation.
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Perino claims interrogation was "bungled" by the "administration's own admission" because it had to "do a review"
From the February 12 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Yesterday, Robert Gibbs, who stepped into your shoes at the White House -- stepped into your high heels --
PERINO: They're tight.
DOOCY: Stop it. He actually stood up for John Brennan. Here's a little snippet of that.
GIBBS [video clip]: I know this: John is there each and every day working in his office to try to do everything he can to keep the American people safe. And I would suggest, whether it's to Senator Bond or others on Capitol Hill, that these are decisions best left to people that have an understanding of counterterrorism, experience in counterterrorism and law enforcement rather than to politicians on Capitol Hill.
DOOCY: Well then, this past week, it all got started when he wrote that lecture, essentially, in USA Today. And he said of his critics, "We don't need lectures," and then he went on to say, "politically motivated criticism and uninformed fearmongering only serves the goals of Al Qaeda." Makes it sound like if you criticize the administration, you're helping Al Qaeda.
PERINO: But also remember, he didn't just write an opinion-editorial in the USA Today; he was responding to the USA Today being critical of the administration's handling of the Abdulmutallab situation. I think there's a lot of room for criticism there. I've written about it a lot with my former colleague Bill Burck on National Review Online. Ever since they Mirandized the underwear bomber after 50 minutes of questioning -- and by the administration's own admission, it was bungled. They had to do a review.
Review looked at security and intelligence failures prior to attempted attack, not the interrogation itself
Obama ordered two reviews of air security and announced immediate increased airline security measures. In a December 28 address following the incident, Obama ordered several actions to "protect the American people and to secure air travel," including a review of the watch list and airport security procedures. From his December 28 order:
Since I was first notified of this incident, I've ordered the following actions to be taken to protect the American people and to secure air travel.
First, I directed that we take immediate steps to ensure the safety of the traveling public. We made sure that all flights still in the air were secure and could land safely. We immediately enhanced screening and security procedures for all flights, domestic and international. We added federal air marshals to flights entering and leaving the United States. And we're working closely in this country, federal, state and local law enforcement, with our international partners.
Second, I've ordered two important reviews, because it's absolutely critical that we learn from this incident and take the necessary measures to prevent future acts of terrorism.
The first review involves our watch list system, which our government has had in place for many years to identify known and suspected terrorists so that we can prevent their entry into the United States. Apparently the suspect in the Christmas incident was in this system, but not on a watch list, such as the so-called no-fly list. So I have ordered a thorough review, not only of how information related to the subject was handled, but of the overall watch list system and how it can be strengthened.
The second review will examine all screening policies, technologies and procedures related to air travel. We need to determine just how the suspect was able to bring dangerous explosives aboard an aircraft and what additional steps we can take to thwart future attacks.
White House conducted security and intelligence review. The White House produced a security and intelligence review on January 7 and issued a statement along with it saying it reflected a review of the "terrorist watchlisting system" and "the need to look for ways to constantly improve and assist our CT [counterterrorism] analysts."
White House issued directive for "immediate actions" for intelligence and national security. On January 7, Obama issued a list of "immediate actions" for the "intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement communities" to take "to enhance the security of the American people." The directive says the "actions are necessary given inherent systemic weakness and human errors revealed by the review." The directive addresses corrective actions for the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the FBI/Terrorist Screening Center, the National Counterterrorism Center, the National Security Agency, and national security staff. Among other things, the directive orders DHS to "[a]ggressively pursue enhanced screening technology, protocols, and procedures, especially in regard to aviation and other transportation sectors, consistent with privacy rights and civil liberties; strengthen international partnerships and coordination on aviation security issues."