Bush Administration Released Al Qaeda Leaders Who Plotted Detroit Attack To Art Therapy Rehabilitation Program

The knee jerk Republican response to the attempted terrorist attack in Detroit has been to try to play politics as they did after 9/11. ABC News reports that two al Qaeda leaders behind the attack were in US custody and released–by the Bush administration:

Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.

Just imagine the Republican response if Barack Obama or Bill Clinton had released prisoners to enter an “art therapy rehabilitation program.” This sounds almost as silly as an American president sitting and reading a children’s book while the country is under attack.

Ben Smith quotes other arguments from Democrats responding to Republican attempts to place the blame on them:

As Republicans seek to put the blame for the widespread perception of ineptness at the Transportation Security Administration on the Obama administration, Democrats are arguing that Republican legislators bear part of the blame and that they’re politically vulnerable on the subject.

Perhaps the largest impediment to change at the agency: South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has a hold on the appointment of a TSA chief, over his concern that the new administration could allow security screeners to unionize.

Republicans have cast votes against the key TSA funding measure that the 2010 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security contained, which included funding for the TSA, including for explosives detection systems and other aviation security measures. In the June 24 vote in the House, leading Republicans including John Boehner, Pete Hoekstra, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan voted against the bill, amid a procedural dispute over the appropriations process, a Democrat points out. A full 108 Republicans voted against the conference version, including Boehner, Hoekstra, Pence, Michelle Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Darrell Issa and Joe Wilson.

I note that among the leading Republicans who vote against the TSA funding measure was Pete Hoekstra, who was one of the first Republicans to try to play politics with this.

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14 Comments

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