“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Joscelyn also calls their bluff:
During an interview on MSNBC Thursday morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended the Obama administration’s handling of Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Gibbs argued that the administration was right to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant, instead of as an enemy combatant. “Just because you make somebody an enemy combatant [it] doesn’t make them talk,” Gibbs argued. He then pointed to an example from the Bush years to supposedly support his point.
“Jose Padilla was made an enemy combatant so that we could get him to talk,” Gibbs said. “And guess what happened when we made him an enemy combatant, he didn't talk. He did talk when he was transferred back into a civilian court.”
President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, made the same point on Tuesday in an op-ed for USA Today. Brennan argued: “Terrorists such as Jose Padilla and Saleh al-Mari did not cooperate when transferred to military custody, which can harden one's determination to resist cooperation.”
Brennan and Gibbs are wrong. In fact, Jose Padilla only started cooperating once he was transferred into the military’s custody and interrogated.
Thus, when Padilla was initially detained by the FBI in May 2002 authorities knew he was up to no good. The FBI questioned Padilla for several hours but got nowhere. A copy of the FBI’s 302 memo written after the initial questioning of Padilla shows that al Qaeda’s man gave the bureau nothing. Padilla talked about his personal history but said nothing about his real intentions or his nefarious friends.
The memo then reads: “Since that time [June 9, 2002], additional and more detailed intelligence information about Jose Padilla has been developed and made available in unclassified form.”