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Christmas Day bomber now talking, but GOP still carping

February 3, 2010 |  7:41 am

Republicans were blistering in their criticism of the White House for reading the failed Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights.

Only Saturday, Maine's Susan Collins said Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab, who tried to blow up a bomb during a flight to Detroit, was questioned by the FBI for only 50 minutes before he was informed he had the right to remain silent. It was a terrible mistake, she said in the Republican response to President Obama's weekly address, to "treat a foreign a terrorist who had tried to murder hundreds of people as if he were a common criminal."

Now it turns out that the so-called underwear bomber was talking to FBI agents even as Collins, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, was attacking the administration's handling of the case.

The pivotal turning point in the case came when the administration flew the would-be bomber's family --  keep in mind his father tried to warn officials about his son's disturbing behavior even before the terrorist attack -- to the United States to persuade him to start talking again

As Ticket reported Tuesday, opinion on the Arab streets may be changing, in part because a new study shows that most of the victims of Al Qaeda's violence are not Westerners but Muslims.

The administration also hit back at critics by reminding folks that the Bush administration used the criminal-justice system to convict more than 300 terrorists and that shoe-bomber Richard Reid was Mirandized within five minutes.

None of this, of course, has stopped Republicans from blasting the administration for failures of intelligence that have plagued both the Bush and Obama administrations. Fox News offered this verdict: Team Obama got "really, really lucky."

-- Johanna Neuman

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