WASHINGTON: Obama, citing his recent decision granting INTERPOL diplomatic immunity announced today that jurisdiction over the fizzled panty bomber Abdul Farouk Mutallab is now being handed over to INTERPOL. This is a stunning reversal from White House secretary Robert Gibbs’ statement on January 25th that the 50 minute interrogation of Mutallab was enough.
There has been harsh criticism of the administration over their handling of the incident. Serious charges have been leveled that the administration, by ignoring the Geneva Convention, has put the USA at risk. Three days after the bomber was captured he warned that there was more to follow. Charges of incompetence have been leveled against Director of Homeland Security who shortly after the failed bombing crowed, “The System Worked.”
Responding to these charges today Obama read this statement during his daily teleprompter briefing:
Our decision to try Abdul Farouk Mutallab in civilian courts was an admirable one. It was intended to show the international community that the US recognizes the rule of law and no longer will conduct “cowboy diplomacy” in handling man-made disasters.
While our intentions were admirable, we did not go far enough. Recent criticism of our actions have made us realize that the proper handling of internationals is best handled by INTERPOL. After all that is why the organization was created. It was for just such a case as this one that on December 17th I gave INTERPOL diplomatic immunity to operate here in the US. Little did we know just how wise and timely this decision that would prove to be.
For this reason we are now turning Mutallab over to French authorities who are sending over their Chief Inspector who will handle the interrogation and investigation. We are hereby dropping all civilian charges against Mutallab and any subsequent legal action against Mutallab will be at the discretion of INTERPOL.
INTERPOL has extensive experience in handling these types of investigations. Make no mistake– our ceding jurisdiction of this affair to INTERPOL will substantially increase our standing in the world community and will prevent Al-Qaeda from using US involvement in this matter as a recruitment tool.