The chairman and the top ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee have demanded that the Obama administration transfer Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to military custody.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Adviser John Brennan, Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT.) and Susan Collins (R-ME.) wrote that Abdulmutallab, the suspect in the failed Christmas Day airline bombing, needs to be treated as an unprivileged enemy belligerent (UEB) and charged accordingly.
Although President Obama "has said repeatedly that we are at war, it does not appear to us that the president’s words are reflected in the actions of some in the executive branch, including some at the Department of Justice, responsible for fighting that war," the senators stated in the letter.
They added that the decision to charge him in criminal court "almost certainly prevented the military and the intelligence community from obtaining information that would have been critical to learning more about how our enemy operates and to preventing future attacks."
Lieberman and Collins also heavily criticized the decision to read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights, as he was openly talking about details regarding the attack when first confronted by law enforcement. After being read his civilian rights, Abdulmutallab subsequently obtained a lawyer.
The two senators urged the Obama administration to "reverse this error" by transferring the suspect to the custody of the Department of Defense.