Defense

Counterterror Chief Blasts Critics

White House Counterterrorism Chief John Brennan played defense on Super Bowl Sunday, slamming Republicans’ criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the Christmas Day bomber. Brennan said he called senior Republican lawmakers on Christmas to update them on the investigation process, including how the suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, would be treated. But in recent weeks, right-wing representatives attacked the White House for prosecuting Abdulmutallab before a civilian court, instead of a military commission. They also condemned the administration for reading Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights. “I explained to them that he was in FBI custody,” Brennan told NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday. “They knew that ‘in FBI custody’ means that there’s a process then you follow as far as Mirandizing and presenting him in front of a magistrate.” Brennan said no one raised any concerns at the time. One briefed Republican, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Kit Bond, disputed Brennan’s claims. “The truth is that the administration did not even consult our intelligence chiefs,” Bond said Sunday.