Eric Holder Joins Administration Pushback On Abdulmutallab

Attorney General Eric Holder has just sent a letter responding to the concerns of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been critical of the administration's handling of the alleged underwear bomber, Umar Abulmutallab. In the letter, Holder repeatsĀ  the claims made by other administration officials about Abdulmutallab's providing intelligence.

Holder writes that Abdulmutallab was "questioned by experienced counterterrorism agents from the FBI in the hours immediately after the failed bombing attempt and provided intelligence, and more recently, he has provided additional intelligence to the FBI that we are actively using to help protect our country."

Holder also remarks on the decision to try Abdulmutallab in civilian court:

[T]he practice of the U.S. government, followed by prior and current Administrations without a single exception, has been to arrest and detain under federal criminal law all terrorist suspects who are apprehended inside the United States.

Holder adds, "In keeping with this policy, the Bush Administration used the criminal justice system to convict more than 300 individuals on terrorism-related charges," citing several convicted terrorists, referring to shoe bomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui by name....