One of John McCain’s top aides said Barack Obama’s position on terrorism was “delusional” and highlighted Obama's ignorance in security matters in a conference call Tuesday morning.
Randy Scheunemann, foreign policy adviser to the McCain campaign, said Obama was “practicing the policy of delusion” when praising the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and the Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant detainees rights to habeas corpus hearings.
The attacks come in response to remarks Obama made in an interview with ABC news that were aired Monday evening. Obama said, “What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks -- for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated. And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, "Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims."
“Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10 mindset,” Scheunemann told reporters on the call. Other participants included Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, 9/11 Commission member and Former Navy Secretary John Lehman and Kori Schake, a McCain policy adviser.
Lehman said history proves the criminal justice system was not an effective response to the 1993 bombings and warning signals were ignored before the Twin Towers were bombed.
"The investigations of the 9/11 bombing certainly made clear that the way the criminal justice system as applied to the perpetrators of the 1993 bombing, the way it operated it was a material cause of the greater tragedy of 9/11 because it was treated as a law enforcement issue,” Lehman explained. “Evidence gathered and intelligence used was put under a grand jury seal and kept specifically from the Director of Central Intelligence, who personally told me -- Jim's successor -- personally told me -- Director Tenet -- that he did not get to see the evidence which would have linked some of the perpetrators of the '93 bombing to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In fact they were relatives. And would have enabled many of the dots to have been connected well before 9/11 and, in my belief, would have given a good chance to have prevented 9/11...What Senator Obama said, this was the right approach, that they way went about it in the '93 bombing was the correct approach, shows a very deep ignorance of the facts and a very, very dangerous policy."
Sam Youngman, a reporter for The Hill, asked if McCain’s surrogates believed an Obama administration would increase the likelihood America would be attacked again.
Woolsey solemnly replied, “I don’t say this lightly, this is an extremely dangerous and extremely naïve approach to terrorism, international terrorism and prisoners captured oversees who have been engaged in terrorist attacks against the United States.”