Giuliani: Obama "Turned the Corner" on Terrorism

Giuliani: "We had no domestic attacks under Bush"

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    Giuliani accused the Obama administration of too quickly ending interrogation of the Nigerian indicted in the Christmas bombing attempt aboard a Northwest Airlines flight.

    Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Friday he believes President Barack Obama "turned the corner'' on understanding the nature of terrorism when he publicly declared the U.S. at war.

    But in a nationally broadcast interview, Giuliani also said he thinks the president has some distance to go. He said the administration must pursue the problem as if on a war footing and said it should treat detainees as enemy combatants, not criminal defendants who could enjoy the benefits of the civil court system.

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    Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani opines on the decision to try the accused 9/11 mastermind in New York. (Published Friday, Dec 11, 2009)

    Giuliani, mayor of New York when terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, also criticized administration prosecutors for "cutting off'' questioning of the Nigerian accused in connection with the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight into Detroit on Christmas Day.

    "Why in God's name would you stop questioning a terrorist?,'' he said on ABC's "Good Morning America.'' Why would you put an artificial time limit on how much time you would spend questioning a terrorist.''

    Giuliani was interviewed a day after Obama again acknowledged holes in the government's system for finding and intercepting people plotting attacks against the United States.

    Strangely, Giuliani also said that there were no terror attempts under the George W. Bush administration.

    "What [Obama] should be doing is following the right things Bush did. One of the right things he did was treat this as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We've had one under Obama," Giuliani told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who didn't call Rudy out on the statement.

    Apparently Giuliani had forgotten about the shoe bomber, the anthrax mailings, the Fort Dix and numerous other plots and, of course, the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Later, on CNN, Giuliani clarified that he meant to say  "since September 11th," and noted that the "one attack under Obama" he was referring to the Fort Hood attack in November when a Muslim Army psychiatrist opened fired at the Texas Army base, killing 12 and wounding 31.

    In the Christmas incident, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, was tackled by a passenger on board a packed U.S. jetliner as flames shot from his clothes. He has been in federal custody, and Giuliani, formerly a high-ranking Justice Department official, assailed the government's handling of the case.

    "If we've done 30 hours of questioning, basically in that 30 hours, you get some valid information and you get some lies,'' he said. "It takes longer than 30 hours to debrief a terrorist. Why would you stop it? Particularly since the administration has created military courts. ... It seems to me we're going to be trying the most dangerous terrorists in the wrong place.''

    Giuliani called anew for Obama to reverse his decision to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, and said that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have erred in deciding to put accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed on trial in federal court in New York City.

    He called that plan "a disaster for New York.''