Under the Dome

Burr: Obama should copy Bush on terror

January 5, 2010 

  • To read more about John Edwards in El Salvador and to see a video, visit the online version of Under the Dome.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr says President Barack Obama's administration isn't tough enough on terrorism.

In an interview on the Bill LuMaye radio show on WPTF-AM, Burr said last week that the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing was the result of a "colossal communications failure" between federal agencies that should have prevented the attempted attack.

Obama's administration has not handled the incident well, Burr said.

"When you can take an individual who tried to set off a bomb on an airplane, they're not a U.S. citizen and you know within a matter of hours that this was a terrorist act," Burr said, "and you don't aggressively interrogate this individual - you give them a lawyer, you let the lawyer set the parameters of any interview, you do no interview, you glean no information - that is not the way to fight the war on terror."

Burr said the Obama administration should return to the policies of the administration of President George W. Bush.

"I'm hopeful that the president will become forceful, that we will return back to the direction where we are prosecuting the war on terror," Burr said.

Burr criticized Obama for allowing other governments to bring criminal charges against CIA agents. An Italian court in November convicted 23 U.S. operatives of charges related to the rendition of an imam.

"This administration has sat idly by and let those individuals be prosecuted, be charged, be found guilty," Burr said. "We've got many within the intelligence community that would say, 'I'm not going to lay my future on the line because more importantly this administration is not sold on carrying this out.' "

Edwards in El Salvador

John Edwards has kept a low profile since he confirmed reports of an extramarital affair.

Turns out, he has been spending a lot of time out of the country.

Politico's Ben Smith reports that Edwards has been spending time in El Salvador with Homes From the Heart, a charity that builds houses in Central America.

Edwards went on three trips last year. Photos show him in jeans and a T-shirt passing buckets of mortar to U.S. college students.

"He's had a tough go of it the last couple of years, but he wants to make things better for himself and his family, and I think there's a quality of redemption about it and also [a] certain allure to the escape quality of it," said David Snell, the president of The Fuller Center for Housing, which Homes From the Heart is part of.

Allen to speak

Former U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia will headline the 10th Congressional District Republican Party fundraising dinner this month in Lenoir.

Allen, once considered a rising Republican star and potential successor to Bush, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at the American Legion Post 29 in Lenoir. The cost of the dinner is $25.

The son of a former Washington Redskins football coach of the same name, Allen served as governor from 1994 until 1998 and as U.S. senator from 2001 until 2007 until he was upset by Democrat Jim Webb.

The 10th District has brought in a number of high-profile Republican speakers during the past year, including past presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

By staff writers Benjamin Niolet and Rob Christensen

ben.niolet@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4521

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