Skip to comments.Whose Fault Is It?
Posted on 01/01/2010 6:33:06 AM PST by Kaslin
It may not be President Obama's fault that our multibillion-dollar Homeland Security apparatus is more Keystone Kops than "24," anymore than it was President Bush's fault that city, state, and federal agencies failed to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina. The federal government is (alas) a vast ungovernable enterprise. And the bigger it gets, the less effective it will become.
Still, the entire Democratic Party -- led by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Harry Reid -- swarmed over President Bush like piranhas as the waters rose in 2005. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" entered the lexicon as one of the most ridiculed commendations in history. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's declaration that "the system worked" after every relevant Homeland Security agency drunkenly nodded cash-paying, one-way-ticket-purchasing, Yemen-visiting, no-baggage-carrying, father-warning Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab onto Flight 253 deserves, but will not receive, at least as much scorn. In 2005, Democrats expressed outrage that it had taken Bush two days to cut short his Texas vacation. "He has to get off his mountain bike and back to work," declared then Rep. Rahm Emanuel. Somehow, if a Republican were to voice the identical sentiment now, demanding that "Obama has to get off his surfboard and back to work," the establishment would declare it a grievous breach of civility and possibly racist to boot.
I hope no Republican makes such a suggestion, though, because it contributes to the childish idea that the president must govern the nation at all times from the White House -- deploying Marines, structural engineers, tax assessors, and derivatives analysts as required. Ridiculous. Any emergency orders a president must issue can be issued from Texas or Hawaii or the space shuttle for that matter.
President Obama is not wholly responsible for the pathetic incompetence of the security agencies. But their "catastrophic" (his word) failure to perform the minimum functions assigned to them should give him pause. More than most Americans, even more than most Democrats, the president is in thrall to the illusion of a skilled, paternalistic government, able to handle the fortunes of car companies, the proper running of banks and insurance companies, the more equitable and cost-effective delivery of health care, and the exact calibration of the world's climate. Could the new New Deal just get airplane safety right first?
Leaving aside the failings of the CIA, the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security, some of this is entirely President Obama's fault. He has guaranteed that we will get far less intelligence from this terrorist than we would have under the Bush administration. Because the highly successful Clinton law enforcement model has been reintroduced to the war on terror, no sooner was the fire in Abdulmutallab's pants out than he was read his Miranda rights and provided with a taxpayer-financed public defender.
Under the terrible ancien regime, when the world hated us, and the terrorists were inspired to attack us because Guantanamo was not listed in Fodor's Guide (except, gosh, they seem not to have gotten the memo because they persist in attacking), Abdulmutallab would have been hustled down to Guantanamo to be interrogated. Yes, interrogated. Not tortured. Not waterboarded (that happened to only three detainees) but interrogated about his contacts, his experiences in Yemen, his explosives training, and so forth. If he wanted better treatment -- dessert, videos, music -- he could purchase these with cooperation.
Not now. His lawyer, Miriam Siefer (who has represented terrorists before), will advise him to stay silent. We will learn nothing of other plots Abdulmutallab might have provided leads to, and nothing of the whereabouts of his supposed mentor, American-born Yemen resident Anwar al-Awlaki -- the imam who also incited the Fort Hood killer, had contact with two of the Sept. 11 terrorists, and who has been described by Al-Arabiya as "the bin Laden of the Internet."
Speaking of Yemen, in the mad scramble to close Guantanamo by Obama's self-imposed deadline, just this month the administration released six detainees to ... Yemen, with the promise of 34 more to come. Well, didn't the Bush administration release two Yemenis to Saudi Arabia who later moved to Yemen and continued jihad? Answer: Yes. Here's another question: Why didn't the Obama administration study that failure?
And here's one more question: How does an over-grand, overreaching would-be messiah learn the humility to at least put first things first?
If we cant catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didnt check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
Liberals are incapable of learning from examples that contradict their ideology.
Well, this lady's not gettin' away with any funny business, that's for sure!
Impeach Barack Obama. Court martial the CinC.
Who will protect us from our protectors?
I feel safer knowing the TSA is on the job! :)
You would not believe what intel remains in someone’s e-mail inbox unopened and ignored because they don’t believe it to be important.
I call on everyone to stop flying until this simple demand is met: The screening is devoted to identifying terrorists rather than objects at our airports - do the profiling, bomb-sniffing dogs, background checking, whatever it takes. No one has a right to fly. It’s a business, and needs to get its act together before I’ll ever step on board again — 99.9999999999999999999% of us just want to go from here to there and not be harassed, prodded, patted, wanded, and demeaned into the sheep we are rapidly becoming. Dowd is right - if the authorities couldn’t stop the panty bomber, then there simply is no hope under the current system. We have got to stop cooperating and hit the airlines in the pocketbook, or nothing will change.
Airlines could hire private security for much less cost than the government.
Security screening could start at the ticket counter. Based on a set of parameters each ticket agent could issue tickets with a flag code on the boarding pass that would alert security screeners of suspicions for each individual flight according to passenger attitude, dress, and destination/ origin.
TSA could be charged with the intelligence part of screening (I know, government and intelligence are an oxymoron) and monitoring facial recognition software and other security aspects like luggage handling. And air marshals.
Give TSA a job they might be more competent to handle.
It seems that in many cases it takes 3-5 government employees to do the job of one civilian.
It's not like Obama appointed "Incompetano" or anything.
I haven’t flown since 2003 because of the BS. When airports start treating everyone as equal with this faux screening act, I may reconsider.
Travel within our nation is a fundamental liberty that shall not be infringed upon for our citizens. Non citizens need to be screened. Especially the ones who board out of country.
And double down on anyone Muslim.
I'm a fan of Mona Charon. Nevertheless, smart people sometimes say stupid things. The only part of this juxtaposition of words that makes sense is the part that implies that the failure wasn't Bush's fault.
If she would kindly explain what failure we are talking about we might be on to something. It was amazing to me then and more so now that people forget what happened then. When Katrina's fury abated the word on the street was 'we dodged another bullet.' Then the next day the levies failed. So I guess there was really a failure, but only of inanimate nouns.
Within a couple of hours Navy and Coast Guard Helicopters were patrolling and looking for people to rescue. Who knows or cares after that who did the directing or how they went about it. Resources were brought to bear to help people with ever increasing intensity such that aid unprecedented in the history of the world was taken to the points of greatest need. This was brought to equilibrium within 96 hours.
That bears repeating. It was an ever increasing flow of needed needed goods and services and brought to overwhelming dimensions within 96 hours.
I'd like Mona or anyone else to tell me how anyone has ever done better in the history of the world after the world was told 'we dodged another bullet.'
On the other hand, the Detroit airliner attack was a failure of Obama security POLICY, a policy and national protection emphasis that changed from the Bush Administration.
Then he's an idiot. Anyone who has ever worked for or with the government knows that this just isn't the case. Inside the government are some good people. Clever, even brilliant, driven, and dedicated people. There are a lot of drones too, a lot of people "retired in place." As a whole, and in general on any given endeavor, the government is the least efficient, most clumsy, and most likely to screw things up via unintended consequences of any organization I've ever seen.
Don't diagree with you, but most of the New Orleans flooding could have been prevented if there had been flood gates (closure structures) on the lake ends of the outfall canals. There are now and have been since a few months after Katrina, closure structures on the lake ends of the outfall canals. The cost of these facilities seems to be approximately that of a city block of homes and could have at any time before Katrina by local, state, or national government.
“Well, didn’t the Bush administration release two Yemenis to Saudi Arabia who later moved to Yemen and continued jihad? Answer: Yes. Here’s another question: Why didn’t the Obama administration study that failure?”
Because it was NOT a failure for the ilamic terrorists and that is just fine with obamanation. He should be tried as a co-conspirator who is doing everything in his power to help them succeed.
Why are Muslim terrorists always represented by Jewish lawyers.