Skip to comments.Counterterrorism chief: Officials 'didn't understand' intel
Posted on 01/09/2010 2:32:27 AM PST by JohnHuang2
The Obama administration has repeatedly said the failure to connect intelligence reports that might have prevented the Christmas Day bombing attempt was not because spy agencies failed to share information.
Instead, John Brennan, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, said top intel officials simply didn't understand all the intelligence pointing to a possible terrorist attack, which came true when a Nigerian national tried to blow up a U.S. airliner with a bomb in his underwear.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Obama -- Ready from Day 353!
For the past two weeks, Obama had been having so much trouble pretending to care that an airliner nearly blew up over Detroit on Christmas Day that even the "news" media noticed it, and have been frantically urging him to at least fake some 'concern'. After all, liberals fake it when they say things like, "I support the troops!"
But by Wednesday the White House had grown so confident that Obama, after rehearsing for days, had finally nailed down 'sincerity', that his flack James Jones was predicting the revelations in Obama's then-forthcoming terrorism speech will be "shocking", although the real shocker was Obama pronouncing the word "war" once or twice. (As a bonus shocker, the target of the "war" wasn't Fox News.)
Noticing that Obama's poll numbers are tanking, news media libbies wanted him to show some fire in the belly, but when it comes to passionately defending America from Muslim fanatics, Obama would have trouble figuring out how to set his own underwear on fire.
In response to the terrorist attack at the recruiting station in Little Rock, Obama had no response. In response to the Fort Hood terrorist attack, Obama issued shout-outs and refused to call it a terrorist attack. In response to the botched airline bombing, Obama went to the movies and golfing.
But Obama now says it's finally dawned on him that there's a war going on, so he announced that his new no-holds-barred, long-term strategy to win this war is . . . ordering improvements in airline safety!
As part of Obama's new get-tough approach on terrorists, Fox News is reporting that large numbers of air marshals will be loaned by the Secret Service, no doubt to keep an eye out for dangerous party crashers. Obama officials are scrambling to find more air marshals also from the immigration services, as part of U.S. policy of having no borders.
Showing she's now almost on top of things, Janet Napolitano announced at a presser Thursday that she didn't know al-Qaeda was operational in Yemen until she read it in Obama's mostly-redacted review. Then it turned out that U.S. intelligence had warned about this for some time. This info hadn't registered with Obama and Napolitano mainly because it wasn't clearly spelled out in crayons.
Still on deck in Obama's botched strategy to keep America safe:
-- Stepping up efforts and focusing like a laser beam on closing Guantanamo.
-- Launching a massive new effort to capture Dick Cheney.
-- Investigating CIA agents for being too rough with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, which caused Muslim feelings to get hurt.
-- Investigating CIA agents for the foul misdeed of keeping America safe for 7+ years. Or, until Obama took office.
-- Blaming Obama's incompetence on CIA agents.
-- Giving the crotch bomber Constitutional rights, a prayer rug and clean Pampers to try to dissuade people who think not slaughtering infidels is against their religion.
(In fairness, the State Department did finally revoke Abdulmutallab's visa. And he's still high on the "no-fly" list!)
-- Giving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a civilian trial to appease Muslims for slaughtering 3,000 of us on 9/11.
In fact, Obama's whole failed "national security" strategy is based on treating terrorists like criminals. Which means giving each an ACLU lawyer and a lollipop. And the right to vote. And conjugal visits. And cellphone use. And weekend furloughs. And college credit courses. And palatial facilities. And early release. And plea bargains. And endless appeals. And endless rehabilitation. Liberals have never been tough on criminals to begin with. They hold candlelight vigils for them.
-- Pulling out of Afghanistan next year as part of a troop "surge". Throughout the '08 campaign, Obama insisted Afghanistan was the war he liked -- as opposed to the Iraq war. Obama also promised his healthcare debacle would be done on C-Span.
In his speech, Obama droned endlessly about dots that weren't connected by the dolts he's collected in one administration. Since he'd have to fire himself as the chief dolt, no one gets fired. Obama's hand-picked director of National Intelligence -- Dennis Blair -- didn't know the flight number of the airliner that's been in the news since Christmas Day. Obama homeland security "adviser" John Brennan insists there was no smoking Muslim before the botched airline bombing. Janet Napolitano tried to reassure a jittery public by avoiding TV appearances for a few hours. Obama "Counterterrorism Center" honcho Mike Leiter hit the ski slopes the day after the failed bombing. As George Orwell would say, 'People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men like Mike Leiter stand ready on the ski slopes of major resorts to not connect the dots on their behalf.'
Yet, tinker with the "system" and airport screenings all you want but when you're a pantywaist wimp like Obama and your failed national security strategy boils down to closing Guantanamo and offering plea bargains to jihadists, an emboldened enemy feels it's got an easy go at attacking the homeland. President George W. Bush kept America safe after 9/11, not because of the Counterterrorism Center so much as the fatwa set fearing the crazy Texas warmongering cowboy would drop The Big One on their homeland. Better when your enemies fear you than when they see you're a wuss like Obama.
My Two Cents...
This clown car of an administration is going to get a whole lot of Americans killed. The World Trade Center disaster is going to look like a walk in the park.
What the Obama administration “doesn’t understand” about terrorist warning signs is going to get us all killed.
... top intel officials simply didn't understand all the intelligence pointing to a possible terrorist attack ...
Mr. Brennan must be familiar enough with bureaucracies to comprehend the amount of data coming into the intel agencies. How many of those dots actually made it to these top officials in a usable form? Hindsight is 20/20.
This was a case of collecting general information from a large area, not specifically targeting an individual. The friendly contacts in Yemen pass information (possibly only rumors) to the intelligence agent. The agent must sort out what should be filed away and what should be immediately passed up to the case officer. The case officer has to sift through all the reports coming in from a number of agents and again sift them for relevance before passing his report up the chain. If a rumor seems promising the case officer will send the agent a query asking for more information to verify the rumor.
Even with secure internet and satellite communications it takes time.
In the case of the pantybomber one dot came from Yemen, another came from Nigeria. Other dots were from other agencies. People point out that he was on a list of suspected terrorists but not the No Fly List. Its been mentioned that a misspelling of his name let him slip through; there is no standard English spelling of Arabic words. How long did it take our media to decide between Usama and Osama?
Yes, we want - and need - to be 100% efficient to ensure we are 100% safe, but as has been pointed out we have to be successful every time. Terrorists only have to be successful once. I think our agencies have been doing a fine job considering what they have to do often under adverse conditions - and asinine restrictions and pressure from our politicians.
There’s something to be said for first impressions. Brennan strikes me as a career bureaucrat who will sell his soul to anybody in power. A Washington slimeball who has been there way too long.
The slimeball now has a sidekick. Janet Incompetano.
We are doomed.
if they didn’t “understand” the intelligence, they all ought to be fired. and by the way, wasn’t Obama just
ranting and raving about the failure of our intelligence? seems to me that our intelligence agencies did very well collecting the information needed: the breakdown was that people had to believe and act on this information. the fish rots from the head down and if Obama doesn’t believe in the War on Terror, none of his peons will either.
Amazing, I thought everyone in the Obama government was supposed to be a certified genius capable of doing anything that might be called for and now they tell us they are far less competent than that idiot administration that was headed by George W. “Chimpy” Bush!
Quick, we need to bring in some Jethro DeBodine types who have a sixth grade education. Jethro would at least have sense enough to know that when somebody’s daddy tells you that his son has done gone nuts you ought to listen to him!
This outfit does not seem to be able to recognize dots, much less connect them.
How can this be? Isn't this herd of buffoons and low grade morons advertised to be the best and brightest?
Had the Underwear bomber simply ‘slipped through’ the security process, I would agree with you.
But he didn’t. He was detained from boarding the flight. He and the ‘well-dressed M.E. or Indian looking man’ went off to some officials office for further questioning as the Underwear bomber refused to speak, and didn’t want to show his passport. Later, he was escorted PAST security checkpoints and onto the plane.
The name of the official who ‘allowed’ him onto the plane with further ‘search’ and without revealing his passport has not been released to the public.
What went on in that official’s office, has not been released. Perhaps he took a bribe.
Later, he was escorted PAST security checkpoints and onto the plane.
That happened at a checkpoint over which we have no control. Another dot from yet another country that should have somehow been connected!
Where's that crystal ball when we really need one?