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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Separating Fact from Fiction in the Attempted Hijacking

The bombing plot story is all part of the most under reported story of the year. That's the story of the growing terrorist threat within Yemen. In fact, right now, there's a pseudo proxy war going on within Yemen between Iran and the West. At the same time, Al Qaeda is gaining a foothold there.

It's still not certain that the would be bomber is part of Al Qaeda but that becomes more and more certain daily.

The statement that was posted on the Internet; al-Qaida in the Saudi Arabia said the 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab coordinated with members of the group, an alliance of militants based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (born December 22, 1986) is a Nigerian man who allegedly tried to detonate an explosive or incendiary device on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25, 2009 which was en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan.

In fact, it appears that two of the planners were once residents of GITMO.

ABC News’ Brian Ross reported: “Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the Al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents.”

That's why the way our government has treated this following his arrest is that much more troubling. Farouk was arrested and put into our criminal system. Farouk is no criminal. What he attempted to do on that Northwest flight was no crime, but rather an act of way.

Because Farouk is in our criminal system, we can presume that his attorney has instructed him to stay silent. If, however, he were treated as an enemy combatant, our CIA/FBI would be interrogating him right now. So, if in fact he is part of a larger cell, we'd be getting that information as we speak.

Instead, he's likely invoked his right to remain silent and we're getting nothing from him. That's what Congressman Peter King has asked for.

The key question to answer is where in the government bureaucracy there was a breakdown. This guy's father ratted him out. You simply can't have a bigger red flag than that. So, why was he not on a do not fly list? That's the key question to answer. Of course, it will take days and weeks and months before we really have an answer. This incident can only be positive if that question is answered, the right people are held to account, and the problem is fixed.

This means the problems were all caused on the ground. So, right now, there's extra things being asked of people in the air. For instance, electronic devices are allowed to be used in less quantities. That adds a layer of inconvenience without resolving the main problem, which is keeping bad guys off our flights.

Finally, the most important question is whether or not Secretary Napolitano is up to the job. Her performance over the weekend was abysmal. Meanwhile, it's very likely that the communication breakdown was caused by her. Secretary Napolitano may need to be the first to go as a result.

With that said, it is, in my opinion, important to avoid turning this into a partisan witch hunt. Republicans have wasted no time doing this.

Republicans have wasted no time in attacking Democrats on intelligence and screening failures leading up to the failed Christmas Day bombing of Flight 253 — a significant departure from the calibrated, less partisan responses that have followed other recent terrorist activity.

The strategy — coming as the Republican leadership seeks to exploit Democratic weaknesses heading into the 2010 midterms — is in many ways a natural for a party that views protecting the U.S. homeland as its ideological raison d’etre and electoral franchise.

President Obama’s GOP critics have been emboldened during the past 48 hours by the stumbling initial response of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who spent Monday retracting her Sunday claim that “the system worked” in the aftermath of Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab’s near takedown of a jet ferrying nearly
300 people from Amsterdam to Detroit

I know how politics work. I get it. The problem with finger pointing is that it solves no problems. These are matters of life and death. Simply accusing Obama of incompetence and trying to use this incident to score points will weaken the President, strengthen the Republicans, but it will keep no one safe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

finger pointing solves lots of problems when the finger is pointing at the incompetents who are responsible.

Incompetano does not know what she is doing. Over Seas contingency operations, man caused disasters and focusing her attention on the oponents of the Obama administration is no way to protect the US against terrorism.