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Monday, December 28, 2009

What A Mess

One day after proclaiming on national television that allowing the would be terrorist on the Northwest flight wasn't a security breakdown, Secretary Napolitano backtracked.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has backed off comments she made on Sunday on CNN saying that "the system worked" in response to questions about how a would-be-bomber got explosive material aboard a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day. "Obviously this individual should not have gotten on the plane carrying that material. And we can explain all of the reasons, but they're not satisfactory," Napolitano said on CBS' "The Early Show" Monday.

Meanwhile, it took all of twenty four hours for conservatives to put the blame square on the shoulders of the Obama administration.

There is a reason why Obama hasn’t given a public statement. It’s strategy.Here’s the theory: a two-bit mook is sent by Al Qaeda to do a dastardly deed. He winds up neutering himself. Literally.

Authorities respond appropriately; the President (as this president is want to to) presides over the federal response. His senior aides speak for him, letting reporters know that he’s videoconferencing regularly, that he’s ordering a review of terrorist watch lists, that he’s discoursing with his Secretary of Homeland Security.

But an in-person Obama statement isn’t needed; Indeed, a message expressing command, control, outrage and anger might elevate the importance of the deed, would generate panic (because Obama usually DOESN’T talk about the specifics of cases like this, and so him deciding to do so would cue the American people to respond in a way that exacerbates the situation

That, coincidentally, is how long it took for the Obama administration to declare that this was NOT part of a larger terrorist plot. That's 22 hours more than it took the Obama administration to initially declare that the Fort Hood shooting was NOT an act of terror. Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin claims this is proof that Jihadis aren't motivated by poverty.

The Nigerian elite enginnering student studied at one of Britain’s leading universities, “lived a gilded life” and “stayed in a £2m flat.”

The Independent says Abdulmatallab’s privileged status is “surprising” — “a very different background to many of the other al-Qa’ida recruits who opt for martyrdom.”

Actually, there’s nothing surprising about it. The only surprise is that so many supposedly informed people — from British journalists to our own commander-in-chief — continue to perpetuate the myth of the poor, oppressed jihadist.

Note to Michelle Malkin, UBL is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million. If the folks that believe this nonsense aren't swayed by UBL's personal fortune, they aren't going to be swayed by this particular story.

There's calls for investigations everywhere. Yet, we still don't know how this guy got on the plane. This guy's own father turned him in. If that's not a red flag, nothing is. Of course, this is a system wide breakdown.

What we have now though is complete and total political posturing and opportunism. Pundits, pols, and editors alike are all jumping over themselves to draw a higher analysis from this. Surprise, surprise, eveyone's analyses are pretty much in line with their own preconceived notions. Republicans are dying to call this a failure of homeland security by an incompetent White House. Liberals are dying to call this an isolated incident by one lone nut.

It's not even 72 hours. How can anyone draw any conclusions yet? Yet, they all are. Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

1 comment:

AG said...

If you're looking for a break from the usual talking points, perhaps I can offer some insight.

So this guy flew in to DTW from Amsterdam-Schipol, right? Well, I've flown through that airport before. I can tell you from personal experience that on flights arriving from countries where aircraft security isn't particularly reliable, they route all travelers getting off the plane through airport security before being allowed to enter the airport, the same kind you get when you're first boarding your aircraft.

It appears to me that if anyone should have been able to stop this guy, it should have been the Dutch.