Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the thwarting of the attempt to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit airline flight Christmas Day demonstrated that “the system worked.”
Asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” how that could be possible when the young Nigerian who has been charged with trying to set off the bomb was able to smuggle explosive liquid onto the jet, Napolitano responded: “We’re asking the same questions.”
Jonah Goldberg is in high dudgeon:
I watched her on three shows and each time she was more annoying, maddening and absurd than the pevious appearance. It is her basic position that the “system worked” because the bureaucrats responded properly after the attack. That the attack was “foiled” by a bad detonator and some civilian passengers is proof, she claims, that her agency is doing everything right. That is just about the dumbest thing she could say, on the merits and politically. I would wager that not one percent of Americans think the system is “working” when terrorists successfully get bombs onto planes (and succeed in activating them). Probably even fewer think it’s fair that they have to take off their shoes, endure delays and madness while a known Islamic radical — turned in by his own father — can waltz onto a plane (and into the country). DHS had no role whatsoever in assuring that this bomb didn’t go off. By her logic if the bomb had gone off, the system would have “worked” since it has done everything right.
Captain Ed noted:
Napolitano has a habit of arguing that DHS is a first responder outfit. Its mission is to deal with “man-caused-disasters” after they occur. It appears she really believes it. If the White House wants to assure people that it takes the war on terror seriously (a term Robert Gibbs used this morning by the way), they could start by firing this patently unqualified hack.
I understand the disgust with Napolitano, but why would Obama fire her if this is in fact his own policy she’s echoing?
What if this question were put to Obama?:
President Obama, Janet Napolitano is under fire for her weak response to the Christmas bomber story. Do you agree with her assertion that “the system worked”?
Wouldn’t his answer be something like this? (Complete with gratuitous Bush dig):
Obama: Yes, because the first thing we did was make sure that we had an effective emergency response, something that the Bush administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans. And I think that we have to review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack.
The second thing was to make sure that we’ve got good intelligence, A., to find out that we don’t have other threats and attacks potentially out there, and B., to find out, do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network.
But what we can’t do is then alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast. Instead, the next thing we would have to do, in addition to talking to the American people, is making sure that we are talking to the international community. Because as already been stated, we’re not going to defeat terrorists on our own. We’ve got to strengthen our intelligence relationships with them, and they’ve got to feel a stake in our security by recognizing that we have mutual security interests at stake.
The above was actually Obama’s notoriously bad answer (slightly modified) to this question during the April 26, 2007 primary debate:
…if, God forbid a thousand times, while we were gathered here tonight, we learned that two American cities have been hit simultaneously by terrorists and we further learned, beyond the shadow of a doubt it had been the work of Al Qaida, how would you change the U.S. military stance overseas as a result?
You may remember that all of the other Democrat candidates, even Silky Pony had stronger, and more competent answers to that question. Obama’s focus was on “first responders” and making nice with the “world community”.
The episode was just one of many, many warning signs about Obama that the American people chose to ignore.
It turns out that Obama’s outreach to the world community has in fact made us less safe, and it was not the Obama administration’s crack intelligence, but only dumb luck, along with the courageous actions of a passenger that saved the flight from devastation.
Obama’s stance on the “war on terror” is if by some freak chance a man made disaster occurs, we are to take a defensive posture.
Oh, of course:
Robert Gibbs and Secretary Napolitano made clear that we are pressing ahead with securing our nation against threats and our aggressive posture in the war with al Qaeda. We are winding down a war in Iraq that took our eye off of the terrorists that attacked us, and have dramatically increased our resources in Afghanistan and Pakistan where those terrorists are.
They still have no idea how petty and small this makes them look?