The Buck Stops With Obama Bush

Uh-huh. That speech yesterday, where Obama tried to sound so tough and decisive, taking responsibility for the Christmas Undiebomber fiasco? Just more brazenly political *Blame Bush* boilerplate from the President. He just can’t help himself:

Taking a decidedly different tack from his predecessor in the face of a government failure, President Barack Obama on Thursday took the blame for shortcomings that led to a failed Christmas Day bombing plot, saying, “The buck stops with me.”

Aides to Obama signaled that he was consciously seeking to be the anti-Bush, airing the administration’s dirty laundry and stepping up to take his share of the responsibility.

Yes, of course, because President Bush never took responsibility for a single thing during his entire Presidency. And how “Kennedyesque” of Obama to take responsibility for intelligence failures (even though it was Harry Truman who said, “The buck stops here”) after calling it a “systemic failure” aka “Bush’s flawed system”, (which his team is valiantly fixing to keep us all safer). Gosh, maybe the American people will be so impressed with the responsible President, his poll numbers will shoot up like Kennedy’s did after he took full responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961. Not that there were any political calculations made in taking this “decidedly different tack”.

“The president also wanted to do something, I think, unusual today,” National Security Council Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said during a webchat after Obama’s speech.

“Not only was this a very quick accounting, not only did the president accept responsibility for it, but the president also wanted to do this as transparently as possible.”

If they want to be so transparent, perhaps they could explain, this:

The most “shocking” element of the report and Obama’s speech was that the president said he was ordering “specific responsibility for investigating all leads on high priority threats so that these leads are pursued and acted upon aggressively,” said former Clinton and Bush counter-terrorism director Richard Clarke. “That is a shock because we had such a follow-up system when I was there,” Clarke told ABC News.

State Department flacks are busy pointing fingers at other homeland security bureaucracies, namely the National Counterrerrorism Center, for failing to revoke the UndyBomber’s visa. Foggy Bottom held a press conference earlier this week to boast that it had finally taken responsibility and stripped Abdulmutallab of his golden entrance ticket. But where does the buck stop for granting the visa in the first place?

Why were leads for investigating high priority threats not pursued and acted upon by the Obama administration? That’s the question. And “Blame Bush” is not the answer.

MORE on this from Ace:

Obama: As Part of My Bold New Strategy For Combating Terror, I Hereby Order Intelligence Agencies to Do Something They Should Have Already Been Doing and Were Doing Under Bush– Following Up on Terrorist Tips

What order, or informal “suggestion,” by Obama overturned that previous system?

What the hell?

That Prowler report… the one that used an anonymous State Dept source,  is sounding more and more credible, isn’t it?

“We have agreements with a number of different countries that work with us cooperatively on intelligence matters,” says the State Department employee. “A number of the treaties work through our justice departments or foreign offices or intelligence and interior or homeland security agencies. Several departments here in Washington got the information from London and it didn’t trigger anything within our own system.

This employee says that despite statements from the Obama Administration, such information was flagged and given higher priority during the Bush Administration, but that since the changeover “we are encouraged to not create the appearance that we are profiling or targeting Muslims. I think career employees were uncomfortable with the Bush procedures and policies and were relieved to not have to live under them any longer.”

I think that would qualify as an “informal suggestion”.

It also explains why the same system that kept us safe after 9/11, failed under Obama.

James Carafano at the Foundry noted on January 2nd:

This is the same system that stopped the London-based terrorist plot in 2006. On that occasion, intelligence connected the dots; counterterrorism agents penetrated the conspiracy; Homeland Security developed countermeasures; and with international partners the U.S. took down the terrorists before any bomber got near a plane.

Obama had the same system at his disposal as the last president. One built between 2002 and 2008 in the aftermath of the first wave of terrorist attacks– 9/11; the anthrax letters; and Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. A system that President Bush drove day-in and day-out, 24-7-365 to find and stop terrorist threats before they got off the ground. That’s why the 2006 plot and 26 other plots since 9/11 (21 under the Bush presidency) were found out and stopped. What Obama did not explain is how it worked for the last president, but failed for him.


Michelle Malkin wonders why The State Dept. is getting a free pass?

…the reckless customer-service mentality prevails under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The department continues to operate the dangerous “Diversity Visa Lottery” program – handing out permanent residency visas (green cards) randomly to some 50,000 foreigners from “underrepresented” regions. The bipartisan visa lottery was championed by the late Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy and signed into law by Republican President George H. W. Bush in 1990. Although originally intended to give a leg up to Irish immigrants, most of the winners are now from non-Western countries – including several terrorist-sponsoring and terrorist-friendly nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Nigeria, and Yemen.

Hat tip: Hot Air Headlines where I found the snark of the day in the comments:

I’m surprised that Obama didn’t fly down to Crawford to stand in front of the ranch entrance to give his “The Buck Stops Here” speech.

jon1979 on January 8, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Another good one:


that word you keep using. i do not think it means what you think it means.

patriette on January 8, 2010 at 9:22 AM