...in the wake of the attempted underpants attack, it had become clear to the President and top advisers that before Christmas, the US government was in possession of "bits and pieces" of information, which, if they had been properly knitted together, "could have...allowed us to disrupt the attack or certainly to know much more about the alleged attacker in such a way as to ensure that he was on, as the President suggested in his statement, a no-fly list." In the briefing, the official identified three rough categories of information that the government had which could have been relevant to foiling the attack: information about Abdulmutallab and his plans, info about Al-Qaeda and their plans, and info "about potential attacks during the holiday period."
"We need to learn from this episode and act quickly to fix flaws in the system," Mr Obama said."When our government has information on a known extremist and that information is not shared and acted upon as it should have been, so that this extremist boards a plane with dangerous explosives that could have cost nearly 300 lives, a systemic failure has occurred.
"And I consider that totally unacceptable."
Yes, Obama, your administration's performance has been totally unacceptable. Tell us something we don't know.
The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism “man-caused disasters.” Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management.
And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term “war on terror.” It’s over — that is, if it ever existed.
Erick Erickson gives us more reasons to lose sleep:
Because the President is worried about being blamed [for the Christmas Day attack], the White House is trying to blame the CIA while at the same time undermining the CIA through a rush to publicize the Afghan attack.
Either this White House is willfully trying to sabotage the intelligence community or they are rank amateurs. I pray to God in Heaven it is the latter.
Let's revisit Dick Cheney's
bellicose rhetoric insightful analysis of Obama's willful ineptitude:
As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war...
Exit question: Is there any chance that Obama's vacation plans were shaped by the intelligence that was available before he made is trip?