Kevin Bacon's bit in Animal House is spot on for this article.
Hilary Clinton's State Department failed to screen a potential terrorist from entering the US.
When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father in Nigeria reported concern over his son’s “radicalization” to the U.S. Embassy there last month, intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue. The young man’s name was added to the half-million entries in a computer database in McLean and largely forgotten.Moreover, the TSA and Dept Of Homeland Security (another useless department) has failed dismally. After all, the best Napolitano can say is they reacted "successfully after the event". Jonah Goldberg says "
The lack of attention was not unusual, according to U.S. intelligence officials, who said that thousands of similar bits of information flow into the National Counterterrorism Center each week from around the world. Only those that indicate a specific threat, or add to an existing body of knowledge about an individual, are passed along for further investigation and possible posting on airline and border watch lists. …
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) joined GOP critics in asking how the suspect was able to retain a U.S. visa — issued by the U.S. Embassy in London in 2008 — after his name appeared in the terrorist database.
“What happened after this man’s father called our embassy in Nigeria?” Lieberman asked. “What happened to that information? Was there follow-up to try to determine where this suspect was?”
White House officials struggled to explain the complicated system of centralized terrorist data and watch lists, stressing that they were put in place years ago by the Bush administration. Spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Obama has ordered reviews of the watch-list system and the airport explosives screening.
I watched her on three shows and each time she was more annoying, maddening and absurd than the previous 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.The emphasis is mine...
Napolitano has a habit of arguing that DHS is a first responder outfit. Its mission is to deal with "man-caused-disasters" afer 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.
Mrs. Napolitano, if the system had worked this man would never have gotten onto the aircraft without a passport. A passenger on the flight, one Kurt Haskell who boarded the plane at the same time as the terrorist says that an "Indian/Pakistani" looking man berated the ticket clerk into giving a ticket to the terrorist. So, NO! The system didn't work. Your endless regulations and screening obviously has failed...yet again. Your useless department has done nothing but add discomfort to travelers and hired idiots who can't do anything else...here's a link to The Hill that has a whole host of governement experts who agree that the system has failed. Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:
Yes -- in Bizarro World, where up is down, right is left, and a "system" supposedly designed to protect us instead breaks down completely and leaves passengers on a plane utterly defenseless.
What universe is this woman living in? I'll tell you -- it's the world of Washington, D.C., where the main occupation appears to be covering your own a[--]. How she could sit there and say that with a straight face reveals an iron will: too bad she didn't apply that will to actually doing her job.
Consider: the passengers on that plane were left completely on their own: no air marshalls were on board. Also consider that the would-be terrorist got on the plane without a passport (according to a passenger on the flight, one Kurt Haskell), and in spite of the fact that his own father had personally gone to our CIA and the US Embassy to warn them about his son's activities, and that he presented a risk.
We're fighting a war in two countries, simultaneously, on the dubious grounds that we are combatting "terrorism" -- and yet the terrorists apparently have no problem getting into this country. We're protecting the Afghan-Pakistani border from incursions by the Taliban-- but our own borders continue to be among the most porous in the world.
It's time to dissolve the Department of Homeland Security, discharge the useless bureaucrats and ignoramuses who man the "security checkpoints" whose sole basis is to harass travelers, not stop terrorist from traveling.
UPDATE: From Megan McArdle
No, what this points out is not that Napolitano is incompetent, but that our elaborate system of security theater is probably next to useless. I cannot imagine where this is going to end. No, actually, I can imagine all too well: with passengers checking all luggage and flying in specially issued hospital gowns. And when some enterprising terrorist manages to sneak through that cordon by swallowing his explosives, the TSA will tell us that "the system works" and start the cavity searches.