After the just-barely-failed bomb attack on a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's knee-jerk response was that the "system worked." With even leftists calling her to resign or be fired, Napolitano changed her tune, saying on Monday that the system "didn't work."
In a comment that would be funny if the situation were not literally life-and-death, she said her original declaration was "taken out of context." Just what was the context in which the system worked, Madame Secretary?
In a statement made from his holiday vacation to Hawaii (maybe to inspect his birth certificate?), Obama said that "This was a serious reminder of the dangers that we face and the nature of those who threaten our homeland." Yet, Obama is the man who wants to let a few dozen Guantanamo detainees return to Yemen, arguably the world's current leading petri dish for terrorist creation and training.
He called for a "thorough investigation" in tepid, almost blase remarks, making him look utterly unserious about protecting Americans.
He also said that the event proves that the citizens are more powerful "than an isolated extremist". But it no way was this guy "isolated" even though he was alone on the plane. He was using a sophisticated (even if old) explosive with a sophisticated detination device. He had to receive training and funding, and even assistance to get on the plane.
Napolitano's stupid statement serves to highlight, as Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News today, that she was in charge of the department which issued a report saying that America could face a real threat from returning American soldiers and from other Americans who don't see Obama as The One.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Administration "immediately indicted Mr. Abdulmutallab on criminal charges of trying to destroy an aircraft, despite reports that he told officials he had ties to al Qaeda and had picked up his PETN explosive in Yemen. The charges mean the Nigerian can only be interrogated like any other defendant in a criminal case, subject to having a lawyer present and his Miranda rights read."
Are those the actions of a government which cares as much about keeping its citizens alive as it cares about apologizing for the nation or increasing the US's worldwide popularity by emphasizing how we're no longer interested in being strong?
It didn't help the Administration's case when they argued that the would-be bomber wasn't on quite a serious enough database to have been kept off a flight...even though he was on a federal watch-list because his father, a well-to-do banker in Nigeria, warned the US just recently about his son's radical turn.
In the meantime, this event -- compounded by the Administration's ridiculous reaction -- is red meat to Republicans. As it should be -- the Administrations actions and reactions are little short of an utter abdication of the only fundamental role of a federal government: to protect citizens from being killed.
UPDATES: This same type of explosive was used in a terrorist attack by a bomber who arrived in Saudi Arabia from Yemen (but was not Yemenese). Quite conceivably the work of the same Al Qaeda cell as that which put the Christmas bomber to his task.
And, as Rusty noted in his comment, ABC News is reporting that "Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents." Again, as Rusty noted, this would have happened under the Bush Administration. But that fact is irrelevant. What is important is to see how these events impact Obama's stated plans to free Gitmo detainees, particularly those from Yemen.
As if releasing them weren't bad enough, here's the story: "American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an "art therapy rehabilitation program" and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials."
When will naive do-gooders realize that Islamofascists are not deep-down-nice people simply in need of a hug to extricate them from what must just be a phase of naughtiness?
The Left will spin the Gitmo release furiously, trying to direct all of the attention at the fact that Bush released them. But don't let them confuse you: that's not the point. The point is that we now have absolute proof what Gitmo detainees do when they leave. It doesn't matter if it's all of them.
As I've said before, if the government insists on releasing Guantanamo detainees, they should only release ones whom they are essentially certain were caught up in the net by accident. And even then, they should be released with the warning that if they are caught committing acts of terrorism or war against the US, they and their families will be killed and buried with pig blood. No second chances.
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