This year already promises to be chock full of political antics and gesturing guaranteed to leave you with that “I think I just threw up in my mouth” feeling. We’re 11 days into 2010 and dominating local and national media outlets is the terror bombing attempt on Christmas Day. President Obama put on a brave face and laid the blame for the failed intelligence that could have entirely prevented the bombing attempt at his feet with a noble declaration: “I’m less interested in passing out blame than I am in learning from and correcting mistakes to make us safe. For ultimately, the buck stops with me.” Very noble, but just that and nothing more.
Should you need a quick refresher, highlights from the massive intelligence breakdown allowing this incident – several stemming from human errors – looks a bit something like this:
- Would-be bomber Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab’s name was reportedly misspelled throughout the intelligence report.
- Also, in the report, the flight number of the plane leaving Detroit with Mr. AbdulMutallab on board was listed as 153 in when it was actually flight number 253.
- The recorded date of correspondence with AbdulMuttalab’s father (who reached out to sound warning bells about his son’s potential actions) was recorded as November 18th when it was, in fact, the 19th.
Immediately following the incident, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano hailed the foiled attempt as a sign that “the system worked.” Yeah, if we’re now solely relying on our passengers to apprehend suspiciously-behaving fellow travelers. Her faulty logic speaks to our larger shortcoming in regards to our national defense strategy. So far, every measure we’ve taken to strengthen security has been reactionary. When a deranged man attempted to blow himself up at an airport through his shoes, we decided all passengers must remove shoes at the security checkpoint. When the crazies tried to assemble a liquid bomb aboard a plane, we vastly decreased the amount of liquid each passenger can store in their carry-ons. Now, we’re implementing full-body scanners at airports to detect explosives and other hidden objects on people’s bodies. These are all good efforts. I’m fine with the inconveniences if it means safer flying standards for us all, but reactive measures alone will only lend to a lazy, shortsighted and costly approach to securing the safety and infrastructure of a nation.
It was a nice gesture on Mr. Obama’s part to remind us that any failure is one that ultimately rests with him but no heads rolled for the series of screaming errors that lead to this perfect storm. Instead, the same intelligence team has now been tasked with reforming our current security system. Using yourself as the scapegoat, Mr. President, is not a genuine measure of transparency. So, cut the fat and sink our hard-earned tax dollars into more venerable intelligence efforts, like infiltrating the sh*t out of Al Qaeda and scaling terrorist outfits, lest this incident, coupled with the detestable Salahi fiasco and your insistence on trying known 9/11 terrorists as civilians (in New York, no less) cause the world to think this administration’s approach to security reckless.
Posted by Elizabeth