Official Bungling Led to Plane Attack
Examiner Editorial December 28, 2009
Nearly 300 passengers and crew members of Northwest Airlines flight 253 came within a heartbeat of being incinerated on Christmas Day because 23-year-old Nigerian Jihadist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab somehow smuggled explosives past sophisticated anti-terrorist security measures in Europe. That the passengers and crew members survived is because of Jasper Schuringa, a brave man from Amsterdam who prevented Abdulmutallab from detonating a bomb sewn into his underwear. The device was made of pentaerythritol tetranitrate, an explosive that has been around since before World War I. Three more factors in this near-tragedy deserve particular attention:
First, President Obama should demand the resignation of Secretary Janet Napolitano and fire her if she refuses to resign. It is clear from her comment that "the system worked" that Napolitano lacks the first clue about what is required to ensure safe commercial airline travel in an era defined by the war on terrorism. The system failed because an individual with known terrorist links successfully smuggled explosives on board a loaded commercial jet bound for the U.S. He did so by defeating screening measures in Amsterdam that mirror those used elsewhere in Europe and across the U.S. [More]
Obama will not fire Napolitano. That would be an admission that his choice for Homeland Security Secretary was yet another one of his miserable failures as president. She may be pressured to resign in order to take the focus away from Obama's own failure but he is not man enough to do it himself directly.
This is really offensive:
Security System Failed, Napolitano Acknowledges
By ERIC LIPTON and SCOTT SHANE
Published: December 28, 2009
WASHINGTON — The secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, said Monday that the thwarted bombing of a Detroit -bound airliner represented a failure of the nation’s aviation security system, not the success she and other administration officials had portrayed in comments over the weekend.
Ms. Napolitano said Monday on NBC’S “Today” that her remark the day before — “the system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days” — had been taken out of context. “Our system did not work in this instance,” she said. “No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.”
As criticism mounted that security lapses had led to a brush with disaster on the Christmas holiday, President Obama ordered a review on Sunday of the two major planks of the aviation security system — watch lists and detection equipment at airport checkpoints. Some members of Congress urgently questioned why, more than eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks, security measures could not keep makeshift bombs off airliners.
The White House press office said early Monday that President Obama would make a statement within hours from the Kaneoho Marine Base in Hawaii, according to The Associated Press.
The family of the suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, said Mondaythat they had been trying to locate him for weeks and had sought help from Nigerian and American officials. They said they would cooperate with an investigation.
His father, a prominent Nigerian banker and former government official, phoned the American Embassy in Abuja in October with a warning that his son had developed radical views, had disappeared and might have traveled to Yemen, American officials said, but the young man’s visa to enter the United States, which was good until June 2010, was not revoked.
Instead, the officials said Sunday, embassy officials marked his file for a full investigation should he reapply for a visa. And when the information was passed on to Washington, his name was added to 550,000 others with possible terrorist connections — but not to the no-fly list. That meant no flags were raised when he used cash to buy a ticket to the United States and boarded a plane, checking no bags.
So, Abdulmutallab boards a U.S.-bound airplane after paying CASH for the ticket and checking NO bags and "no flags were raised?" That spells "SYSTEM FAILURE" to me and anyone with a minimum of good judgment.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is a danger to the security of America. When she said just yesterday that the system had not failed, it was nothing but propaganda that flew so batantly in the face of reality that she was forced to lie about what she had said the day before. This is more than simply "backtracking." Secretary Napolitano's previous assertion that she was "taken out of context" when she said that the system had not failed is plain pathological. And the American "mainstream" media will let the Homeland "Security" Secretary get away with it.