December 29, 2009

Heckuvajob, Napolitano

Posted: 06:11 PM ET

by Reihan Salam via The Daily

Janet Napolitano says there's no indication the failed Detroit attack was part of a broad international effort. The DHS secretary will likely survive her "the system worked" flub. The real damage, Reihan Salam says, is to Democrats' 2010 chances now that the GOP has a new opening for white voters.

Of all President Obama's cabinet members, Janet Napolitano was until recently a good bet for the most likely to succeed. As the popular Democratic governor of Arizona, long considered a deep-red bastion of Goldwaterite conservatism, she had already demonstrated tremendous political prowess. Indeed, she was touted by many as a potential running mate for Obama or as a giant-killer who could defeat John McCain in a Senate race. As a tough prosecutor during the Clinton years, she had a pitch perfect resume for a New Democrat: tough on drug dealers, but also tough on white-collar criminals. And as governor of a state that includes a large Latino population and more than a few rock-ribbed right-wingers, she was also unusually good at finessing the always-tough issue of border security.

That is undoubtedly why the president named her as his pick for the thankless job of heading the bureaucratic ass-covering monstrosity we like to call the Department of Homeland Security. Looking ahead to 2010 and 2012, the White House had good reason to expect that immigration reform would be the issue to watch, and there was no better choice than a tough-as-nails, super-competent border state governor to mind the store. But then came the case of the explosive underpants.

(Read More)

Filed under: Crime • Larry King Live • Politics • President Obama

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A. Smith, Oregon   December 29th, 2009 6:33 pm ET

Why isn't the well dressed man of Indian decent that talked for the Nigerian bomber at the Amsterdam security gate and convinced them to board that man on a International Flight to America without a passport which was witnessed by two passengers on that flight, NOT on America's Most Wanted Fugitive List?

Why isn't that mans photo taken at Amsterdam's Security gate being released to the public?

That man should be on the FBI most wanted list, he obviously didn't take the flight himself which certainly suggests he knew the man he was helping had a bomb.

Something is very wrong here, American's should demand that man be apprehended and for the security photos of him to be released to the public.

joe,nj   December 29th, 2009 7:50 pm ET

Stop blaming the US of A for evrything that happens.
The foul-up happened IN THE NETHERLANDS. Are we going to be responsible for every airport in the world?

jandbby   December 29th, 2009 7:58 pm ET

Who ever sold the ticket to the would-be bomber is probably part of this conspiracy.

In Nigeria, it is impossible to buy a one-way ticket to the United States or Canada unless you show a valid green or permanent resident card. How then was this man able to purchase a one-way ticket in Ghana for a trip that is outbound from Nigeria? He obviously had help and those people (KLM or their agents) should be held accountable as well.

Simonsays/Orlando   December 29th, 2009 8:11 pm ET

I hope the brave common citizens that stopped him read him his rights or he will go free on a technicality. After all he's not an enemy combatant, just a common criminal with the same rights as anybody else under our justice system. Kind of like getting a parking ticket.

A. Smith, Oregon   December 29th, 2009 8:14 pm ET

@ Joe, who is going to have the clout to tell Amsterdam's Security Supervisors to ignore the legal fact that the Nigerian bomber had NO PASSPORT and allow him to board a jetliner bound for America?

No Amsterdam official would nor could do that. ONLY a US State Dept. Diplomat or a US Gov. Agent would be able to do that and those alone.

Dave   December 29th, 2009 8:43 pm ET

Simple and NOONE has addressed it or considered it.

There simply is a CIA leak and someone withheld information and wanted this man to board the plane.

Houston? We have a problem.........

Mark   December 29th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

Muslims should be required to fly on there own chartered planes. If they want to kill people let them kill there own. For decades they have been blowing up planes. Maybe they will think twice about blowing up there own planes.

Gretchen   December 29th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

WE should fire all CIA agents and start new,they can not be trusted.To many failures that could have proved tp be deadly to our president and thousands of Americans because if that plan would have crashed not only the people on the flight would have dies but the people on the ground.This is not the Prsidents fault this has nothing to do with his response time,let's not fool ourselves this is a CIA FAILURE they arer not doing their job.Or thwey themselves couild be the enemy.After all in most cases the enemy is always inside,where they can do the most damage.CNN reported in 2008 that the CIA had issues of racism could that carry over to our new President.Yes it's a conspiracy theory,but could it be they are setting him up to look weak or to be killed? At any rate everyone's eyes should be opened

Diane   December 29th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

All inbound flights to the U.S. should be subject to full body scans. If any airport does not comply because of privacy issues, entry should not be permitted period.

Stan, Canada   December 29th, 2009 10:15 pm ET

I can fathom why the CIA or other agencies don't share the intelligence. If you want funding, you want to be the one (agency) that brings in the terrorists, or completes the mission, by sharing the accolades amongst all the agencies, you don't get credit. It's human nature unfortunately. The same happens when publishing journal articles in medicine, scientific research etc.

K3N   December 29th, 2009 10:15 pm ET

"He who trades liberty for security deserves neither and will lose both."
-Thomas Jefferson

Why is CNN not covering these issues revealed in interviews with passengers from the flight?

1) The suspect had no ID or travel documents and was escorted and allowed on due to the persuasion of a well dressed Indian-looking man. Who was this man and what was his role here?
2) A man on the flight was witnessed videotaping the suspect and his actions during the failed attempt. Who was this man and what was his role here and what does this video show?
3) After the plane landed the passengers were left on the plane for several minutes while there could still be explosives or fire near the fuel tanks in the wings.
4) After the passengers were taken off of the plane, they were sequestered and an hour into this bomb dogs were brought in and alerted on a bag owned by a man who was seized and escorted out in handcuffs. Then the officials moved the rest of the passengers mentioning it was due to what they just witnessed (for safety). Who was this man and what was his role here?

I think the CIA is covering up a black op from other agencies here. Good op to stoke up support for public military action in Yemen. What sheep!

former atheist   December 29th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

This incident is just another stitch in the cloth of the Apocalypse. The RAPTURE is coming. Find peace with Jesus. The world will never make you happy. if you can't see what's really going on, then I will pray for you . Take my house, my job, my family, but you can't take Jesus
from me. Stop blaming Bush and Obama, it's meant to be. Accept that fact. God is in control.

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

Janet Napolitano is to blame now?

Pat Levitt   December 29th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

Dan Burton should resign for fabricating stories. He hasn't one clue about where information was passed. No one knows yet. Did he ask for Bush administration resignations after the Shoe Bomber in 2001? He is an embarrassment to elected officials.

cherie spells   December 29th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

so we know suspect was emotionaly challenged and he had an alleged guide that day who is he?? and at one time did the us goverment want to replace the cia with another group ?? We need to have one specified unit to work these types of actions and disperse the info to others syuch as the cia and so on. their are to many in betweens and we need to re establish our links with the europeans and others on communications and so forth dont just expect things to happen act and follow up

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

Those that speak of security matters without being privy to classified information are accounted as fools. Only those that are CURRENTLY employed within the federal government should be providing up to the minute data on national security.

Gabor   December 29th, 2009 10:29 pm ET

1 Janet Napolitano Should resign.
2 Whose desk was the file sitting on for 5 weeks?
3 These Government workers are to busy to do their job. ( Have you ever tried to call a government office ? They are always away from their desk.)
4. Thank God the Airplane landed safely.
5. If these Government agency workers would have common sense the United States would be a lot safer.
However mothers have been made to drink their own milk on airports, 7 year old children are on the NO FLYING LIST, and don't forget
TOM RIDGE advised the American people to buy duct tape and plastic covers in case of a terrorist attack.
I wonder how these people get these jobs?

Ako   December 29th, 2009 10:31 pm ET

If the suspect is on a watch list.I think the best thing is to match the airline manifest to this watch list for matching strings for all incoming flights. At least in this case the authorities would have been aware this guy was coming in on that flight and so he would have been watched carefully.

eve   December 29th, 2009 10:31 pm ET

I wish Candy was on Fox. She's an Obama hater and not a very attractive one.

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:31 pm ET

Ben Stein the Head of State should not be undermined at a time of WAR. The WORLD is watching.

eve   December 29th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

Foreign countries operate different than us. Stop blaming the US. Candy needs to go.

Jean   December 29th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

Why should the Homeland Security quit? There are other administrative staff who are responsible. In the case of this Nigerian whose father lodged a complaint about his activities, I can surmise that if he did nothing wrong he was not a suspect. This is the attitude of Law authorities. It appears that the person has to harm or murder someone before they take action and then it is too late.
Immigration at the Amsterdam airport should be held responsible for allowing this Nigerian to travel to the US without a passport. Specifically since 9-11 it is unheard of that someone would travel to the US of all places without a valid passport. There was also some negligence on the part of every immigration officer at the airports he had to pass through and to board the Delta plane. He must have got some help in order to be successful.

Gretchen   December 29th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

Ben Stein is a fool,WTF are you talking about,are you kidding a polo shirt shows if you are serious or not. I guess if Bush would have been in a polo shirt when he kept reading about that freakin goat while americans were being blown to bits,I guess we would not have been so frightened.Stop trying to pour this crap on Obama.

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

White people in America need to understand that BLACKS including Prez. OBAMA do not speak when angry we act.

Kirby   December 29th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

Can anyone shed some light on why the airport in Amsterdam has not made a statement on this? After all, it was their security who let the man thru. Perhaps because it was a US airline, the fault lies with them, but I would think Schiphol Intl.would at least make some sort of statement about all this. Strange that they haven't, unless they have something to hide.

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

By the way congratulations to TED TURNER for being the only broadcast ceo to be on the side of minorities. He puts money in our pockets and thats change GOD can believe in.

Diane   December 29th, 2009 10:40 pm ET

Entry into any country is a privilege and not a right. It should be up to each independent country to set whatever standards if feels to keep safety a priority. So I dont think quoting Thomas Jefferson in this case applies. My position remains the same; full body scans to all U.S. inbound flights.

Gretchen   December 29th, 2009 10:40 pm ET

Also President Obama don't have to sale "wolf tickets" We all knowq already that we are in two wars.Pounding of the chest and telling the enemy what you are going to do to them,just gives them a "heads up".
The President will show what he is made of,his manhood is on display.It's a coward that talks big and then loses the fight.

Dr. Robert S. Brooks   December 29th, 2009 10:41 pm ET

While the terrorist (on the do not fly list) should not have been allowed on plane, the security checks took place in Nigeria, and Amsterdam where US intelligence has no authority. why are the republicans blaming Janet and Obama? Remember Obama has been in office for a year, most of the lack of communication has happened under the Bush Watch.

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

Ben Stein is making us safer with his comments. Shout out to Lamont.

Marla   December 29th, 2009 10:44 pm ET

From my view I see a button down Oxford stripe shirt with a suit jacket...I recall Bush in jeans and cowboy boots. Why do you bother with such dribble, Ben.

inga Peters   December 29th, 2009 10:45 pm ET

Tell that Congressman, that we could have never landed on Normandy Beach, the way we have no secrets in the County today. Everyone should keep there bloody lips shut. For got sakes CNN tells everyone everythihng that we are doing. Its amazing that CNN has'nt yet reported what time of day the President goes done the hall.

Cnn if you are going to be the WORLD WIDE NEWS INFO STATION, THEN ACT LIKE IT The MSM sucks

kevin   December 29th, 2009 10:46 pm ET

Stein - to say we need to fight the terrorists like we fought the Nazis sounds good at first - good to take them seriously - but the truth is the situations aren't very analogous, and fighting the war like a traditional on - as the ignorant Rumsfeld et al did - is a huge part of why we're in this compromised position now.

Robbie   December 29th, 2009 10:47 pm ET

Personally, and respectfully, the people you have commenting on what happened Christmas Day on the plane, leave me speechless.

You are all idiots. You CAN take the politics out of this if the media, including CNN and other networks, reporters, and pundits just responsibly gave people the news.

Sen. Burton has an agenda. Ben Stein has an agenda.

Candy, I thought you were a lot smarter than this. Why not compare this to Richard Reid? What would your pundits say then?

I, and others, are totally sick of the Republicans politicizing anything and everything President Obama says and does.

The kind of reporting that just took place on CNN should be shown in a Journalism 101 class – on what not to do.

marie   December 29th, 2009 10:47 pm ET

DHS Secretary Napolitano said last year that all the 9/11 terrorists entered the US from Canada. This, of course as everyone knows, was totally false – NONE entered the US from Canada. As head of DHS, should she not have known this? Maybe someone should point out to her, before she perpetuates this myth once again, that this terrorist was on a flight from Amsterdam, you think she will know where the Netherlands are....?

How can someone who is obviously not "on top of things".... be in such a position?

Beatriz Tagle   December 29th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

I whish the republicans stop playing politics and take their share of the blame, as during the Bush administration they accepter the level of incompetence the CIA has demostrated for many many years. In every comment they make it is evidence that it is more important the politics than the national interest.

Kenneth   December 29th, 2009 10:51 pm ET

What on earth is Rep Burton talking about?What does he have against napolitano?She made mistakes,who hasn't?Does that justify why a highly placed congressman is on live television speaking half truths?The terror suspect,the spoiled brat,whatever his name is,did not buy a one way ticket.Second,in the part of the world where the ticket was bought and in case noone knows,it was purchased in Accra Ghana.Of the three major credit cards;Amex,mastercard and Visa,only visa might be recognizable in that part of the world because that is what the people seek in order to leave the country,not to make payments. Cash is the common form of payment.Frequent flyers like iam sure the terror suspect is travel light.That is not uncommon sight at any airport.The US demands the manifest of any flight entering the US,what is the use?

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:52 pm ET

Where is the republican party and their responsibility to the American people. How are their constituents faring during these times. Who is the head of the GOP Jeffrey Sessions or Eminem (MM). They complain of unemployment numbers, Who did they help find a job. They complain of the deficit, yet they voted for two wars and cant support healthcare. I HOPE that the party of no solutions or ideas at least make their way to see their PCP before venturing out on OLD Appalachia.

karen valencic   December 29th, 2009 10:55 pm ET


You are awesome! Thanks for your great work sitting in for Larry.

Karen Valencic

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 10:55 pm ET

Jasper is a hero?

Ron Sime   December 29th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

It seems to me all our counter-terrorist approaches are knee jerk reactions to whatever happened last!

It is absolutely absurd to have airline passengers have to remain seated for the final hour of every flight – the next terrorist will simply move up the attack earlier in the flight!

The economy is in the tank and this poorly thought out response to this latest attack will do nothing for the airline/travel industry .

We need people who can think like terrorists developing the security approach not bureaucrats simply closing the barn door after the horse has gone!

What a terrible waste of tax payer money – we are no safer today than we were prior to 9/11!

Robbie   December 29th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

One more point. The remarks that Janet Napolitano made Sunday morning are consistently being taken out of context.

She said that AFTER the event happened, the system worked. That is the passengers subdued him, the flight attendants held him down, security took over.

She was not speaking about how and why this man got on the plane.

The only network to point out how Ms. Napolitano's remarks are being misconstrued is MSNBC –

Just another instance where the media fails to be good journalists.

Maybe you should stick to Jon Gosselin, et. al.

Johnny   December 29th, 2009 10:58 pm ET

Great job Candy first to Ben Stein about Obama not being in a tie with his suit President Bush spend a third of his presidency at Crawford Texas in jeans cowboy boots and a shirt didnt hear Ben complaining about that Obama is on vacation second It took Bush nine days to give a speech on the Shoe bomber when that failed incident happened you wont hear that from Rep Burton or any one else from the right some one please tell Ed Henry that bit of information too the hypocrisy and blame game in Washington is amazing . No wonder no one believes anything from the Congress or some in the media. The problem is still the same problem turf battles between agencies and no one talking to the other with the little pieces of information to fit the puzzle to solve possible terror incidents before they happen We really need to come together as a country and stop fighting each other with petty issues before something big really happens

Wale Falodun   December 29th, 2009 11:00 pm ET

America is unlike what many HOPED it would be with the election and the progress provided by a transformational president and his administration. White people are crying because of their laziness. ITS SICK.

David Leininger   December 29th, 2009 11:05 pm ET

Piling on is easy....providing useful suggestions is not. Fortunately the current event produced nothing more than frightening moments. There are lessons that will be learned and solutions that will be applied. Databases will get better as will screening. But no single process will ever be foolproof. Let's hope that successful solutions do not make air travel so unpleasant that we destroy the economy and way of life we are trying to protect.

anthony   December 29th, 2009 11:06 pm ET

Do anyone here think the United States should pay for the way they are currently treating African Americans? They are telling them to go back to Africa and no one is talking about it.

Diane   December 29th, 2009 11:14 pm ET

It’s inconceivable a suspect charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft would only face a maximum sentence of 20 yrs? How about attempted premeditated murder of 300 innocent civilians? That should deserve Life in prison

Atlena   December 29th, 2009 11:23 pm ET

Calm down, all of you consevative,capitalist folks, not to worry Obama has your back. He reminds me of a Oprah-kind-of-man, all for you guy's, scared to make a right decision, and will make the money, and go. Have no fear he does not give a hoot about you black folks,(Did oprah?, got her billions and is gone, so will your b-- pres. just lol. folks.) But one can not say we did not have a BLACK Pres.for what its worth. He has no power!!!!!!!

Diane   December 29th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

It is not piling on; just use the resources that are currently available? Amsterdam had in its possession full body image scanning machines but do to privacy issues did not use them. My stance is firm, full body scans to all inbound US Flights.

Deena Glover   December 29th, 2009 11:53 pm ET

Let's take an opportunity to Think Outside the Box: To obtain all background info, motivational reasoning and individual connections associated with the Nigerian, ask him who he most absolutely adores and idolizes in the U.S. entertainment industry, i.e., Beyonce, Michael Jordan or whoever. Then, get the superstar(s) to "chat," (conduct the interrogation) with the Nigerian to gain every detail that would advance the U.S. in every regard of the mindset of one who has knowledge to harm the U.S., etc. If the darkened interrogation room is not conducive enough to warm the Nigerian to "spill all" as he experiences the euphoric mental meltdown from being in the presence of his dream-come-true, continue the interview in the superstar's living room or in the backseat of a limo cruising thru 90210 or best sector of Hollywood. The Nigerian and superstar(s) would be accompanied at all time, of course, by our highest U.S. Security authorities, who would most probably be less effective in extracting secrets from the Nigerian than a couple of the terrorist’s wet dream idols. He's young enough, lonely, depressed, etc., and we should try this before we fry him. I think it might work.

bernard   December 30th, 2009 1:46 am ET

we are placing so much blame on us administration and this is a flight coming from a sovreign nation which we have no control.....just giving republicans some thing to about...

Milli Stennis   December 30th, 2009 10:45 pm ET

Why blame Obama for taking his time to address the Xmas day debaucle? Yes, he took time to gather facts and analyze the event.
He is not known for spouting-off before he has 'in depth' info.
All of us need to know what we're talking about before we start a discourse!

Robert in Atlanta   December 31st, 2009 1:44 am ET

LARRY stop saying Vice President Cheney!
Dick Cheney is the former Vice Presiident.
He role is not that of the Vice President got it!
Joe Biden is our Vice President OK!!
Love your show

Robert in Atlanta   December 31st, 2009 1:48 am ET

Dick Cheny is not the Vice president
Joe Biden is. Stop saying vice president Cheney his title is former vice president!!
Remember CHANGE!!!!!!!

Janice Arney   December 31st, 2009 4:44 am ET

Being a resident of Arizona I can say Janet Napolitano is doing as bad a job in Homeland Security as she did as govenor of Arizona. Her and this administration and there MAN MADE DISASTERS NEED TO ALL GO AWAY, better yet they need to go to Yemen and join the ENEMY COMBATANTS and see for themselves that this is a real WAR and then take this SERIOUS. Until then I have no use for Janet Napolitano.

Ted   December 31st, 2009 10:43 am ET

To all bloggers on this Earth!

I wish you health, wealth, happiness and peace for the coming year.
Remember, regardless of color, shape, nationality, religion we all originally come from Africa and our wishes are the same.
Treat your neighbor as you want to be treated by him.

robert (speedy) Gonzales   December 31st, 2009 2:42 pm ET

As with the party chrashers, we were granted another get out of jail free card! I pray that we learn from our mistakes and failures. I think a wise man once said that– If we do not learn from the past we are doomed to failure in the future. The bad news is we are human– The good news is we have a brain.

NED PABLO   January 8th, 2010 10:48 pm ET


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