December 29, 2009

The return of terror politics

Posted: 05:50 PM ET

From Jim Acosta, CNN

Washington (CNN) - When President Obama spoke out on the terrorism scare in Detroit, Michigan, he entered a debate that had already begun over his administration's new approach to combating terrorism.

"As a nation we will do everything in our power to protect our country," Obama said while vacationing in Hawaii. "We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland."

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is being held for allegedly trying to blow up a flight carrying 300 passengers on Christmas Day. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility Monday for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Yemeni soil.

On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially gave something of a thumbs up to the government's handling of the Detroit terror scare.

"One thing I want to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action," Napolitano said on CNN's State of the Union.

Within minutes, Republicans went on the attack.

"Earlier today Secretary Napolitano said the system worked. in fact the system did not work," Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

When pressed, Napolitano later dialed back her remarks.


Filed under: Politics • President Obama • Terrorism

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A. Smith, Oregon   December 29th, 2009 7:02 pm ET

Previously the Republican lawmakers and administration's knee jerk reaction resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars flowing into creating the Dept. Homeland Security, adding resources to the CIA, FBI and private military defense contractors in addition to starting two wars in the middle east.

Fear drove Americans to buy into the belief that draining America's surplus plus badly needed funding for America's dilapidated schools, library's, bridges, canals, levees, electrical grid, and extensive transportation system was for the 'public good'.

Some 8 years later, American's do not feel safer, their infra-structure is more likely to collapse that ever before and there is very little funding left to repair them. 10% of some high schools student body are homeless teens, many of whom will likely end up in America's massive prison system.

Again Republican's are attempting to use fear to drive America's opinion into a specific direction, namely to pour more money into the US Military and begin a bombing campaign in Yemen under the guise of keeping American's safer.

Martina   December 29th, 2009 10:31 pm ET

I am tired of hindsight views. What can we brainstorm and do to come up with a solution.....The problem is that you have young inexperienced workers. However that is what Corp and gov. wanted...younger you reap what you sow....inexperienced people making major decisions. You laid off , forced to leave and fired the older workers with the commonsense to know what a potential problem would be....xray machines...bring them on...a no brainer die or scan...I want to be xrayed.

Terry   December 29th, 2009 11:33 pm ET

In watching Candy's show on Larry King, I can't agree more with Ben Stein. I have been on the inside for many years. There are to many political appointments running these agencies who do not have a clue of what is needed or what is required to be effective. They are not qualified to be in the positions they are put in. Most of the time they can't even follows the rules that were created for which they must manage. It is not only the CIA talking to the FBI or head of Intelligence overseeing both, look at any agency from CIA down to agencies like GSA, DOL ect. and you will see the same problem. These are political appointments not caring of what is really happening on their watch, only concentrating on what their next appointment will be, holding these positions to be put on their resumes. There are good working people in the Government however, so many times their hands are tied can cannot be innovative or effective. Our Government needs serious change and only this country as a people can change it. I will continue to speak out as I am worried about where my country is going.

matea   December 30th, 2009 6:38 am ET

this recent failed terrorist attack on flight NW 253 it does bring on the table few shocking elements such as :
9/11 terrorist attack it should have never take place :Mohamed Atta the
ring leader of the nine terrorists was under close watch by the foreign
intelligence comunity right before the attack .However he was given a
student visa despite all the flags he walked very casual right into the
airport and from there onto the plane.We all know the rest
Then we spent tens of billions of dollars into the newly created Homeland Security [ this name reminds me of the former Comunist countries in Eatern Europe ] to protect us better .How this new body protected us better against future terrorist attacks ?They have used fear tactics [by using extensively mass media ] and by doing so they punished millions of american passangers [ not to mention the abuse]Basically the american consumer soon as he or she passes thogh security area of an airport they have lost all of the constitutional civil rights .The consumer was silenced in the name of air traffic security.A TSA individual can be as abusive as he can be [ such as asking a 85 years old lady to get off the wheel chair when that person cannot even walk ] and if the passanger dispute this behaviour can be arrested for "disruptive " behaviour.Now in the light of the recent incident a flight attendant can monitor the behaviour of the passangers and here we have now a very subjective "behavior police "
in the sky.It seems to me that are very closed of a state of siege.
The most recent incident took place not because of the passangers but because a criminal behavior of the Intellinge Comunity [that taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year ]If something needs to be fixed concerning air traffic security ,then we have to identify very quicly the people who gave to the Nigerian national the visa for US and the people within the Intellingence Organisations [ I think we have too many and when the time comes to prove their mission they are not effective] This the place where we need to take a very close look.
Until that happens the government decided very quickly to punish the passangers even more .At the same time the Al Queda members are watching somewhere in a corner of the world CNN and they are having a very good time watching how american travellers are terrorized by their own government who lacks the basic skills to fight terrorists .Even better mass media in the US entertain the terrorist around the world with endless debates and details about a low life terrorist that created a national crisis in the US .They have succeded in disrupting our normal life .We cannot travel normal anymore within our own country .Traveling by plane became one ot the most stressful and humiliating experience for the American public.
These low life terrorist will get very worried at the time we will return to our normal life .They will get even more worried when massmedia will no longer will create panic and fear and will be very little talk about their actions.They will get really scared when our Intelligence comunity will share information and become effective .It does not take much to find and kill these low life scumbs.Until we wil fix our problems at the source the terrorists have won

Ted   December 30th, 2009 1:58 pm ET

@ Terry

Bravo, this is the correct spirit!! We pay those "public servants" therefore we have the right to control, criticize and fire them if they sleep on the job.
The French and the Italians go on the street and protest, perhaps we should learn how to fight for our rights.
Those intelligence people usually have very little idea of what are they doing, they get their clues sitting on the bar in luxury hotels and pumping presspeople for info. We norture the idea that if the agent can find his way around in Washington or New York, then he will not have problems in Calcutta or Kabul. After all, the whole world is part of the USA!!

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