This afternoon President Obama met with his national security and law enforcement leads to determine what steps were necessary to ensure the security of our air transportation system. Shortly after this meeting, he made his long anticipated statement to the American people. After being delayed by yet another airport scare he walked out to the podium and spoke. The gist of his statement was simple:
“We did not connect the dots, our intelligence system failed, and I am going to fix it – quickly.”
He then informed viewers that he had directed his leads to conduct a full analysis of what must be done and report their findings to him later this week. He was somber, took no questions, and walked away immediately after making his statement. He looked focused and determined.
We commend our Commander-in-Chief for taking responsibility for the failures that led up to the 12/25 attack, and we truly wish him success. Succeed or fail however, this incident amounts to nothing less than a “High Noon” moment for our new President. Americans want to have a reasonable assurance of security when traveling, and they clearly expect Obama to take immediate and decisive action. It is now his turn to stand alone in the street without any political finger pointing, and show the American People that he has the brass to take on the bad guys. Americans, once again, have terrorism on their top ten lists and they have traditionally been wary of the Democrat Party’s resolve to deal with it. This is, simply put, Obama’s first public showdown with Osama the Kid….and he better win.
While Head Muscle clearly does not support many of President Obama’s policies, this is one instance that we are truly rooting for him. Not because we like him or think he is a good President, but because our national security, economy, and personal safety are all at stake. The good news is that, this afternoon, he stood before his townspeople like a good sheriff and owned up to the task at hand. That being said however, there are real signs that Obama is not stepping out into the street with a fully loaded gun:
Alleged-Terrorist -During Obama’s address this afternoon he once again referred to the Detroit bomber as an “alleged-terrorist.” Now, let’s see…he was trained by Al Qaeda to ignite explosives hidden in his underwear on a commercial airliner. Using this same logic, Adolf Hitler is only an alleged-mass murderer. After all, he never really had his day in court. Employing this type of political correctness in the face of such a blatant threat, is tantamount to loading your six shooter with blanks. The way you win a shootout is to call your enemy out into the street by name, look him in the eye, and shoot him down in full view of all onlookers. This not only relieves you of any future threat from him, it also sends a clear message to all other potential villains that you plan to do the same to them. By hesitating to call terrorists what they are, Obama is stepping out into the street and then asking his opponent for confirmation that he is really a bad guy prior to shooting. The result – an exploding aircraft.
The word “alleged” also implies that anyone engaged in terror against the US will be afforded the very same legal due process that US Citizens are entitled to. This emboldens the villain, because he knows that he can shoot the sheriff in cold blood and still have a chance at freedom. Instead of certain death as a consequence for blowing up an airliner, maybe he will get a mistrial and walk! You can almost hear them talking together in their hideout. “No Abdul, don’t kill people in Chechnya, the Russians will just execute you if you are caught. Kill people in America. If they catch you they will just send you to Chicago.” Sheriff Obama needs to make it clear that he is shooting to kill. This is the only thing that the townspeople, and the bad guys, will respect. Anything else will be perceived as weakness.
Al Qaeda Extremists – After eight years of battling Al Qaeda and watching these wretched sub-human scum balls kill innocents from Indonesia to Spain, our Commander-in-Chief still calls them “extremists.” By doing this, he not only cheapens the global crusade against terror, he also makes terrorists morally equivalent to other extremists groups like the Sierra Club, PETA, Green Peace and, dare I say, conservative Christians. Certainly every religion has extremists…what is the big deal? It is a subtle erosion of the truth that, over time, causes everyone to forget what the threat really is. If our sheriff is going to protect the townspeople, he needs to be clear about who he is fighting. In this case it is Osama the Kid, a murderin’ varmint that got spit onto Earth right out of Hell itself, not an “extremist.” If Obama is going to fight the good fight, he needs to start using the right words and show Americans that he knows who the enemy is.
Napolitano Still Employed – This is perhaps the biggest travesty of all. Janet Napolitano makes Gabby Hayes look like Clint Eastwood. Any sheriff knows that, if he is going to survive the shootout, he will need a good deputy watching the rooftops. When Deputy Napolitano spots a sniper on the saloon roof however, she waits for the bartender to shoot him and then pats her team on the back for having such a good system. This is gross incompetence of the highest order, and Obama needs to send a signal to the rest of his posse that this type of bureaucratic ineptitude will no longer be tolerated. The fact that he has not already replaced her, makes him appear to be more concerned with his cabinet’s welfare than the American People’s.
Still no Profiling – Obama also noted in his statement that he directed more immediate security measures be put in place. There would be immediate increases in bomb sensors, police dogs, baggage checks, and pat downs. Additionally, over the last few days the news has been filled with stories of the airlines banning carry-on bags, blankets, and even reading material. The flaw with this type of thinking is that it centers its focus on the weapon and not the person. In order for the sheriff to do his job, he must know what the bad guy looks like. We all know that western villains wear black hats, have thin mustaches, and dark beady eyes. If our sheriff went around picking people at random and calling them into the street for justice, he would never find his nemesis. How stupid our sheriff would look standing 20 paces away from a little old lady in a wheelchair. Sound foolish? Well it is. Unfortunately that is the approach that has been mandated in our nation’s airports. History shows us that people who blow up airplanes are typically Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 35. They buy one-way tickets with cash the day of the flight, and seldom have any luggage. Why then do we stop the little old lady and frisk her? Are we that stupid? No, we are just terrified of being accused of racial discrimination by the ACLU crowd. In reality, there is a difference between racial profiling and looking for terrorists. Our politicians, however, have simply not been able to cross that cognitive channel. In their minds it is actually better to lose 300 people on an airplane than be accused of discrimination and, based on Obama’s comments, we have no reasonable expectation that this will change anytime soon.
So, here we are at high noon. Our hero has a chance to load his gun, call the bad guy into the street, shoot him dead in front of all the townspeople, and establish himself as the Wyatt Earp of airline security. It is now 11:59AM and all the town is wondering what he will do. They want the bad guy who has been terrorizing them dead, and they are demanding that the sheriff take care of business. If he does, it will establish him as a worthy peacekeeper. If he does not, the townspeople will likely start looking for a new sheriff in 2012. Make no mistake, this is Obama’s defining moment. Perhaps it is even more defining than health care. This is the infamous first term test that we have heard so much about in the news. The streets are empty in anticipation of the fight, and curious eyes peek out from behind every curtain and sash. The town holds its collective breath as the courthouse clock begins to chime…one…two…three…four…
Obama may well be operating true to form by providing his shrinking band of supporters with a speech designed to assure them that the Messiah will take immediate steps to solve this pressing issue.
Chuck, you have once again beautifully illustrated the major pitfalls that characterize Obama’s approach to international terrorism – and indeed his approach to governing in general.
I would rate the most important of these potential failures to be his refusal to regard murderous assaults on our citizens not as acts of war (for which they certainly qualify, under international law), but as criminal matters which must be dealt with under our legal system that is most noted for its political correctness and leniency as opposed to distributing justice.
“The flaw with this type of thinking is that it centers its focus on the weapon and not the person” ….. you nailed it! Akido, one of the most defense-oriented of the martial arts, teaches that the weapon employed should not be the focus point for it is unimportant unless utilized by a competent adversary. Therefore, technique (defense) is the answer to an attack and is shaped dependent upon the type of weapon involved and the abilities of the attacker. Against terrorism, prevention of an attack, not reaction, should be the most important segment of our defense.
As usual, we need not to pay so much attention to the words of Obama, but closely regard his subsequent actions.
And the dismissal of Janet Napolitano should be immediate and forthright, simply to send a firm message of competence and intent.
Just a great post, sir.
The definition of international terror should be straight forward:
“Any act perpetrated on the United States of America and its people by a foreign individual or group designed to take life, destroy property, interrupt commerce, or destabilize the government.”
Anything meeting this definition whether massive in scale or not, should be dealt with by military courts and have a maximum penalty of death….period.
Good post. I’ve heard that in 2009 we had 13 terrorist attacks in the 8 years preceding that (i.e. since 2001) we’ve had all of 20. Obama seems to be dropping the ball here.
The statements warning the CIA of potential prosecution for example have to be creating a culture of fear there and hurting our intelligence gathering and utilization. Meanwhile, us having to now read Miranda Rights to these people can’t help either. Even with the underwear bomber having immediately lawyered up had to hurt our information gathering. I think Cheney was right when he said we aren’t safer with Obama.
I agree completely FT.
I think Marque sums it up perfectly in his comment below.
Great post, Chuck. I had this precise thought when I was watching Fox News Sunday and the NSC’s chief counterterrorism guy was saying that trial in the U.S. civil courts was the appropriate “tool” with which to combat this little incident of terror:
“You can almost hear them talking together in their hideout. ”No Abdul, don’t kill people in Chechnya, the Russians will just execute you if you are caught. Kill people in America. If they catch you they will just send you to Chicago.”
You have to wonder, after listening to the Administration’s non-explanations about why they chose to do this, if they are merely afraid of ever being responsible for putting one person in Guantanamo. To date, all the Guantanamo prisoners were put there by Bush. But where, praytell, could Obama send someone he believed to be an enemy combatant? And if the answer is Guantanamo, how could he do that without tacitly admitting that Guantanamo has a role to play in the War on Terror? He would be forever tainted in the international community’s eyes. In the weirdly-skewed perspective of this White House, one wonders if Obama believes that this would be a greater tragedy than a successful bombing, because it would “harm America’s standing in the world” or somesuch.
That’s why there are no other “tools” for the Administration to “employ” until he gets his own Illinois-based Gitmo up and running. Until then, it’s Miranda rights, government-paid lawyers, and innocent-til-proven-guilty for all new terrorists in the U.S.
It will be interesting to see what happens when, after the detainees have been moved, reports start leaking out about the “harsh” conditions in Illinois. I fear that by the time this is over, these guys will be wintering in Cocoa Beach.
As usual, thanks for the visit!
Another news tidbit this morning: it’s being reported that our latest terrorist (sorry – “alleged suspect”) had lots to say to interrogators until his attorneys showed up and intervened.
So we now have another example of unintended (?) consequences as a result of the administration’s policy of treating terrorists as common criminals rather than their committing acts of war.
When your Attorney General worked for a firm that represents a lot of these detainees for free, why wouldn’t you be inclined to give his friends a call to come to the rescue when one is found to be without a lawyer? What could go wrong, after all?
If the AG’s actions on behalf of his current client – the American people – were held to the same standard they would be on behalf of a private client, he would be brought before the bar for discipline for failing to disclose a conflict of interest and not upholding his duty to vigorously represent his client’s interests.
Obama says we didn’t “connect the dots”. Um, a Nigerian who has been hanging out in terrorist Yemen boards a flight with a United States destination with no passport or baggage, pays cash for the one-way ticket, and was incessantly itching his crotch (that last part is rumor – my neighbor Esther assures me its accurate).
Question: does the Obama administration require bigger dots or fewer dots? It seems to this bacon-eating American that our infamous and alleged pantybomber could have boarded this flight with a “death to infidels” T-Shirt and a tattoo of bin-Laden on his forehead.
Hopefully there is nothing left for future jock straps to hold….
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