Archive for the ‘FBI’ Category
Based on information revealed during Hugh Hewitt’s interview of Jim VandeHei, Jim Comey’s reputation is shot. At the start of the interview, Hewitt stated “Jim, I want to read the beginning of an email I got from a former AUSA, assistant United States Attorney, who I’ve known for many, many years, absolutely legit guy, and have been tracking down bad guys for a long time. He’s married to an FBI agent. It reads, ‘Now that the contents of that first FBI summary have been released, my wife tells me that Comey has lost all credibility in the FBI. Remember he’s a DOJ veteran, not a Bureau veteran, and that makes a difference with the troops. My wife, a 25-year agent, tells me that since that document became public, and based on what’s in there Comey decided to not recommend prosecution, his name among the agents is dirt. The most practical reason for that feeling is that they all know stories about agents or other federal employees who have befallen similar circumstances, and some have been prosecuted while just about all others have been fired. And the issue with the missing Blackberrys, IPad, AND the Apple Laptop and Thumb drive that had ALL her archived emails on them, is just unbelievable to agents who work on matters involving classified information.’ I, Jim VandeHei, have heard this complaint over and over again. I held all the clearances in the Reagan years. And I always said the short end was if I left anything in my desk, I’d be disciplined. If I took it home, I’d be fired. If I gave it to someone, I’d be prosecuted. Have you heard this refrain yourself?”
VandeHei’s response was telling:
It’s interesting that you say that, and I think, yes, is the answer. And I think where the disconnect is, is are you in a military family? And do you know people in a military, or in your case, people who are in the Justice Department or the FBI? I have two brothers-in-law who are serving, and I was in a wedding this past weekend in Kerrville, Texas, where lots of Marines were there. And people who would be inclined, I think, several that I was talking to, to be inclined to support Hillary Clinton, and the only thing that they focus on, and the reason that they could never find themselves voting for her, is this very reason. They either themselves or know other people who have been sanctioned or had issues for doing far, far less than what they believe Hillary Clinton did with classified material. And I think if you’re not talking to people in the military, if you don’t have family members in the military, you don’t have deep enough appreciation for how much focus they put on this, and how much they tie it to your character and to your performance.
It’s clear that Comey’s reputation with the rank-and-file investigators is irretrievably tarnished. Once you destroy your credibility, it’s virtually impossible to regain it. If it’s possible, it’s only possible to retrieve it over time and by constantly being honest. Trust isn’t rebuilt overnight.
Considering all the times Comey afforded Mrs. Clinton extra-special treatment, which is brilliantly documented in Ben Shapiro’s article, there’s little reason to think that Mr. Comey conducted a legitimate investigation:
According to new documents from the FBI’s investigation of Clinton, the agency was fully aware that Clinton lied when she said she set up a private server in order to utilize one Blackberry device; she used 13 mobile devices and two phone numbers. The FBI knew that Clinton’s aides destroyed old Blackberrys by cracking them in half or hitting them with a hammer. The FBI knew full well that Clinton had passed classified information over her private server; she admitted that she didn’t even know how classified information worked, instead stating that she thought the “C” appearing at the top of documents probably had something to do with alphabetizing files. The FBI recognized that Clinton wiped her server after a New York Times article revealed her private sever and email use; that she brought her Blackberry into a secure State Department area; that she never turned over nearly 18,000 work-related emails; that she discussed an undercover asset on the server and put his family in danger; and that she refused to take Blackberrys from the State Department out of fear they could be discoverable under Freedom of Information Act requests.
Based on this information, it’s clear that the fix was in. That’s why Dir. Comey’s reputation is shot.
Politifact’s fact checks are notoriously questionable. This Politifact fact check is among the sloppiest fact checks they’ve ever published.
Politifact’s fact check of Trump’s claim about Syrian refugees is rated as half-true. That’s based on Mr. Trump’s statement that Hillary Clinton “has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian … refugees … despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”
Politifact says “The 550 percent figure is correct. To say that there’s no way to screen them to find out who they are or where they come from ignores the extensive screening they undergo.” That last statement would surprise FBI Director Jim Comey and Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. This article publishes information that directly contradicts Politifact’s fact check when it says “Virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States, according to the FBI Director James Comey. The statements were made by Comey while testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about the security risks involved in taking in Syrian refugees.”
In other words, FBI Director Comey testified to the House Judiciary Committee that “virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States.” That directly contradicts Politifact’s published statements.
Then there’s this statement published in Politifact’s questionable fact check:
Compared to other countries, the United States has accepted very few – about 2,000 last year, for example. Half are children. Only about 2 percent are single men of combat age, the mostly likely demographic for a would-be terrorist.
That statement is directly contradicted by this information:
During the hearing, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) pointed out, according to the U.N., more than 43 million people worldwide are now displaced because of conflicts. Children constitute close to 41 percent of all refugees worldwide and women almost half.
However, the percentages are significantly different when it comes to the Syrian refugees. Of the close to 380,000 arrivals across the Mediterranean Sea from January through September of this year, 15%were children, 13% were women and 72% were men. Gohmert quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying, “This provides a prime opportunity for Islamic State groups to attack Western targets … It’s a disaster of biblical proportions.”
This video must be watched for verification:
Based on FBI Director Comey’s testimony and DNI Director Clapper’s statement, I rate Politifact’s fact check mostly false. It ignores congressional testimony that directly contradicts their statements.
Approximately 5 minutes into this video, Hillary ‘admits’ that she made a mistake, saying “But, look, I have said that I made a mistake using my personal email. I regret that and I — uh — am grateful that this matter has been fully investigated and has been closed and it’s time to move on.”
Scott Pelley’s next question let Hillary off the hook. Pelley asked Mrs. Clinton “Well were you extremely careless”? Predictably, Hillary hit that question out of the proverbial park, saying “No, I was not and neither were the 300 people who sent me that material, Scott. You know, the vast majority of the material was sent to me. It was forwarded to me from professionals, from people who I have said, who had a lot of experience dealing with classified material. I do not think they were careless and I have a very high regard for the professionals in the State Department so I believe that they knew that they were doing so I had no reason to question or second guess their opinions.”
The question wasn’t whether “the professionals at the State Department” could be trusted. The question was whether Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton’s political team were trustworthy. Based on what the FBI has told us about Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of some of the most secret information imaginable, that isn’t much of a debatable matter. Why Pelley asked such a softball question makes me question his interviewing capabilities.
Further, Mrs. Clinton said that she’d made a mistake using her personal email. That isn’t the truth, either. The definition of mistake is “an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.” That isn’t what happened. Mrs. Clinton did the wrong thing but it wasn’t a mistake. She didn’t exclusively use her private email account and her private email server because of “poor reasoning” or “carelessness.” She did it intentionally to hide her emails. That’s why Trey Gowdy’s questioning of FBI Director Comey was so important:
Here’s the key exchange:
GOWDY: I’m not going to ask you about any other false statements but I am going to ask you to put on your old hat. False exculpatory statements — they are used for what?
COMEY: Well, either for a substantive prosecution, or for evidence of intent in a criminal prosecution.
GOWDY: Exactly. Intent and consciousness of guilt right?
GOWDY: Consciousness of guilt and intent. In your old job, you would prove intent, as you just referenced, by showing the jury evidence of a complex scheme that was designed for the very purpose of concealing the public record and you would be arguing in addition to the concealment that you and I just talked about but also the failure to preserve. You would do all of that under the heading of intent. You would also being arguing the pervasiveness of the scheme — when it started, when it ended and the number of emails, whether they were originally classified or up-classified — you would argue all of that under the heading of intent.
There is a word that’s appropriate for what Mrs. Clinton did but it isn’t mistake. The appropriate word is deception. The definition of deception is “something that deceives or is intended to deceive.”
Rep. Gowdy had already established that there were sufficient examples of Mrs. Clinton’s dishonesty. In fact, he established that fact by citing a litany of examples of Mrs. Clinton being dishonest. That’s ample circumstantial proof that Mrs. Clinton was intentionally attempting to deceive people. Mrs. Clinton lied when she said her attorneys had read every email. Mrs. Clinton lied when she said that she’d turned over all work-related emails. FBI Director Comey said the FBI found “thousands” of work-related emails that Mrs. Clinton didn’t turn over.
How can a person tell the FBI that much inaccurate information and not be lying? What are the odds that Mrs. Clinton told people that many things that weren’t accurate without lying intentionally? I’d say that the odds of that were astronomical.
When James Comey announced that the FBI wouldn’t recommend that the Justice Department shouldn’t prosecute Hillary Clinton, he essentially said that the United States justice system be a two-tiered justice system. In addition to him effectively rewriting existing and clearly-written federal statutes, Dir. Comey essentially said that the elitists, aka the American oligarchs, should be given preferential treatment as opposed to the peasants.
It’s ironic he’d do that the day after we’d celebrated our nation’s birthday. Comey’s logic, if it can be called that, goes against our nation’s founding principles. There’s a reason why Lady Justice is blindfolded.
The definition of oligarchy is “a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.” The definition of peasant is “a member of a class of persons, as in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, who are small farmers or farm laborers of low social rank” or “a coarse, unsophisticated, boorish, uneducated person of little financial means.”
The Clintons have always thought of themselves as oligarchs. Hillary has especially thought of those not in her social class as peasants. When Hillary talked about the “politics of meaning”, she talked about how “even janitors” lives have meaning. The liberal media at the time (1993-94) suggested that she was onto something new and meaningful. That’s Hillary’s perspective. It’s the type of ‘justice system’ that we should expect from a Hillary administration.
Here’s a hint: Hillary’s type of justice is long on using the word, short on acting justly. If Hillary was truly interested in justice, she would’ve confessed to telling the massive lies she told during the FBI’s investigation.
The FBI has started an investigation into a voting scam in Florida:
TAMPA, Fla. – The FBI is joining an investigation into bogus letters sent to many Florida residents, including the Republican Party of Florida chairman, that raise questions about their eligibility to vote.
FBI officials said Wednesday the FBI will focus on letters received by voters in 18 counties in central and southwest Florida.
According to the Republican Party of Florida, Chairman Lenny Curry received one of the fake letters on Tuesday.
“This type of activity is not only disgusting, it is criminal, and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Curry said in a release. “I call on Florida Democrats to join me in condemning this false letter writing campaign that appears to target likely voters in Florida, and help RPOF get the word out about this false campaign.”
Local 6 first reported the bogus letter scam on Monday, which claim to be from county supervisors of elections but are postmarked from Seattle. They raise questions about the voter’s citizenship and appear intended to intimidate people.
The FBI says voters who get a letter should contact their supervisor of elections and then keep the letter for the FBI.
Patrick Moran, the son of Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, needs a lawyer:
At the time this video was taken, Patrick Moran served as the field director for his dad’s campaign. He’s since resigned. In the video, Patrick Moran explained to a Project Veritas investigator how to commit voter fraud in Virginia.
When Susan Rice appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, she talked about the ongoing FBI investigation:
Videotape; September 16, 2012
SUSAN RICE (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations): Let me tell you the best information we have at present. First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing. And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired. But putting together the best information that we have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what have just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted of course by the video.
Like this administration’s other lies about the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate, the ongoing FBI investigation has been exposed a myth:
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirms to the Post that “Everybody who was in Benghazi and posted there has been withdrawn,” adding that she knew of no other American officials in the region who’d be able to investigate the assault.
This administration’s decision not to send a team of FBI investigators looks weak to the terrorists:
“I don’t know why the Americans don’t come here,” Wissam Bin Hamid, commander of the Libyan Shield Brigade, tells the Times. Bin Hamid says his militia came under sustained attack while helping defend a second American compound on Sept. 11, but now with no aid, Benghazi is being transformed into a ghost town, he tells the paper.
“Maybe they are afraid,” bin Hamid adds, offering a possible explanation for why the United States has ceased any on-the-ground investigation.
This administration’s paper tiger streak is showing. Their administration’s decision not to investigate doesn’t mean we don’t know that this was a terrorist attack. It doesn’t mean we don’t know that this administration didn’t adequately fortify the Benghazi consulate. It simply means that we have proof that this administration knows that their reaction to the terrorist attack isn’t playing well with the American people.
On Monday, the Post reported that the main compound used by American diplomats in Benghazi was unguarded and heavily looted, and The Atlantic Wire reports that “the FBI has still not been able to visit the compound, set up any operations in the city or even interview any witnesses who were present during the terrorist attack.”
It’s shameful that CNN conducted a more thorough investigation than the FBI was allowed to conduct. It’s important to remember that they were the ones that found Ambassador Stevens’ diary in the compound.
What’s worse is that this administration is repeating the last 2 weeks worth of lies over again:
Carney said that “embassy security is a matter that is in the purview of the State Department,” and noted that “Secretary Clinton instituted an accountability review that is underway as we speak” while the investigation of the attack itself is being conducted by the FBI.
I repeat: there isn’t an FBI investigation. I hate invoking President Reagan at a time like this but “there they go again.” First Amb. Rice talks about an ongoing FBI investigation. Then Jay Carney talks about the ongoing FBI investigation. The last time we noticed that pattern was after Ms. Rice said that the terrorist attack was really a reaction to a movie trailer nobody had seen.
It’s time the American people spoke out and demanded that the Obama administration start telling the truth. Whether you’re a liberal’s liberal like Pat Caddell or a conservative’s conservative like Jason Chaffetz or somewhere in between, it isn’t acceptable for any administration to lie to We The People.
What’s most troubling is that this administration isn’t telling little white lies about a nothing matter. They’re intentionally misleading We The People about a deadly terrorist attack that should’ve been prevented.
Another troubling pattern about this story is this administration’s unwillingness to call terrorists terrorists:
About the list of security issues, Carney said it was a “known fact that Libya is in transition” and that in the eastern part of Libya in particular there are militant groups and “a great number of armed individuals and militias.”
At times, I wonder if this administration thinks saying the word terrorist will lead to a deadly pox on the US. They’ve certainly avoided using that word like it was toxic.
Leave it to Rush to expose Bill Clinton for doing what Bill Clinton does best. Earlier this week, Bill Clinton criticized the TEA Parties, saying that some of the rhetoric might incite violence, just like talk radio incited Tim McVeigh’s bombing of the Murrah Building:
“What we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold, but that the words we use really do matter, because there’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike,” he said.
Here’s Rush’s rebuttal to Bill Clinton’s misrepresentations:
RUSH: Yesterday we had the tea parties, and the Drive-By Media (I’m sure to its great chagrin) is filled with stories about how festive and how peaceful and how unthreatening all of the tea parties were. The effort to infiltrate these tea parties fizzled. They have stories on that that they probably do not like having to report. And, ladies and gentlemen, it’s very clear that these citizen uprisings, genuine grassroots citizen’s uprisings, are far more powerful than an attempt to drum up fake opposition to them from the White House. Yet, Bill Clinton is back in the game, expanding that threat via this sound bite.
CLINTON 2010: There was this rising movement in the early nineties that was basically not just a carefully orchestrated plot by people of extreme right-wing views but one that fell into fertile soil because there were so many people for whom the world no longer made sense. They wanted a simple, clear explanation of what was an inherently complex, mixed picture full of challenges that required not only changes in public policy, but personnel conduct and imagination about the world we were living in. So demonizing the government and the people that work for it sort of fit that, and there were a lot of people who were in the business back then of saying that the biggest threat to our liberty and the cause of our economic problems was the federal government itself.
RUSH: So there you have it: Bill Clinton once again trying to rebirth his empty threat from 1995. He starts out tracing the plot that started in the eighties to “demonize government.” I have a question. We have two more sound bites of the president here specifying right-wing talk radio, but I have a question: How come we’re supposed to draw (on the basis of no evidence), a connection between conservatism and terrorism, conservative ideology and terrorism? Where is that connection? Yet we are told we must reject, despite tons of evidence, the connection between Islamist ideology and terrorism. So we can’t call Islamist fundamentalists “terrorists.” We can’t even use the word. But we can have ex-presidents and current presidents running around trying to associate conservatives with nonexistent terrorism at peaceful tea parties. Somebody needs to explain this to me.
The truth is that Timothy McVeigh’s attack was triggered solely by his disgust with Janet Reno’s Justice Department’s invading the Branch Davidian compound with tanks. It didn’t have anything to do with talk radio. It didn’t have anything to do with what happened in the 1980s.
Whether you agree or disagree with Ms. Reno’s decision, and most don’t, the reality is that Tim McVeigh said that her invading the Branch Davidian compound with tanks was what triggered his terrorist attack.
If President Clinton wants to peddle these misrepresentations, he’s best off peddling them to people who won’t remember history. This is nothing more than Bill Clinton sounding the same Democratic theme, suggesting that the TEA Party participants are knuckle-dragging, backwoods crazies. Unfortunately for Mr. Clinton, that myth has been exposed.
Every time that the Democrats trot that storyline out, they ruin what’s left of their credibility. People don’t run to liberal pundits for their information anymore. Thanks to Al Gore’s internet, people do their own due dilligence on whatever subject interests them. Right now, the TEA Parties interest them. ALOT.
One in five people support the TEA Party movement. Many more than that know people that participate in TEA Party rallies. TEA Party activists are everyone’s neighbors, co-workers and friends. Mainstreet America isn’t frightened by the TEA Parties. Whether they agree with the TEA Parties’ principles or not, they aren’t frightened by TEA Parties.
Having Bill Clinton suggest that the TEA Party faithful might incite violence just gives the American people another reason to not trust Bill Clinton. Some things never change.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
The Obama administration, in the person of John Brennan, has fought to defend itself for mirandizing Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, with Robert Gibbs and Attorney General Eric Holder playing supporting roles in that fight. Unfortunately for them, the adults have entered the room and the Obama administration looks in over its head…AGAIN.
Two serious adults, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and longtime National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor have weighed in. First, let’s look at what Gen. Mukasey said about mirandizing terrorists:
What to do and who should do it? It was entirely reasonable for the FBI to be contacted and for that agency to take him into custody. But contrary to what some in government have suggested, that Abdulmutallab was taken into custody by the FBI did not mean, legally or as a matter of policy, that he had to be treated as a criminal defendant at any point. Consider: In 1942, German saboteurs landed on Long Island and in Florida. That they were eventually captured by the FBI did not stop President Franklin Roosevelt from directing that they be treated as unlawful enemy combatants. They were ultimately tried before a military commission in Washington and executed. Their status had nothing to do with who held them, and their treatment was upheld in all respects by the Supreme Court.
If possible, FBI custody is even less relevant today in determining someone’s status. In 1942 the FBI was exclusively a crime-fighting organization. After Sept. 11, 2001, the agency’s mission was expanded beyond detection of crime and apprehension of criminals to include gathering intelligence, helping to prevent and combat threats to national security, and furthering U.S. foreign policy goals. Guidelines put in place in 2003 and revised in September 2008 “do not require that the FBI’s information gathering activities be differentially labeled as ‘criminal investigations,’ ‘national security investigations,’ or ‘foreign intelligence collections,’ or that the categories of FBI personnel who carry out investigations be segregated from each other based on the subject areas in which they operate. Rather, all of the FBI’s legal authorities are available for deployment in all cases to which they apply to protect the public from crimes and threats to the national security and to further the United States’ foreign intelligence objectives.”
Here’s what John Brennan said in defending the decision to read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights:
Brennan also defended the decision to read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights, something that Republicans have harshly criticized. Brennan said the decision to do so was “a long-standing FBI policy that was reaffirmed under Michael Mukasey, President Bush’s attorney general.”
The danger of quoting someone on policy is that an expert in the FBI’s interrogation policies has the ability to write an op-ed explaining what policy has historically been and what current policy is. Predictably, Gen. Mukasey did exactly that this morning. As the former Attorney General, he’s totally qualified to refute Mr. Brennan’s arguments. Mr. Brennan will have difficulty explaining away this statement:
Rather, all of the FBI’s legal authorities are available for deployment in all cases to which they apply to protect the public from crimes and threats to the national security and to further the United States’ foreign intelligence objectives.”
In other words, Sen. Kit Bond is right in saying that capturing a terrorist in U.S. territory doesn’t mean that the FBI, as a matter of routine, will read terrorists their Miranda rights. That’s certainly an option but it’s done on a case-by-case basis. It certainly isn’t automatic. At least it wasn’t during the Bush administration.
While John Brennan was the target of Gen. Mukasey’s op-ed, current Attorney Gen. Eric Holder is the target of Stuart Taylor’s scorn. Taylor’s column heaps scorn on Gen. Holder:
Reasonable people disagree about how much coercion interrogators should use to extract potentially lifesaving information from terrorists. (None at all, President Obama unwisely ordered soon after taking office.)
But no reasonable person could doubt that starting out with “you have the right to remain silent” is not the way to save lives.
Yet this is essentially the policy into which the Obama administration has locked itself by insisting that it did the right thing when it read Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas Day bomber, his Miranda rights after only 50 minutes of questioning and a hospital visit.
I return to this subject because the rationalizations by Attorney General Eric Holder and other administration apologists have been so breathtakingly bereft of seriousness about the need for aggressive interrogation to protect our country.
Abdulmutallab might have been the first of a dozen Christmas Day bombers seeking to perfect the Bojinka plot, for all Holder and his colleagues knew at the time. It was sheer luck that this was not the case.
And the decision to read Abdulmutallab his rights, bring him a lawyer, and stop asking questions may yet get Americans murdered by his co-conspirators in Yemen, who might have been located and captured or killed but for his five weeks of post-Miranda silence.
Anytime that a terrorist is captured, the first responsibility of any administration’s national security team is to thoroughly interrogate the terrorist and learn as much about the terrorist’s support system, the type of training he received, where he was trained, etc. This isn’t rocket science.
In the aftermath of the failed terrorist plot, Janet Napolitano admitted that she was surprised by how well organized al-Qaeda in Yemen was. Had the Obama administration actually interrogated Abdulmutallab, they might’ve learned more about AQY.
That Holder put a higher priority on preserving Abdulmutallab’s testimony than on gathering intelligence is stunning. Here’s why reading Abdulmutallab his rights wasn’t a priority:
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told me in an interview that the CIA and national intelligence directors “and ultimately the president would have been in on the decision in addition to me”; and that “I like to think the default setting would have been toward gathering intelligence rather than worrying about whether a man who did his crime in front of 285 witnesses could be convicted without using his confession.”
With 285 eyewitnesses, along with his burns, the chances of conviction would’ve been close to 100 percent. The only way Abdulmutallab wouldn’t have gotten convicted was if the jury was made up of CAIR’s board of directors.
The need to mirandize Abdulmutallab wasn’t just insignificant. It wasn’t necessary. In fact, it was stupid to not collect important information in a timely fashion.
I don’t know whether Mssrs. Taylor and Mukasey worked in coordination in writing their articles. What I’m certain of is that they’ve highlighted the incompetence of Eric Holder and John Brennan for all the political world to see. Their expertise in constitutional and counterterrorism issues make it difficult for Robert Gibbs to question them, though I expect he’ll try criticizing them during today’s briefing.
Technorati: Terrorists, Miranda Rights, Intelligence, Abdulmutallab, John Brennan, Eric Holder, Interrogations, FBI, President Obama, Robert Gibbs, National Security, Democrats, Michael Mukasey, Constitution, Enemy Combatants
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Conservatives have their long knives out hoping to score political points against a suddenly vulnerable Obama administration. Check out this column written by Obama critic Bill Kristol:
â€œI hope the terrorists donâ€™t think this is a good time to attack,â€ I said, looking protectively at the White House, which always looks smaller and more vulnerable and beautiful than you expect, no matter how often you see it up close.
I thought our guard might be down because of the holiday; now I realize our guard is down every day.
OUCH!!! That’s a shot at the Obama administration’s less-than-stellar performance in preventing terrorist attacks if ever I’ve heard one.
If we canâ€™t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didnâ€™t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
I’ll give Mr. Kristol credit for this much: when he unloads both barrels, there’s alot of damaged landscape.
The bad news for the Obama administration is that Bill Kristol didn’t write this stunning rebuke of the Obama administration’s homeland security apparatus. It wasn’t Charles Krauthammer, either.
This scathing review was written by Maureen Dowd.
Yes, that Maureen Dowd. The crazed liberal NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd. Ms. Dowd’s attack should unsettle an already wobbly administration. Last night, Charles Krauthammer ridiculed President Obama during the Roundtable. Even A.B. Stoddard was disgusted when she learned from Chris Wallace that the CIA had been tracking Abdulmutallab.
This is one of those moments when a president’s fiercest defenders understand that they can’t defend or spin something, that it’s a time when he’ll just have to take his lumps.
Before he left for vacation, Obama tried to shed his Spock mien and juice up the empathy quotient on jobs. But in his usual inspiring/listless cycle, he once more appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. At least you have to seem concerned.
President Obama hasn’t stepped into the role of commander-in-chief. Instead, he’s stepped into shoes that more closely resemble those of the pontificator-in-chief or professor-in-chief. That isn’t what America needs right now. What we need is someone who is competent on national security issues. What we need is someone who will persistently engage our terrorist enemies in mortal battle.
President Obama hasn’t shown the grittiness and persistence that’s needed to destroy al-Qa’ida. His personna is almost detached. For all his faults on domestic policy, one thing that Americans knew about President Bush, it’s that they understood that he was taking the fight to the terrorists day-after-day-after-day. President Bush’s relentlessness was reassuring. Looking back, objective people understand that he protected us from another terrorist attack.
By contrast, we’ve seen three terrorist attacks this year under President Obama’s watch. Thoughtful people esentially agree that each was preventable.
It’s time for President Obama to review his administration’s policies and his administration’s personnel. Starting today would be a good start. Personnel-wise, a good start would be firing Janet Napolitano. Policywise, it’d be wise if he stopped his ‘open arms to tyrants’ policy. Tyrants should be punished, not coddled. Incompetents should be terminated, not kept on.
Thanks to Maureen Dowd’s criticism, that possibility seems a bit more likely.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
This morning, on GMA, Janet Napolitano said that the government needs to re-examine how their terrorist watch lists are monitored:
Today, on “Good Morning America,” she said, “Clearly, there’s some work that needs to be done to link up what we call the tie, the generic base in which his name had been entered, to those who already have visas.”
“We want to go backwards now and review our list processes,” Napolitano added. “They clearly need to be adjusted. We need to look at this individual specially, and the screening technology that was deployed.”
That’s possibly true but there’s a more fundamental step that should be taken, namely, having the appropriate authorities look into a person whose father walked into a U.S. embassy and told the embassy people that his son might be an Islamic extremist. You’d think that people in security positions would attempt to connect the dots, especially after a high profile commission published a report saying that the most important thing going forward was connecting the terrorist warning dots.
You’d think that a tip like that would at least warrant a quick check of things like visas, whether he’d traveled to or lived in any terrorist-sympathizing countries like, say, Nigeria. Here’s another troubling piece of information:
In May 2009, a report by the Justice Department Inspector General found problems with how the FBI was managing the terrorism watch list, noting, “We found that the FBI failed to nominate many subjects in the terrorism investigations that we sampled, did not nominate many others in a timely fashion, and did not update or remove watchlist records as required. Specifically, in 32 of the 216 (15 percent) terrorism investigations we reviewed, 35 subjects of these investigations were not nominated to the consolidated terrorist watchlist, contrary to FBI policy.”
Was this IG report shared with Secretary Napolitano? If not, why wasn’t it? If it was, what action did Secretary Napolitano take? What types of recommendations did she get from her senior policy staff? If it’s revealed that this IG’s report had made it to Secretary Napolitano’s desk and she hadn’t acted on it, then she needs to be fired ASAP.
Frankly, I don’t have a bit of confidence in Secretary Napolitano. This is, after all, the same woman who thought that military veterans, conservatives and constitutionalists presented a terrorist threat:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year launched a nationwide operation targeting white supremacists and “militia/sovereign-citizen extremist groups,” including a focus on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to memos sent from bureau headquarters to field offices.
The initiative, dubbed Operation Vigilant Eagle, was outlined in February, two months before a memo giving a similar warning was issued on April 7 by the Department of Homeland Security.
Disclosure of the DHS memo this week has sparked controversy among some conservatives and veterans groups. Appearing on television talk shows Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the assessment, but apologized to veterans who saw it as an accusation.
Why should we suddenly think that she’ll experience a sudden burst of competence now?
Cross-posted at California Conservative