The White House today released its unclassified review summary of the administration failures surrounding the latest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the Christmas underwear bomber. Delayed twice reportedly over exactly what should and should not be declassified, President Obama made remarks at the release of information that for all intents and purposes told little or nothing new.
At a presser following the release of the report, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were asked what they found most shocking about the declassified review.
“We didn’t know they had actually reached the point of launching individuals here, and we have taken that lesson and we’re all on top of it,” Brennan said.
“I think following up on that, not just the determination of al Qaeda and al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula but the tactic of using an individual to foment an attack as opposed to a large conspiracy or a multi-person conspiracy such as we saw on 9-11,” Napolitano added. “That is something that affects intelligence.”
Ya think? Madame Secretary is shocked having just figured out that al Qaeda is determined to kill Americans and they’ll use individuals (as well as groups) to attack us. The biggest shock out of the report is that Napolitano — with her utter lack of qualifications to deal with intelligence matters — is one of the nation’s chief intelligence officers. She is in charge of America’s physical national security on home soil.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) gets yesterday’s award for prescience, calling for Napolitano’s resignation even before her latest shocking admission.
“It is imperative that we have a secretary of Homeland Security who understands the reality of the global war on terror and who has the resolve to implement a strong and effective system that stops terrorists before they act,” Tiahrt said. “This may be a wake-up call for the Obama administration but the wake-up call for the rest of America was September 11, 2001. It is unacceptable that our president needed additional evidence to take the global war on terror seriously. There should be no second chance for his cabinet members when it comes to protecting our citizens and homeland.”
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), a former FBI agent and current member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, succinctly summed up the Obama administration’s underlying, fundamentally flawed approach to combating terrorism.
“The report provides a productive though incomplete picture,” Rogers said. “I believe the larger issue stems from the White House’s policy change to treat terrorism as a law enforcement issue instead of a proactive intelligence issue. As a former FBI Agent, I know that a law enforcement approach is necessarily slower and more deliberate than an intelligence approach where action can be taken on less information and fewer connected ‘dots.’ For the safety and security of Americans and their families and our allies, we must restore our intelligence-centered approach to terrorism.”
Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, pointed out the Obama administration is still suppressing information and Democrat leaders in Congress are ducking their oversight responsibilities.
“I welcome the administration’s decision to publicly release its report on the Detroit attack, and believe it should release the Fort Hood attack and Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainee recidivism reports as well,” Hoekstra said. “It is striking that the same factors and actors involved in the Fort Hood attack seem to be at issue in the attempt to bring down a plane over the city of Detroit.”
Earlier this week, the Pentagon said that the recidivism rate of released Gitmo detainees has increased from 14 percent to 20 percent.
“I warned after the Fort Hood terrorist attack that we needed tough congressional oversight and hearings to understand the intelligence lapses that happened then to help prevent future attacks,” Hoekstra continued. “The White House still has not shared its Fort Hood report with Congress or the public, but the one thing that seems clear is that the administration did little after it received the report on Nov. 30 of last year. Congress needs the analysis of both attacks to fully understand the shortcomings that need to be addressed to help prevent the next attack.”
“The American people should not have to rely on luck and passengers’ sheer determination to stop terrorist attacks,” Hoekstra said. “They need a government that is working together on the executive and congressional levels to help keep our homeland safe. This did not happen after the Fort Hood terrorist attack, and it is still not happening after the Detroit terrorist attack. The end result, we are not coordinated, and our nation is still vulnerable.”
Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) called for Obama to change his approach and deny Miranda rights to enemy combatants.
“How can we honestly believe the President when he says he will not rest until he finds out all who were involved in the attempted Christmas day bombing when we’ve already given Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent?” Bachman asked. “We should be using all legal means necessary to push this terrorist to release all his information, not allow him to lawyer up. He should not be afforded the rights of American citizens like you and me. He is a terrorist, and he should be treated like one. Abdulmutallab’s actions were an act of war and not akin to breaking and entering. Thus, they must be treated as such.”