Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

1st May
2013
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my kids were small, they’d cover their eyes and think that because they couldn’t see the world, the world couldn’t see them.  It was cute.  It’s not so cute when the President of the United States does it though.

President Obama told Americans repeatedly that al Qaeda was “on the run.”  Even the day after four Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Obama told supporters in Las Vegas, “a day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.”  On September 18 and numerous other occasions, Obama said al Qaeda had been “decimated.”  He continued the War-on-Terror-is-so-over-I-won’t-even-use-the-word-terror theme throughout his campaign.

Unfortunately, as many of us knew at the time, and as the Boston Marathon bombings made clear, that’s not true.  No matter how gifted a speaker Barack Obama believes himself to be, he cannot will something to be true simply by saying it out loud.

It appears that the Obama Administration’s strict denial of reality is also partly to blame for the FBI and intelligence failures surrounding the Boston bombings.  Following a September 2011 story in Wired Magazine, “FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims are ‘Violent, Radical,’” 57 Muslim advocacy groups wrote a letter to Obama Administration officials complaining about “the federal government’s use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims.”  Instead of asking why these groups weren’t directing their energy towards the jihadists around the world who use the Quran to incite violence and murder thousands of innocent people, Obama’s people promptly “pulled more than 700 documents and 300 presentations,” scrubbing from its counterterrorism training mentions of Islam, Muslim, Hamas, and jihad—which is now referred to as “violent extremism.”  Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies tells the Washington Times, “the fact is, religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training.  The FBI can’t talk about Islam and can’t talk about jihad.”

Well, if the Commander-in-Chief is claiming the War on Terror is over and you remove Muslim extremism as a red flag then it’s no wonder the FBI missed the fact that jihadist Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed a threat to America.  Obama wants Islam and terrorism not to be connected, so he ties the hands of our intelligence community and forces them to operate as if they aren’t.  Does this make you feel safer?

The same disregard for reality can be found in his approach to domestic issues.  As predicted by its opponents, the health care law has been disastrous.  Even the author of the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Max Baucus, sees “a huge train wreck coming down” with the law’s implementation.  In a press conference yesterday however, an extraordinarily out-of-touch Obama said, “and there will be stories that can be written that say, oh, look, this thing is not working the way it’s supposed to, and this happened and that happened.  And that’s pretty much true of every government program that’s ever been set up…But if we stay with it and we understand what our long-term objective is…if we keep that in mind, then we’re going to be able to drive down costs; we’re going to be able to improve efficiencies in the system; we’re going to be able to see people benefit from better health care.  And that will save the country money as a whole over the long term.”  No acknowledgement of the concerns expressed by small business people, no answers to questions raised by Senator Baucus and others.  “Everything is fine because I say that it is fine.  My presidency has been a roaring success because I want it to be.”

America is not safer, our economy is worse and the man charged with protecting us and leading our recovery says things like, “it’s not optimal,” and “glitches and bumps.”

My kids figured out that we could see them by the time they reached their 3rd birthday.  It’s time for Barack Obama to uncover his eyes and see the world for what it is.  Before he hurts our country even more.

30th December
2009
written by Sean Noble

Let’s say your boss is on vacation and something big happens at the office. You don’t want to bother him, so you tell everyone that there is nothing to worry about, “the system worked. Then, a couple days later your boss is compelled to hold a press conference to admit that there was a “systemic failure.” Quite the opposite of “the system worked.” You’d probably then be a little worried about whether you were going to keep your job.

So DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano is probably not feeling all that secure right now. Obama hasn’t thrown her under the bus yet. But using “systemic failure” must make Napolitano cringe. As she was doing serious damage control about how her comments were related to the aftermath of the attack, Obama did, kind of, come to her defense:

Mr. Obama appeared to be trying to contain the damage on Tuesday, offering “systemic failure” as a substitute diagnosis for “system worked.” He framed Ms. Napolitano’s statement by saying she was right that “once the suspect attempted to take down Flight 253, after his attempt, it’s clear that passengers and crew, our homeland security systems and our aviation security took all appropriate actions.”

Remember what happened after the last president defended a top official in a crisis? “You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie.”

I’m not certain Napolitano should feel much comfort in the comments from Obama. Brown resigned within days of being praised by President Bush.

28th December
2009
written by Sean Noble

Air travel. We Americans do a lot of it. More than most countries, by a long shot. I do quite a bit myself – by Dec. 31 I will have logged nearly 200,000 miles this year alone.

What disturbs me about the botched attack by a young Nigerian radical on a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit is that it could have easily been thwarted.

A 23 year-old man buys a one-way ticket with cash and has no luggage on an overseas flight. Are you kidding me? I buy a one-way ticket on my credit card on any flight other than US Airways (the carrier I use the most) and I am almost always selected for secondary security screening.

The New York Times reports that Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano initially said “the system worked.” Of course that is absurd, and she quickly had to backtrack on that statement, trying to brush it aside as being taken “out of context.”

From the New York Times article:

Ms. Napolitano was not the only Obama administration official to initially portray the episode, in which passengers and flight attendants subdued Mr. Abdulmutallab and doused the fire he had started, as a test that the air safety system passed.

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, echoed the positive comments Ms. Napolitano made on ABC’s “This Week, ” saying in an interview on “Face the Nation” on CBS that “in many ways, this system has worked.”

But counterterrorism experts and members of Congress were hardly willing to praise what they said was a security system that had proved to be not nimble enough to respond to the ever-creative techniques devised by would-be terrorists.

Congressional leaders said the tip from Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, should have resulted in closer scrutiny of the suspect before he boarded the plane in Amsterdam. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the ranking minority member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said his visa should have been revoked or at least he should have been given a physical pat-down or a full-body scan.

“This individual should not have been missed,” Ms. Collins said in an interview on Sunday. “Clearly, there should have been a red flag next to his name.”

I have blogged a number of times (here, here and here) about Napolitano not being ready for prime time as DHS Secretary. She has proven it once again.

25th March
2009
written by Sean Noble

The Obama administration has decided that it doesn’t like the phrase “global war on terror” and has instructed its folks to refer to it as the “long war” or “overseas contingency operation.”

The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “global war on terror,” a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.

In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ ”

This is dangerous.  Words have meaning, and by refusing to call the global war on terror what it is, we put our nation and our citizens (especially those overseas) at risk.  As I had commented a couple weeks ago when Secretary Napolitano didn’t use the words “terror” or “terrorism” in her first appearance on Capitol Hill, this refusal to address the real threat we face will come at a price, and that price may be pretty high.

Now is not the time to back down on this effort.  Too much is at stake.