Daniel R. DePetris: The Political Docket

More Evidence that the U.S. is Not Up to the Terrorism Challenge

Posted in U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy by Dan on January 5, 2010

The security saga continues

I came across a fascinating update from Newsweek over the ongoing security saga otherwise known by the U.S. Press Corps as the “underpants bomber.”

“Two intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security circulated a paper within the government last fall which examined in some detail the threats which bombs secreted in clothing — or inside someone’s body cavities — might pose to aviation security.  According to the national security officials, the body-bomb paper was circulated within the government approximately two months ago.”

Yet another piece of the puzzle to the main story: either the CIA, DHS, and NCTC are incompetent when it comes to circulating and sharing valuable pieces of intelligence, or the Obama administration does not take the terror threat seriously.  The second scenario is by far the most devastating, if indeed it is true.  A lax Obama administration not only jeopardizes American intelligence and American security, but also gives Islamic terrorists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia a symbolic victory against the world’s last superpower.  As is becoming increasingly obvious to many Americans today, Al’Qaeda will use the Christmas airline plot- even though it was technically a failure- as a P.R. campaign for future recruitment.

This is why terrorism is such a complicated issue; its effects resonate throughout the world is a relatively quick period of time.

Thankfully, I do not believe that the second scenario is accurate.  President Obama has shown his determination and resolve in fighting the Al’Qaeda network by deploying an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.  He has also declared the terror threat America’s number one international concern, prompting him to increase surveillance and drone-attacks on Pakistani territory.

Obama is not the problem.  But this does not mean that his advisers- a.k.a. John Brennan, Janet Napolitano, and some members of the National Security Council- are safe.  While this is speculation, some very valuable information concerning American national-security may not be reaching the President’s desk.

Could this be a possibility?

-Daniel R. DePetris

Twitter @mideastblogger


7 Responses

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  1. mjkoch said, on January 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Whether it is politically correct or not the fact remains since the horrors of 911 happened in America Islamic terrorists have murdered thousands of innocent men, women, and children in Israel, India, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Tunesia, Morocco, Spain, England, The Philippines, Bali, Saudia Arabia, Somalia, Turkey, and Russia. Despite what our President wants to call these terrorists they are at war with America and they are not common criminals or petty thieves who robbed a convenience store or stole someone’s purse. They want to destroy America and if they ever got their hands on a weapon of mass destruction they would not hesitate to use it against us. They murdered three thousand innocent people on 911 but would have been delighted if they could have murdered three hundred thousand or three million.

    Our current administration believes it is fine to Mirandize those who are at war with us. Instead of our military and FBI being able to learn what other plots might be in the works or more about the training the terrorist from Nigeria received his lawyer has advised him to remain silent. We seem to be more worried about the rights of foreigners who want to destroy us rather than the innocent Americans they want to kill. After all, we have a President in Washington who refuses to acknowledge that Islamic terror exists and a Homeland Security director who refers to these “incidents” as “man made disasters” rather than terrorism and who believes the system worked fine in preventing almost three hundred people from being killed. It did work fine as long as we can rely on citizens from Denmark being on our planes, jumping over three rows of seats and disarming the terrorists before their bomb explodes!

    Jewish and Christian terrorists are not going around the world trying to murder as many people as they can – Islamic terrorists are, and in more than twenty countries since our own 911. The overwhelming majority of these people come from certain countries where these people are trained and indoctrinated with hatred against western civilization and the outrage should not be that we are targeting these countries for extra security scrutiny. The outrage should be that it took us more than eight years to do this. We have a choice in our country between being politically correct and risking the lives of our citizens or doing the right thing and preventing future 911’s that may dwarf what happened before in the number of casualties that will occur. The number one responsibility of the President is not the economy, the enviroment, or health care, but is and always will be the security and safety of the American people and its time this adminstration put the people of this country first.

  2. liman8 said, on January 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Stop backing Israel who is murdering innocent palestenians daily, stop killing afghan children and terrorism will be just a memory from the past

  3. rjvg50 said, on January 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Just because the bomb materials are smuggled on board in the anus doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where the bomb is detonated. A trip to the bathroom fixes that.

  4. clairesolt said, on January 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Discussion talks about using the no fly list of past info to assess current risk. We ask for passenger manifests in advance and assessing risk should be in real time. If KLm had added info of how terrorist presented himself at airline, a compenent analyst could have added the red flags to the inconclusive past info to produce more concern. Likewise, a real time analysis of Hassan buying guns would have cast a different light on the meaning of his file.

    Is this how they will use medical records, too. Imagine a man presenting in cardiac arrest at the ER. Call up his medical records and when they show no previous history of heart disease, just send him home. Past is prologue not fate.

  5. MichaelX said, on January 5, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Duh. These are messed up people, with the good graces of their equally messed up religeous beliefs. Thats right , the willingness of the religeon to aid, and abet terroristic behaviour.

    Should’nt something like that be stopped? Why “allow” a belief based on murderous abandon to exist in this day and age. Any and all religeous beliefs have to be stopped now. You cant progress if you continue to live in the past. Humans, take a step forward, evolve, and progress.

    The future of the world does not rely on imagined wizardry and idolotry.

    Of course we know that these cretins will use any means, but why are we assumed a threat, when simple profiling will work, forget you PC idiots, . But then, they will only blow off their bomb right there, which will be a success for them and their ilk. Mmmm……world wide nudity! Problem solved!

  6. peacetoyou said, on January 5, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    We have known that terrorists will be figuring out new ways to kill us for a long time now and especially since the shoe bomber plot we’ve known they will try to bring explosives on planes. This is not new news. We have got to make sure that all intelligence is shared between all agencies all the time and that screenings include measures that will detect explosives no matter where they are hidden.

  7. coraltown said, on January 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Airport screening has been a reactive braindead process ever since 9-11. They should intensively profile and screen the few who are the obvious threat and not treat every human being as a potential terrorist. Also, there are a lot of people who should not be getting US visas.

    Until they play it smart and not politically correct, it will continue to be a downhill slide for airline travel.

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