I just saw video of Janet Napolitano saying what may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard from a public official.
Napolitano heads the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration. As we now know, on Christmas Day Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was able to board a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit and tried to blow up the plane with a bomb he smuggled on board. A couple hundred lives were saved when the bomb malfunctioned.
In just the first 48 hours since the incident, we've learned that Abdulmutallab:
-- Was already on a terrorist watch list;
-- Was thought by his family to have "gone over the edge" of radical Islam, and his father went so far as to contact the U.S. Embassy and warn them about his son;
-- Had been spending time in Yemen, an al-Qaeda hotbed;
-- Was able to apply for, and get, a U.S. visa;
-- Smuggled his bomb through security;
-- And failed in his plot only because of the poor quality of the bomb.
Despite this incredible list of breakdowns and failures, Napolitano went on CNN Sunday and proclaimed "the system worked." See the clip HERE.
The Obama administration view seems to be this: None of our tools - terrorist watchlists, airport inspections, etc. - can prevent someone from smuggling a bomb onto an airplane. We know that's their view, because that's what happened, and Napolitano said "the system worked." So apparently the only difference between the system working, and the system NOT working, is whether or not the bomb really goes off, the plane crashes and people die.
This reflects the Obama Administration viewpoint that fighting terrorism is really a law enforcement matter. When things happen - like Major Hasan shooting up Ft. Hood after spending months trading emails with a terrorism advocate - you simply bag the bodies and prosecute those responsible.
I liked it better in the 88 months after 9/11, when the Bush administration decided that we would focus on preventing attacks, rather than reacting to them. They monitored terrorist conversations, they sent special forces to kill terrorist leaders, they set up a terrific detainee system at Guantanamo Bay to hold enemy combatants, and they established military tribunals to deal with those combatants. They forced countries with lax banking laws to stop hiding terrorist funding channels. And in those seven-plus years after 9/11, we had no successful terrorist attacks on the country.
Of course, Obama and his people called this "shredding the Constitution" and "abandoning our values," because they wanted to score cheap political points. And as soon as Obama was elected, he announced he would shut down Guantanamo, and he has since decided to give confessed mass murderers like Khalid Sheik Muhammad a civilian trial in New York City.
And now, in less than a year after Obama taking office with this new "sophisticated" approach to fighting what Napolitano likes to call "man-made disasters" - rather than terrorism - we have had the Ft. Hood massacre, and a fellow with a bomb in a plane over Detroit.
Listen to Napolitano tell us that "the system worked" and then ask yourself how safe you feel with this administration running the country.