Isaac Yeffet, former El Al chief and Israeli intelligence agent, told Fox & Friends yesterday tow key things in considering aviation security: (1) hire smart well-educated people; (2) train them very well. Here is a 12/29/09 F&F video (4:34) with Yeffet, worth seeing to see the incredulous expression on his face as he describes TSA's comic-opera performance.
Right after he appeared F&F ran a brief clip of a former TSA security screener who is apparently writing a book on her experience, in novel form. She said that upon showing up for work she was told to "keep your mouth shut" and she would do alright; supervisors then did what they wanted as to implementing the rules.
Meanwhile, ICX Technologies, a security firm in Arlington, VA, has a product line coming to market or in advanced testing. Check out the website and watch the brief demos.
Newt Gingrich calls for targeted profiling immediately. One Brit columnist sees a pattern of complacency and minimizing terrorist attacks, with 44 & his minions playing down the Islam connection while blaming Team Bush. Here are more Family Security Matters videos on Flight #253. Dick Cheney told Politico that Obama is pretending we are not at war, and that 44's priority is remaking American society. A New York Times front-pager recounts how intelligence failed to connect the dots of the impending attack. BBC reports that a Somali national is in custody, having been arrested trying to board a plane in November with identical explosives and assembly materials as used by the XMAS bomber. Another New York Times front-pager reports that airline executives are quaking in their financial boots, fearing customers will spurn air travel due to long lines and Mickey Mouse in-flight rules.
Reagan Justice Sept. official Victoria Toensing has pointed questions for the XMAS bombing perp:
Yet even the legal issues of a trial are of little importance compared to the threat to our security putting this terrorist into the regular criminal justice system presents. Abdulmutallab is in effect in possession of a ticking bomb, but we cannot interrogate him. His right to remain silent, as required by the Miranda rule, thwarts Mr. Obama's hollow attempt on Tuesday to "assure" us he is "doing everything in [his] power" to keep us safe.
Questions need to be answered. Where was Abdulmutallab trained? Who trained him? Where is the training facility located? Where is the stash of PETN, the explosive used in the bomb? What are the techniques he was told to use for getting through airport security? Was there a well-dressed man who helped him board the plane without a passport as claimed by another passenger? And, most important, are future attacks planned?
Yes, we could try him first and then interrogate him. But by then the information is stale, especially if he utilizes the same legal challenges Moussaoui did to drag out the process for years.
As the president told us, there were indeed "human and systemic failures" that "contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security." By placing this terrorist into the regular criminal process, he continues and magnifies those failures, which could leave to an actual catastrophe.
Abdulmutallab is not a United States citizen. By detonating a bomb on an airplane filled with 269 civilians, he committed an illegal act of war. A military commission, which has been used for such conduct since Gen. George Washington, will give him due process. But first, he must be interrogated.
Writing in the Daily Beast, Richard Miniter sums up the Napolitano-Holder Doctrine: Rights trump security. The rights crowd converts our laws and the Constitution into a suicide pact. Janet & Eric, it seems, would rather lose pretty than win ugly. Andy McCArthy says the problem lies at 1600 Pennsylvania, not Homeland Security.
And then, as the TAS Prowler reports, there is what might be called the Obama Doctrine: Blame Bush for doing worse. Dig this:
On December 26, two days after Nigerian Omar Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to use underwear packed with plastic explosives to blow up the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight he was on, and as it became clear internally that the Administration had suffered perhaps its most embarrassing failure in the area of national security, senior Obama White House aides, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and new White House counsel Robert Bauer, ordered staff to begin researching similar breakdowns -- if any -- from the Bush Administration.
"The idea was that we'd show that the Bush Administration had had far worse missteps than we ever could," says a staffer in the counsel's office. "We were told that classified material involving anything related to al Qaeda operating in Yemen or Nigeria was fair game and that we'd declassify it if necessary."
The White House, according to the source, is in full defensive spin mode. Other administration sources also say a flurry of memos were generated on December 26th, 27th, and 28th, which developed talking points about how Obama's decision to effectively shut down the Homeland Security Council (it was merged earlier this year into the National Security Council, run by National Security Adviser James Jones) had nothing to do with what Obama called a "catastrophic" failure on Christmas Day.
"This White House doesn't view the Northwest [Airlines] failure as one of national security, it's a political issue," says the White House source. "That's why Axelrod and Emanuel are driving the issue."
For Team Obama, politics trumps homeland security.
Even Ruth Marcus is mad at Team Obama. After six "How can it be" paragraphs in mid-article, shoe closes with this fusillade at Team Obama:
And how can it be, in the face of all this, that the administration's communications strategy, cooked up on a conference call, was to assure us that they were looking into things but in the meantime we should settle down?
This was not just one supposedly out-of-context stumble by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; it was the official line. Making the rounds of Sunday talk shows, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs resisted every effort to get him to acknowledge that something had gone seriously wrong.
The American people are not as stupid as the administration's initial approach assumed. They accept that a smart, determined terrorist can -- and eventually probably will -- slip through the best-constructed defenses. They cannot accept -- nor should they -- a system so slipshod as to let through a bungler like Abdulmutallab, with all the red flags that were waved, and ignored.
Bottom Line: Earth to Team Obama: When your cheerleader friends are mad at you, you have a problem--a BIG problem.
LFTC READERS: ONCE AGAIN, HAPPY 2010!