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Monday, December 28, 2009

Don't you find Janet Napolitano so reassuring?

Well, this is a comfort. Now, after receiving derision from the right and left for her "the system worked" comment, Janet Napolitano has revised and extended her remarks to say that, yup, the system didn't work.
In an interview Monday on NBC’s Today Show, Napolitano said her words in Sunday’s CNN interview had been “taken out of context.” She said the comment referred to the reaction in the 60-90 minutes after the suspect attempted to blow up the plane. Up until that point, did the system fail miserably, Matt Lauer asked. “It did,” she responded.
Got that? She was just talking about how the system worked after individuals aboard the Northwest flight stopped the would-be bomber. I guess we all feel much better now to know that, if a Dutch passenger and some stewardesses can indeed stop a terrorist, the Homeland Security system is capable of taking over.

Of course, this is the same Secretary of Homeland Security who was busy telling the press yesterday that "there was so far no evidence of a wider terrorist plot." Well nothing besides the suspect's own claims that there are more terrorists coming behind him to blow up western airplanes.
FAILED plane bomber Umar Abdulmutallab has bragged to FBI agents that there are more young men plotting to launch attacks on the West.

The 23-year-old Nigerian has told security chiefs of a sinister network in Yemen who are ready and waiting to strike.

The reports come after The Sun revealed that cops fear that 25 British-born Muslims are plotting to bomb Western airliners.

The fanatics, in five groups, are now training at secret terror camps in Yemen.
And of course, we all feel so much more relieved to see headlines like this.
Uninvestigated terrorism warning about Detroit suspect called not unusual


tfhr said...

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and no, that was not a "shoe bomber" allusion, where are the condemnations from the left for the apparent failure to "connect the dots" on this latest terrorist attack?

mark should be here, fists clenched and frothing that something should be done just as he did when trying to place blame for 9-11 on George W. Bush.

Maybe, though I don't hold out much hope, during this post 9-11 period there will be a switch from using incidents for domestic political gain in favor of a realization that we are a country at war. Maybe then we can actually fight that war to win it.

mark said...

A bit late, tfhr. I already criticized the administration for the lapse in security and the disgraceful comments made by Napolitano.
And nope, I never blamed Bush for 9/11. I've said that had he acted on the warnings, the attacks may have been prevented. In this case, homeland security was following the procedures put in place by the Bush administration, but a year into a new presidency should be enough for Obama to have corrected the shortcomings.
Unfortunately, we're always playing catch-up on these issues. Betsy is right that we should have the more invasive x-rays in place.
One additional common-sense suggestion:
Given the threat of terrorists here in the US, we should be re-visiting our insane gun laws which ensure the rights of terrorist wanna-bees to have access to assault weapons. But of course, repubs and a number of dems have prostituted themselves out to the NRA, so I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Skay said...

Janet Incompatano needs to be replaced with someone who actually believes it is more important to protect the American people than think up politically correct words to use in place of the actural discription--Islamic terrorists.

She is, of course, a mirror of the man who appointed her.

Bachbone said...

You should have quit while ahead with your reasonable statement about Napolitano, Mark.

What is your definition of an "assault weapon?" Any NRA member could tell you that assault weapons are already banned and cannot be legally possessed by any person except law enforcement agencies and the military. Therefore, "terrorist wanna-bees" who want them have to break existing laws to obtain them, and when do they care about breaking laws? Their code actually says it's quite all right to lie as long as their goal is "just" in their eyes. The NRA has never condoned breaking any law.

The NRA has supported Second Amendment rights and resisted encroaching gun bans, because gun grabbers inevitably start slowly with emotional scare tactics, much like "terrorist wanna-bees" will get "assault weapons" so we'd better "re-visit insane gun laws." Canada, UK and Australia went down that road. In Australia, "assault weapons" that were confiscated and destroyed included pump shotguns, self-loading rifles (including .22s), semiautomatics - essentially all long guns considered sporting guns. From Berettas to Winchesters. Also noteworthy is that crime rates have increased in all those countries.

Those who want to do bad things will obtain the methods to work their will regardless of laws. We have a porous Mexican border for smugglers to bring in "assault weapons," and when politicians and do-gooders finish disarming average citizens, they'll be easy targets.

The NRA is helping to protect people like you from their own ignorance. Before commenting about the NRA, go to its Web site and read its policies. It's free even to non-members. Its fastest growing segment is women. If you're married, do your wife a favor and protect her with a membership.

tfhr said...


Please accept my apology for missing your comment on the "Heckuva job, Janet" post. I did not get to that entry until I read your 2:12 response in this thread.

It looks to me like you still hold Bush accountable for not taking "action" in August '01 without specifying what action should have been taken. The issue is that the PDB did not provide actionable intelligence.

In the case of the Nigerian, we had a name and a warning from a family member but we still see that there is an appalling lack of collaboration between domestic and international security bodies, as if 9-11 never happened.

I'm in Arizona visiting family and we've been discussing Janet Napolitano's unsuitability for her position in Homeland Security. Obama needs to find a competent replacement for Napolitano. She was not a good choice for the job in the first place and her selection suggested a lack of commitment to defending the country from terrorist attacks. I HOPE Obama will make a CHANGE.

On the way out here Saturday I had the opportunity to see some rather lax security at Dulles and in Denver though I did have a conversation with a Canadian sitting next to me on the flight into Phoenix that complained about being searched several times in Saskatoon and again in Denver as she tried to get her family from Global Warming ravaged Saskatchewan to the safety of Arizona. Apparently her 85 year old wheel chair bound mother's airport provided wheel chair came up hot for explosives residue. Wherever common sense and its arch enemy, political correctness, continue to wage their vicious struggle, terrorists gain an upper hand. It's also worth noting that many people, including the Canadian and her family, did not seem to give much thought to the Nigerian's attempt to bring down a plane the day before. It was amazing to me to see how many people were upset by having to stand in lines to pass through security checks when they should have been far more upset by the limited scope of those checks.

Fighting a war might be an inconvenience to some air travelers but they'll have to live with the lines and some inroads into their privacy. Nobody is forcing them to fly and nobody is telling them they cannot take a bus instead. But to address your suggestion that 2nd Amendment rights should be curtailed during this time, I can only say that you are right not to expect Americans to support such a thing. It puzzles me that you don't really understand why. That said, it's good to see you posting comments here again.

mark said...

Good God, Bachbone, I can't tell if you're lying through your teeth or just incredibly ignorant. Mexico has far stricter gun laws and has been begging the US to help with the flow of assault weapons into Mexico, especially dealing with violence with the drug trade.

Thanks to the NRA and cowardly politicians, any terrorist and/or nutjob can go to a gun show and walk away with an assault rifle, even if they have felonies or a history of mental illness. Legally? No. But the NRA has worked hard to make it easy.
The NRA is responsible for far more US deaths than Al Queda. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows are gun laws are insane.

Pat Patterson said...

During World War I shotguns, which American soldiers used to clear trenches, were labeled by the Germans as criminal. A few Americans were actually tried by the Germans for war crimes for being captured with the weapons. The shotgun would seem to qualify as an assault weapon so undoubtedly mark would call for their banning as well.

mark said...

What do you mean by "curtailed"? I believe people should be allowed to own guns, but with sensible restrictons. What the NRA does is the equivalent of a freedom of speech group arguing that one should be able to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. You don't have to be against the 1st amendment to think that gratuitously creating panic is unacceptable.
Employing the "invasive" technology at airports should be a no-brainer. So should toughening gun laws to curtail purhases by potential terrorists. Neither one is foolproof, but both are common-sense steps.

As for 9/11, I simply don't agree that it was non-actionable intelligence.
I'll also say I think it is highly inappropriate that Obama is playing golf today instead of back in DC, at least showing that he is taking this breakdown seriosly. I realize he has full communication in Hawaii, but he should be in DC coming down on Napolitano and everyone else connected. Only a bad detonator and some heroic passengers averted a disaster. We caught a break, but he should be acting like we didn't.

tfhr said...


So it's the "assault" rifle's fault and not the criminal that used it illegally? If that's not what you're saying then how do you account for your claim that "The NRA is responsible for far more US deaths than Al Queda[sic]."?

You're back to your old habits: Using the acts of a terrorist to further your own domestic political goals. Last time it was to attack the Bush Administration and this time it is to attack the NRA. Whatever. But if you want to be consistent you need to ramp up your attacks on Ford, Toyota, Budweiser, and Jack Daniels, if you decide that you've had enough of drunk driving deaths in America.

Old Retired Petty Officer said...

About as much as having the clap.

mark said...

Nope, I don't have any "domestic political goals" regarding gun control.
Organizations that push irresponsible, immoral legislation are partly responsible for the consequences. Of course, the legislators who cave to the intimidations and bribes are truly to blame.
Several dems, including Rahm Emmanuel, have proposed banning people on the No-Fly list from being able to legally buy guns in the US. The NRA is against it. That is the kind of callous, disregard for common-sense (and human life) that I am referring to.
BTW: By your (faulty) logic, only the terrorist is to blame for trying to blow up the plane. Nobody in the Obama administration is responsible. I look forward to you defending them.

Bachbone said...

Try getting your information from more than CNN, American Progress and Media Matters, Mark. If anyone can go into any gun show and walk out with an "assault weapon," which you can't even correctly classify, why hasn't Obama shut them all down by now? Having one "assault weapon" on the premises would put the show venue, show promoters, seller and buyer in prison for a long time. Having one legally manufactured rifle that has been illegally modified to be fired like an assault rifle carries the same penalty. Cases against manufacturers and shows brought by gun grabbing leftists, such as Mayor Bloomberg, have been thrown out even liberal courts, because it's clear to even dunderheads that it's the nutcase behind the gun or knife or baseball bat or steering wheel, not the item itself.

I was waiting for you to throw that claim about all the "assault weapons" going into Mexico from the USA. Now, I'm not willing to accuse you of "lying through your teeth," but do think you are "incredibly ignorant" to believe what Obama, the MSM and other Obama flackery say. An ATF spokeswoman and ICE special agent (on April 2, 2009 - that's during the this administration, so Obama had to know what he was saying was a lie) told Fox News this: "...only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S." Not the 90% Obama and his flacks use.

"What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, "is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S."

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

"Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market," Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News."

Further, "Ed Head, a firearms instructor in Arizona who spent 24 years with the U.S. Border Patrol, recently displayed an array of weapons considered "assault rifles" that are similar to those recovered in Mexico, but are unavailable for sale in the U.S.

"These kinds of guns -- the auto versions of these guns -- they are not coming from El Paso," he said. "They are coming from other sources. They are brought in from Guatemala. They are brought in from places like China. They are being diverted from the military. But you don't get these guns from the U.S."

Some guns, he said, "are legitimately shipped to the government of Mexico, by Colt, for example, in the United States. They are approved by the U.S. government for use by the Mexican military service. The guns end up in Mexico that way -- the fully auto versions -- they are not smuggled in across the river."

Many of the fully automatic weapons that have been seized in Mexico cannot be found in the U.S., but they are not uncommon in the Third World.

The Mexican government said it has seized 2,239 grenades in the last two years -- but those grenades and the rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) are unavailable in U.S. gun shops. The ones used in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey in October and a TV station in January were made in South Korea. Almost 70 similar grenades were seized in February in the bottom of a truck entering Mexico from Guatemala.

It's a long piece, and rather than waste Betsy's bandwidth, here's the link: US/Mexico Border.

Again, save yourself some egg on the face before tossing out indefensible opinion under the guise of knowledge. Do a little free research.

Pat Patterson said...

Mexico has stricter gun laws and a ban on the death penalty and yet it has a murder rate by firearms that is twice that of the US. As to the claim that America is the source of these weapons that has been disproved over and over again simply because the sample is not large enough to provide any meaningful data.

The violence on the border has not really increased just that the US media is now paying attention. And much like the surge in Iraq Mexico is actually winning its war against the narcotrafficantes and have pushed their areas of operation right to the border. Most of these violent deaths are the result of the various gangs fighting over smaller areas that they can operate.

Skay said...

You know Mark--I think that radical muslim terrorists --those who preach hate( like Reverand Wright)-violent video games/movies that teach children how to kill(not just with guns) and criminals(including the ones who get out of prison early only to reoffend again) are a large part of the problem--not the NRA.

Whose "freedom of speech" are you talking about? That would be interesting to know.

Bachbone said...

Hey, Mark, why didn't you mention that the ACLU, about as far Left as Obama, thinks "..the entire system of watch lists is unconstitutional, because it treats people as guilty without a trial, and deprives them of their freedoms without due process. The system will not make us safer, because it is an inherently inaccurate and ineffective security method." And since US citizens who have never been convicted of anything still have Second Amendment rights, the NRA backs their right to gun ownership.

Are you ready to denounce the ACLU for its "callous, disregard for common-sense (and human life)..."?

The "no fly" list is about as trustworthy as the national "Do Not Call" list. The late Teddy Kennedy, whose name and face were internationally known and who was a very frequent flyer, was often delayed by the "no fly" list, and had a very difficult time getting his name cleared off it. Airline pilots have found their names one it. It's a super secret as to how the list is compiled, but some in the know say government bureaucrats add names on an ever expanding list. Press Secretary Gibbs said a few days ago that about a half million names were not on it, and Gibbs even made the comment that the Nigerian bomber wasn't caught because no one could keep an eye on all those people. (That inspires confidence!)

Leftists want to pick and choose which constitutional liberties to take away from US citizens (e.g., gun ownership), but at the same time decide for political purposes to confer undeserved rights on terrorists by bringing them to the states and trying them in US courts. It's frightening when one remembers that Clinton and Obama both taught constitutional law. Shakespeare had the right idea about what to do with lawyers.

tfhr said...


Just getting back to checking Betsy's posts here on 04 JAN, so I missed the chance to provide a timely answer to your challenge. At this point, I'd just refer you back to the excellent responses from Bachbone, Skay, and Pat Patterson, as they have made the same points I would have sought to do for you.