Barack Bush

More

Read D.B. Grady's response to the undie-bomber report by the Obama administration. It tells it like it is. The Obama administration is just as incompetent in terror prevention as the Bush administration. But here's the basic point:

The White House blames Abdulmutallab's success on a failure to "connect the dots," but, in fact, the dots were already connected. There were no dots. We already had all the information necessary to shut down Abdulmutallab. No secret missions were in order. No covert bribes in cash-stuffed briefcases needed to change hands at disused bus stops. Delta operatives didn't have to to kick down doors, and there was no need to dust off the waterboard to draw out a name.

We knew everything.

Yes we did. This was emphatically not one of those terror attacks that we could not have seen coming. The huge amount of resources we have devoted to better security since 9/11 did their job: the dude was identified, exposed, and on a list. And the failure was not of a system. It was a failure of individual people in the system, people paid by you and me to do the job they manifestly failed to do. The failure was so profound that the president was only now assigning "specific responsibility for investigating all leads on high priority threats". Is he fucking kidding me? These people don't take personal responsibility for following through on threats? Which people? And why are they still employed? Grady:

The minute Abdulmutallab's father walked into a U.S. Embassy with news that his son was a potential terrorist, the official in charge was duty-bound to see this through. Every scrap of paper and every byte of data on the suspect should have been called up and frozen. That's why we have embassies. When the information was passed to the first special agent at the CIA, he or she was duty bound to see it through. When the information was passed to the first administrator at the National Counterterrorism Center, he or she, too, was duty bound to see it to the end.

Everyone who read the name "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab" prior to December 25, 2009 should be reprimanded and fired.

Amen. And the rank failure to do so, the closing of ranks, the blaming of the "system", the faux-responsibility: this is one reason many of us found the Bush administration's hubris unacceptable. The hubris now is, however, identical.

Fire every single person who allowed this to happen, identify them publicly, explain what they did wrong. Then I'll believe Obama is serious and can run the government. But right now, in this area, the government is running him.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

Social Security is the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down