First up, the Wall Street Journal discussing the terrorist attack on Northwest flight 253:
Brian Jenkins, who studies terrorism for the Rand Corporation, says there were more terror incidents (12), including thwarted plots, on U.S. soil in 2009 than in any year since 2001. The jihadists don't seem to like Americans any better because we're closing down Guantanamo.
This increasing terror tempo makes the Obama Administration's reflexive impulse to treat terrorists like routine criminal suspects all the more worrisome. It immediately indicted Mr. Abdulmutallab on criminal charges of trying to destroy an aircraft, despite reports that he told officials he had ties to al Qaeda and had picked up his PETN explosive in Yemen. The charges mean the Nigerian can only be interrogated like any other defendant in a criminal case, subject to having a lawyer present and his Miranda rights read.
Yet he is precisely the kind of illegal enemy combatant who should be interrogated first with the goal of preventing future attacks and learning more about terror networks rather than gaining a single conviction. We now have to hope he cooperates voluntarily.
A man on a terrorism watch list gets on a flight bound for the U.S. with a bomb strapped to his body and "the system worked?" Give me a break. Such a statement by the head of Homeland Security shows either unconscionable ignorance of the facts or laughable prevarication. Further, isn't it apparent that the Cairo speech, outreach, and closing Guantanamo notwithstanding, the terrorists are not going away. Michelle Malkin highlights another mistaken belief that seems to permeate the Obama administration.
As I noted last summer, Barack Obama clings, like so many willfully blind, to the myth of the poor, oppressed jihadist in the face of years and years of contrary evidence. The “essence” of the 9/11 “tragedy,” he wrote days after that attack, “grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.”
This woeful misdiagnosis allows the apologist to treat deliberate, carefully planned evil acts of the long-waged Islamic war on the West as responses to social injustice.
These are not common criminals. These are not poor, oppressed minorities struggling for social justice and freedom. And these are not individuals who are otherwise indistinguishable from the general population. The Fort Hood shooter gave strong indications all through his training and deployments of his bent. Similarly, the Northwest bomber was outed by his own father for his jihadist views. And each of these individuals, and others, has had contacts with radical Islamic teaching and with terrorist infrastructure, like Al Qaeda. So stop pretending that these are random acts by random persons, as they are clearly not.
It's okay to be wrong. It's not okay to continue to insist that you're right when the evidence that you're wrong is overwhelming. If Mr. Obama and his administration continue to ignore the obvious, Matt Damon's Will Hunting has an appropriate analysis.
"See, the sad thing about a guy like you is that in 50 years you're going to start doing some thinking on your own, and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One, don't do that. And two, you dropped $150 grand on a &%**#$ education you could have gotten for $1.50 in late charges at the public library."
Or perhaps you dropped the money on an education you'd have been better off without.
And it may be helpful to, you know, offer some comment about this near miss, where 300 innocent air travelers might have been blown from the sky, before the year is done. Just sayin'.
12/28/09 1440: Well, Ms. Napolitano appears to be able to process the evidence and admit she was wrong.
[NBC's Matt] Lauer pressed: How does a guy who’s on this general terror list, who buys a one-way transtlantic ticket with cash, who checks no luggage, and who’s own father has flagged him to authorities, get on the plane? Napolitano said that “our system did not work in this instance” and no one “is happy or satisfied with that.”
Although, prior to this, an anonymous administration minion asserted that letting him on the plane was done in order to avoid tipping him off that we were on to him. No, really. (Via Jimmy at The Sundries Shack)
More items worth a look:
- The Heritage Foundation's Foundry:
The Obama administration continues to demonstrate that they believe counterterrorism is a law enforcement problem to be managed, not a war to be won. Hence Attorney General Eric Holder’s insistence on sending Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terrorists to New York for a civilian trial in federal court...
The Flight 253 incident was an intelligence failure. Instead of focusing on convictions, the Obama administration should be focusing on gathering the intelligence necessary to best protect the American people.
- Roger Pilon of Cato:
The one main reason we have government at all is to better protect us from domestic and foreign threats than we ourselves, acting alone, could do. But as planes were flying to the twin towers, the Pentagon, and the Capitol, Mr. Bush was reading to elementary school children. Perhaps Mr. Obama should turn his attention from taking responsibility for the nation’s health care — the market and private charity can handle that, if he’d just get out of the way — to taking his main responsibility more seriously.