I, too, am speechless. When listening to Candi Crowley’s interview with Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, it is strikingly obvious that she doesn’t consider this lapse in security and a person trying to ignite a bomb on a plane as particularly important. While she stupefies us with the comment “the process worked,” her demeanor and attitude smacks of a serious lack of judgment. She is completely composed while saying “we have no suggestion that he was improperly screened.” Huh?
Candi Crowley then reasonably asks why Americans should feel safe if he was properly or improperly screened and yet got on that plane. Napolitano answers that thousands of people fly on thousands of flights per year, as though a few random terrorist bombings are simply par for the course of living and traveling in and around the United States.
Napolitano goes on to praise her own handling of the situation by saying other flights were not inconvenienced. There was no panic. The situation was ‘handled’ and she seems unduly proud of such an understated response. The bureaucracy handled it calmly and coolly and therefore we should somehow be pleased that an attempted bombing defused by passengers and crew was a shining example of departmental competence as opposed to a glaring mote in the eye of the administration.
Finally, Napolitano becomes mired in the idea of watch lists. Apparently there are several ‘watch’ lists that have an underlying hierarchy of seriousness and this bomber wasn’t on the correct list. The list, it seems to Napolitano, is the thing to be blamed and not those making the lists and checking them twice. We must be sure a threat is really, truly credible before we stop them from flying. God forbid we make someone take a train or a bus. Good Lord, it must be a constitutional right to fly now. Why not? Everything else is, well except for free speech, freedom to practice religion, and of course freedom to petition our representatives. Those are ancillary freedoms in comparison to rights to flying, boil lancing, and free childcare.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the interview is the Homeland Secretary’s insistance that this is just a law enforcement issue. She is terribly concerned with watch lists, protecting civil rights, making sure no one is inconvenienced, and forensic evidence handling but rather blase about a terrorist bomb. She talks like, well, a county sheriff and not the chief safety officer of the nation. She’s so busy trying to lay cover for this serious breach, she hasn’t the brain power to consider the sobering implications. Really, she should be fired, though this is the Obama view of terrorism, not as a war but as a police action.
Most likely she’ll get a medal for not panicking and keeping the lists separate.