Americans are horrified at the recent attempted airline bombing by an al-Qaeda trained man on Christmas Day near Detroit. While we are fortunate that this attack on American soil was not successful, I am extremely concerned about the systems in place at our airports, the leadership and competence of those in this Administration, and the conduct of the War on Terror in general. Americans justifiably demand accountability from those in charge.
We should have been concerned when the Obama Administration stopped referring to this war as a “War on Terror’. A mere change in rhetoric may seem like meaningless semantics, but it reflects a mindset and a misunderstanding of the magnitude of the challenges we face. It’s not just that a system isn’t working – our entire focus is off – and we need to get serious about vigilance and security before it’s too late.
While Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano may think “the system worked”, most Americans understand that we came within a whisker of a successful terror attack on American soil. Furthermore, with yet another security breach last week in Newark, stranding thousands of airline passengers for hours – creating a dangerous incident in itself due to the extreme crowding and mass chaos – it is becoming increasingly apparent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Homeland Security operations are a mess.
In the Newark incident, TSA cameras were not even working, so the gross incompetence is strikingly clear – and the responsibility for that starts at the top. Inexcusably, there is no one at the top of TSA. The position has been vacant throughout the entire first year of this presidency. Instead of withdrawing Erroll Southers’s nomination to lead TSA, Mr. Obama continues to stand by a man who misled Congress about how he not once, but twice, misused his power as an FBI agent to retrieve confidential information in order to intimidate a woman.
I am also concerned about the entire focus of the War on Terror. While extremists around the globe plot to attack Americans and our allies, the Obama Administration is moving terror suspects from Guantanamo Bay to our back yard in Illinois. When an attack is nearly carried out on U.S soil, the Administration responds with talking about plea bargains and a criminal trial for the would-be-killer, as if this were an episode of Law & Order. Terrorists and jihadists will stop at nothing to kill Americans, and we need an Administration with policies in place that reflect this reality. It shouldn’t take a ‘near miss’ or massive chaos in an airport to bring this about – it should be a constant, everyday reality for those who we have entrusted to protect us. If elected, I will work to sharpen our focus and keep our eye on the ball. Our liberty is at stake, and we must never relent in defending America.
Patricia Lightner is a candidate for Congress in the 3rd District of Kansas. She is a former three-term State Representative. You can find out more about her by visiting http://www.patricialightner.com.