Let's be clear that there is plenty of blame to go around in the Undiebomber incident.
But as the fog begins to lift two weeks after the near catastrophe aboard Northwest Flight 253 as it approached the Detroit airport on Christmas Day, it becomes increasingly obvious that while there were screw-ups on President Obama's watch, most of the blame must fall on his predecessor. I speak of course of the seven post-9/11 years during which George Bush, with a big assist from Dick Cheney, tried to scare the bejeezus out of us while going on a fool's mission in Iraq and fiddle fucking around where it mattered most.
Obama was correct to note earlier in the week that "This was not a failure to collect intelligence. It was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had," and the new procedures that he rolled out yesterday afternoon seem appropriate and necessary in light of that.
But Republican bloviating aside, the so-called War on Terror did not begin with Obama's inauguration and by comparison the misdeeds that allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to come thisclose to sending nearly 300 people to their deaths seem rather pallid compared to those compounded and committed by the Bush administration.
Compounded was years . . . no, make that decades of feuding between the CIA, FBI and NSA that reared its ugly hydra head in the weeks before 9/11 when the CIA and FBI between them had four of the hijackers in their sights but did not share that information, as well as the retro Cold War mindsets of the clueless vice president and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
Committed was the Bush solution for the infighting by creating yet another stifling bureaucracy in the form of the National Counterterrorism Center. The NCTC has not been staffed with Volvo-driving, arugula-eating Obamanistas over the past year but rather careerists whose mandate was to force the Big Three intelligence agencies, as well as 13 smaller ones, to share information as well as connect those much talked about dots.
Sharing information they have not, and the CIA's conduct in the Undiebomber case was especially egregious, while it was the NCTC that was supposed to dot connect, but did not.
The excuse that there are now too many dots to connect would be hysterical if it wasn't so pathetic. This is because being able to connect the dots that matter, not merely amassing huge quantities of dots, is what matters.
Friday, January 08, 2010
The Undiebomber & The Blame Game
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