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Balladeer
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0 posted 12-29-2009 10:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


A "systemic failure" of the nation's intelligence gathering and analysis allowed a Nigerian man to board a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day in an alleged attempt to blow up an airliner, President Obama said Tuesday.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hastened to assure people that flying is "very, very safe."

She said the suspect in Friday's attack "was stopped before any damage could be done. I think the important thing to recognize here is that once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have."

That brought a sharp rebuke from Rep. Peter King of New York, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. "It's not reassuring when the secretary of Homeland Security says the system worked," King said. "It failed in every respect."

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate, said, "It's amazing to me that an individual like this who was sending out so many signals could end up getting on a plane going to the U.S."

An apparent malfunction in a device designed to detonate the high explosive PETN may have been all that saved the 278 passengers and the crew aboard Northwest Flight 253. No undercover air marshal was on board and passengers and crew subdued the suspect when he tried to set off the explosion. He succeeded only in starting a fire on himself.
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2009-12-27-detriot-terror-plane-explosion_N.htm?obref=obnetwork


hmmm.....I suppose that what Napolitano meant by everything happening as it should have was that the device malfunctioned. That's comforting...

President Obama faces the most serious crisis of his presidency. With Al Qaeda claiming credit for seeking to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane near Detroit and promises of more to come, his administration's handling of the plot, at each and every step, has been redolent of the Bush administration's actions before and after September 11. To show that he's serious about protecting Americans, Obama needs to fire Janet Napolitano for claiming that the system worked and take a hard look at the record of CIA director Leon Panetta as well.

To claim that the system functioned well is redolent of the Bush administration's attempts to substitute public relations for serious intelligence work. So transparent was the assertion that the administration is already backtracking. In his press conference, however, Obama offered nothing more than platitudes about remaining vigilant against terrorism. Sorry, but vigilance isn't enough.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-heilbrunn/up-in-the-air-obamas-terr_b_405586.html

Well, now, a rebuke from the Huffington Post...at least Obama had claimed he's going to get tough on terrorist groups. That's something. Perhaps he realizes that finally there is something the democrats can't point to and lay the blame on Bush or the "past eight years". If a terrorist attacks kills Americans on our soil it will all be on his shoulders and he knows it. None of us want to see that happen. I want him to keep America safe.....like Bush did.
Huan Yi
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1 posted 12-30-2009 10:46 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“Terrorist Interrogation, Obama-Style    [Marc Thiessen]
To see the danger we face because of Obama’s return to a law-enforcement approach to terrorist interrogation, read today’s front-page story in the Washington Post.
At the very end of the article, the Post notes:
Abdulmutallab remains in a Detroit area prison and, after initial debriefings by the FBI, has restricted his cooperation since securing a defense attorney, according to federal officials.  Authorities are holding out hope that he will change his mind and cooperate with the probe, the officials said. (Emphasis added)
Holding out hope?  Change his mind?  Are they kidding?  A terrorist like Abdulmutallab is not a common criminal who should be told he has the “right to remain silent.”  He is an enemy combatant, who tried to commit an act of war against the United States of America.  He possesses vital intelligence about the terrorist network that deployed him to attack America, and may be planning still more attacks.  The Obama administration has a responsibility to make him give up that information.  Treating him like a criminal is an abdication of that responsibility, and puts our nation at risk. “
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjFhZGQ1MGM5YTc1YWQ2NjIzZjg3ZTZlNGEwN2RkNWY=

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“The Difference Between Abdulmutallab and Reid   [Marc Thiessen]
Several readers have asked: How is what Obama is doing with Abdulmutallab different from what Bush did with Richard Reid?

Simple answer: The Richard Reid attack came almost immediately after 9/11, long before we figured out that we had other options than handing him over to law enforcement. After that came Jose Padilla, who was arrested at the Chicago airport on a mission from KSM to blow up apartment buildings in the United States. He was taken out of the criminal-justice system, declared an illegal enemy combatant, and transferred to the Charleston brig for interrogation.”
http://corner.nationalreview.com/

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Balladeer
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2 posted 12-30-2009 01:21 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

• How did airport security, improved at much cost after the 2001 terrorist attacks, miss the bomber's concealed explosives?

• How did the terrorist watch list system allow Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to keep his American tourist visa and avoid extra flight screening despite his father telling authorities his concerns about the younger man's radicalization?

• Why didn't Abdulmutallab's lack of luggage, and cash purchase for an international flight, raise suspicions?

• Why was the plot thwarted only by an apparent explosive malfunction and fellow passengers' quick action?

Amid those questions, administration officials' repeated statements that "the system worked" were jarring. They made it sound like the administration doesn't get it, like it is paying too much attention to political fallout and too little to public fears.

Officials insist the assertion, made by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs Sunday on television talk shows, referred only to heightened security procedures scrambled into place after the incident.

"The system worked," Napolitano declared on CNN during questioning about the lapses. Gibbs used nearly the same language on CBS, saying that "in many ways, this system has worked," without elaborating.

Later that same day, Napolitano put it differently on ABC, saying "once the incident occurred, the system worked." She tried again on Monday, saying in a round of TV interviews that "our system did not work in this instance. No one is happy or satisfied with that."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091230/ap_on_an/us_obama_s_test_analysis

OK, I have it straight now...

The system worked.
The system worked AFTER the incident.
The system did not work in this instance.

Thanks, Janet. I feel better already......
Bob K
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3 posted 01-02-2010 02:36 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     No, the system did not work.

     I am unclear where the system failed, but I believe it was in the transfer from Lagos to Schipol and from the Schipol to the Detroit legs of the journey.  I do not know what the security arrangements were for that transfer.  I was in the air from Atlanta to Charleston at the times the news was breaking, also on a Delta Flight, and I can tell you that I was unhappy in the extreme at the events as they unfolded with what seemed glacial slowness.  I was worried as well.

     It seemed to me that the international end of the system failed.  I don't believe that TSA had anything to do with that particular screening.  The FBI or some US intelligence source should have gotten the information from the terrorist's father and passed it on.  I don't know, however, who the intelligence was passed on to in the first place, nor do I know  who is responsible for the coordination of the information.  My understanding is that Leon Panetta is only DCI, and that position is not longer the position of power that it was prior to the last administration.  Nor am I clear who is actually the head honcho for the head of overall security for the country .  Would that be the Director of Homeland Security or some other Luminary?  And why is Leon Panetta being singled out here as responsible.

     I'm not saying he shouldn't be, I'm saying I don't know why he should be, since the functions of the various agencies have been shuffled around, and the CIA is no longer the major power, intentionally not the major power, that it once was, to let it off the hook for some of the mistakes it made during the Iraq Intelligence-gathering era.

     If that's been altered, nobody's informed me about it.  Perhaps somebody might inform me where that's been changed.

     Part of the reason the system didn't work is that the system has been so shuffled around and changed that the lines of authority and responsibility are pretty much unclear at this point.  I blame President Obama for not correcting that meatheaded policy move; he didn't make the move originally.  It's still his responsibility to correct it now, and he hasn't done so.

     We can both continue to blame each other blindfolded; we're well practiced at it.  What might happen if we also made some suggestions about how to fix the problem instead.

     I think that there are areas overseas where we aren't sharing enough information with our allies about who we feel are people who are too dangerous to allow into the country, for example.  And that we want these people kicked off all flights into the country.  Is there some way we can repair this failure on our part in communicating with our allies and the air carriers that bring people into the country?  We might actually be able to do something about this.

     Thoughts?
Denise
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4 posted 01-02-2010 08:42 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Maybe the administration should confer with the Brits. They didn't seem to have a problem revoking this guy's British Visa, like we did.
Balladeer
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5 posted 01-02-2010 07:02 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Fro another thing, Napolitano should go. Not only does she not have any credentials for the position (unless being a governor and Obama supporter qualifies her), she also has a real mouth problem when it comes to her comments. Along with her current "The system worked" ridiculous remark, she also has had...

***********************************************************************************
In April 2009 Napolitano, trying to defend her plans to thicken US-Canadian border security, claimed incorrectly that September 11 attack perpetrators entered the United States from Canada. Her comments provoked an angry response from the Canadian ambassador, media, and public

***********************************************************************************


Napolitano was the subject of controversy after a Department of Homeland Security threat assessment report initiated during the administration of George W. Bush, entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,"[25] was made public in April 2009. The report suggested several factors, including the election of the first black or mixed race President in the person of Barack Obama, perceived future gun control measures, illegal immigration, the economic downturn beginning in 2008, and disgruntled military veterans' possible vulnerability to recruitment efforts by extremist groups as potential risk factors regarding rightwing extremism recruitment.[26]

On April 16, 2009, the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative Christian public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed suit against DHS on behalf of radio talk show host and political commentator Michael Savage, executive director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Gregg Cunningham, and Iraqi War Marine veteran Kevin Murray.[27][28] Savage stated that the document "encourages law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs."[29]

Napolitano made multiple apologies for any offense veterans groups had taken at the reference to veterans in the assessment, and promised to meet with those groups to discuss the issue.[25] The Department of Homeland Security admitted a "breakdown in an internal process" by ignoring objections by the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to an unnamed portion of the document.[30]
****************************************************************************************


Along with that, there should be a TSA  director. Yes, democrats are rushing right now to appoint one but he was not even nominated before September.....8 months after Obama took the reins. For an administration intent on national security precautions, that is unacceptable.

Now that we have dodged a bullet, thanks to a faulty device, Obama wants answers. It shouldn't have taken a near disaster to get his attention.
Denise
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6 posted 01-02-2010 09:33 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Their incompetence could cost lives. And the Dems claim, with a straight face, that Palin was too inexperienced?
Bob K
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7 posted 01-03-2010 08:44 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



      No, the system did not work.

     I did ask for your thoughts; I can't complain that they weren't about anything I said.

     Mr. Savage and his ilk were perfectly happy when the administration was cheering on witch hunts directed at other groups.  They were the Groups that Mr. Savage and his friends wanted to hunts as well.  Instead of saying, hey Government fellas, we don't do this sort of thing here, this is the United States, Mr. Savage suggested that the Government wasn't doing enough of it.  Mr Savage wanted the laws changed so that more savage laws might be passed and more repressive measures taken.

     Now Mr. Savage weeps and moans — as well he should, mind you — and seeks protection behind the walls of those laws he sought to weaken and undermine.  I must say that I hope there is enough of them left for him to find shelter there.  Much as I dislike Mr. Savage and his friends, and I do dislike them very much indeed, I hope they find enough protection and that they win their suite.

      I would answer a question Mike asked me last year or the year before when he asked me, roughly, if I found that my rights had been abridged or attacked.  I said "yes' to Mike at that time, and I would suspect that it may be possible that Mike might — and I say might, here, not wishing to read Mike's mind or put words in his mouth — have reason to feel that way now.  Bad laws are simple to abuse.  

     Napolitano, by the way, would have been right even if the plane had been blown up.  Flying is very very safe and there isn't a lot that terrorists can do about that at this point.  It remains the safest form of transportation because that's the way the statistics work out.  There'd have to be a lot of incidents before death by air crash even approached deaths per mile by say road travel.  These attacks are at the U.S, economic system, and you folks are happily helping that part of the attack succeed with panic and rage and military reactions that are in fact tearing the country apart far more successfully than any actual physical effects of any physical weaponry.

     This doesn't mean that we don't have real failures in real U.S. policies that the real U.S. government isn't responsible for; which happens to be run by Democrats at this time, which won't have to pay real consequences unless it gets its head screwed on right.  It should have to.  It should be out front and saying these things and devising policy to address these things and the economic issues at home, which I believe are very closely connected indeed.  

     And Denise, What does Ms. Palin have to do with this?  There is absolutely no way a person can gain experience for being President except by being President, and by the time that's happened once, the second time around,you're a lame duck; and then you're inexperienced at being a lame duck President.  

    
Denise
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8 posted 01-03-2010 09:58 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

My point is, Bob, that Palin had more government and administrative experience than Obama did, yet despite that, during the campaign and after, it was still claimed that she was too inexperienced to assume the role of President if McCain were to die in office. So we had Obama running for President, with zero experience, and Palin with experience running for Vice President, and all we heard was that Palin was too inexperienced. I guess it's just another example of a Democratic double-standard.
Balladeer
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9 posted 01-03-2010 10:01 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

There'd have to be a lot of incidents before death by air crash even approached deaths per mile by say road travel.

True enough but...so what, Bob? Probably a thousand planes could get blown up which would not equal traffic fatalities but does that mean we should just say, "Well, there are more traffic fatalities so that's acceptable"? I doubt that many Americans would follow that line of thought. There is a big difference between the two. Now, if a rash of traffic fatalities were to arise because terrorists were sneaking into garages at night and planting timed explosives in cars, I think you would have a better comparison...and it wouldn't take too many to create a panic and have all kinds of procedures put in place with safeguards.

As far as experience goes, while it is true that no one has experience in being President, there are levels of experience which are decent indicators of one's abilities. Would you choose a CEO of General Motors who had never driven a car? Would you hire an accountant with no degree in accounting? Would you accept a pediatrician to handle your open heart surgery? Would you hire someone to lead homeland security who has no experience in security? Would you hire someone to lead the country and handle unemployment who has never run a company or even worked in the private sector? Would you hire a president who has never been in charge of anything? We did...and we're paying the price.
Bob K
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10 posted 01-04-2010 04:16 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

quote:


As far as experience goes, while it is true that no one has experience in being President, there are levels of experience which are decent indicators of one's abilities. Would you choose a CEO of General Motors who had never driven a car? Would you hire an accountant with no degree in accounting? Would you accept a pediatrician to handle your open heart surgery? Would you hire someone to lead homeland security who has no experience in security? Would you hire someone to lead the country and handle unemployment who has never run a company or even worked in the private sector? Would you hire a president who has never been in charge of anything? We did...and we're paying the price.




     There certainly are levels of experience which are indicators of one's abilities.  I find that there is considerable difficulty in getting people to agree on what they are, however.  I find that whether somebody is a good CEO for for General Motors  has not been significantly shown to depend on the ability to drive a car from the evidence I've seen so far.  I would suggest to you that from the evidence in front of you, the ability to drive a car has not been decisive in this regard either.  I'd rather have somebody who was driven by a competent driver from place to place and yet demonstrated  the ability to make competent business decisions, turn a decent profit, benefit the shareholders, provide solid automobiles and not try to blame other people for his failures in the CEO slot.  Ability to drive has very little to do with it.

     I'm with you about the degree in accounting in a general sort of way, because  the degree is supposed to show a basic competency in the skill.  The pediatrician and the open heart surgery would, I suppose, depend on the skills of the pediatrician and on my own particular needs for the most part, but generally speaking, yeah, I'd agree with you there.

     Leading the country and handling unemployment who's never worked in the private sector?  

     I don't know what the two have to do with each other, really?  There is some overlap, but it can be as much a handicap as it is a help, I'd think.  It's an interesting thought, but if a government is making a profit, it's likely showing some sort of political favoritism, isn't it?  in a way that is likely to be not only obvious, but also illegal?  There's quite enough of that going on anyway.  The concerns of government have to do with treating all its citizens fairly, and those of the private sector have to do with treating those in an in-group in a special way at the expense of those who aren't a part of that in group.  Making that the stated purpose of the expertise of those who govern seems to me to be a bit counterproductive.  Usually citizens tend to frown on its officials doing that sort of thing; or at least getting caught at it.

     At least in a Democracy as opposed to an oligarchy, we try to arrange things so that we pass laws against that sort of behavior, even though we know it takes place.  Then we occasionally punish folks who engage in that sort of thing, pour encourager les autres.  

     People who work in the public sector still have to deal with budgets, too.  And the budgets they worry about are much more like the budgets that other people in the public sector have to worry about.  They have a better idea about the whys and wherefores of public budgets.  They don't try to save money by making all the soldiers eat in one big mess tent in combat zones to save money on funding extra kitchens.  Great possible money-saving measure, mind you, and a wonderful piece of private enterprise thinking cost-cutting, right up to the time when the mortar shells start dropping on your wonderfully clustered and well targeted troops, thank you very much for example.

     When you're inventing something called Homeland Security, of course, you do the best you can with people who have experience that's as close to what you want as you can get, or with people that you know well enough to feel that you can trust to do the job.  Sometimes you make a great call, sometimes you don't.  Sometimes you disagree.  Mr. Cheney, our last Vice President, really thinks Ms. Napolitano is terrible at her job.  Mr. Chernof, who last held the job was praising her pretty highly on Meet The Press this morning.  I guess you disagree sometimes as well.  

     We'll probably have to wait for history to make a more realistic appraisal.

     All in all, I'd say the appointment was at least as successful as the appointment of Mr. Brown for President Bush's chief of FEMA; and I would be one of the first to say probably somewhat more so.

     As for your comments about hiring a President who's never been in Charge of anything; and we did; and now we're paying the Price. . . I may agree with you.  But of course, now the Republicans are out of Office; and fortunately President Obama is doing a much better job.
Balladeer
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11 posted 01-04-2010 08:38 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

  I'd rather have somebody who was driven by a competent driver from place to place and yet demonstrated  the ability to make competent business decisions, turn a decent profit, benefit the shareholders, provide solid automobiles and not try to blame other people for his failures in the CEO slot.  Ability to drive has very little to do with it.

An excellent thought. The President of the United States is basically the CEO of the country. He should be able to make competent business decisions, turn a profit and do things to benefit the shareholders (citizens). Obama's business decisions are still to be judged, although they don't seem to have worked as yet, unless you're a congressman receiving pork. Instead of turning a profit, or reducing debt, Obama has increased the debt to an unbelieveable figure with a spending spree that has even democratic congressmen refusing to run for re-election...and he continues to spend more. Benefit the shareholders? The unemployment rate has skyrocketed under his command and there are plans in place to increase the taxes of every shareholder he is supposed to be benefiting.   and not try to blame other people for his failures in the CEO slot. I got a chuckle out of that one. Every time Obama is questioned about the ineffectiveness of his policies or his spending sprees, that't exactly what he and democrats do. I believe you have even engaged in that yourself, Bob, 23 times at last count.

  Leading the country and handling unemployment who's never worked in the private sector? I don't know what the two have to do with each other, really?    

Providing jobs is part of leading the country, Bob. People in the private sector know that. People who have actually worked for a living, or run businesses know that. You don't solve an unemployment issue by raising unemployment benefits and passing out more freebies. You don't do it by a 900 billion dollar stimulus package, filled with congressional pork, and then only spend a small part of it while bemoaning the fact that unemployment is rising....and then you don't do it by asking for MORE, which is also filled with more congressional pork. It's a great time to be a congressman but a bad time to be anyone else.

The concerns of government have to do with treating all its citizens fairly, and those of the private sector have to do with treating those in an in-group in a special way at the expense of those who aren't a part of that in group.

Are  citizens now being treated fairly by the government in your opinion, Bob? As far as the private sector is concerned, perhaps you have had bad experiences in that area, I don't know, but good companies also treat their employees fairly and at no one's expense. Contented workers are productive workers and make for successful businesses. Yes, you can dredge up political cartoons or whatever of Mr. Greedy Business Owner standing with his foot on the neck of Mr. Poor Worker laying on the ground or you can scream about the "evil rich", as seems fashionable in Democratic circles but the fact is that those companies made this country what it is today and I happen to think what it is is pretty special.

People who work in the public sector still have to deal with budgets, too.

Sure...the budgets of other people's money. Nice work if you can get it. How are they doing, Bob? Are you plesed with the way they are handling the budgets?

All in all, I'd say the appointment was at least as successful as the appointment of Mr. Brown for President Bush's chief of FEMA; and I would be one of the first to say probably somewhat more so.

Yes, I agree you would be the first. Coming up with pointless comparison which have nothing to do with anything current seems to be a favorite pasttime of many on the left. If Bush made a bad choice, then Obama wins an award for making a less bad choice? OK, another reward well-earned.

now the Republicans are out of Office; and fortunately President Obama is doing a much better job.

It's even scary that you would think so. Fortunately the majority of Americans do not agree. It has to do with "fooling some of the people some of the time..." etc, etc, etc. The flowery rhetoric is becoming less listened to, the time of getting mileage out of "the past eight years" is drawing to an end and Obama is going to have to stand on his own two feet with no crutches and take responsibility for his actions. His actions will determine if he is  doing a much better job or not. So far, by exploding the national debt, setting new unemployment levels, and spending money we don't have like a drunk at a beer convention with a barrage of new taxes on the way, one has to be very imaginative to consider it "a better job". Obama ran on a platform of CHANGE. He was right...we are seeing the change.
Huan Yi
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12 posted 01-04-2010 01:43 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

“So can President Obama fix the situation? “Let’s bag the euphemisms,” says Woolsey. “This is not ‘overseas contingency operations.’ We really are at war. At least the other side thinks so. The next thing you know, the administration will call terrorists ‘anger-management-challenged candidates for catch and release.’ You can’t deal with issues you can’t talk about. . . . We’ve got jihadists. That doesn’t mean that all Muslims are problems with respect to terrorism, but there is something going on here. We’ve got a problem dealing with one aspect of one portion of modern Islam — just as hundreds of years ago the world had a problem with Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition.”

“The president has to tell the intelligence agencies that he’s not interested in political correctness,” says Woolsey. “President Obama surprised me with his Oslo speech, which, generally speaking, was a remarkable speech recognizing America’s role in the world and how it has to deal with our enemies. With one or two different phrases, I think that Scoop Jackson could have given that speech. We need something like that speech with respect to terrorism and its roots. Instead of government officials rushing within hours of an incident to foolishly say, ‘It’s not terrorism,’ we need the president to realize we’re in a fight. We need him to say that he’s a total enemy of political correctness and that he wants to do what’s effective in stopping terrorism and will not put up with artificial limits to the no-fly list or ignoring young men at airports.”

Flight 253 was “not a problem of coordination,” says Woolsey. “It was about people within the agencies pulling in their horns. The only person who can turn this around is the president. Not much will change unless he speaks up. He needs to tell people that this is a long struggle against radical Islam and its manifestations,” and he needs to “smash political correctness upside the head.” “

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTVhYzQwM2Q4YTlhNzFjZjM2NjU5M2YyOTdjZTU1ODM=&w=MQ==

.

Huan Yi
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13 posted 01-04-2010 08:08 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Something I don’t understand
are the security versus privacy issues
applicable to full body scans.  The commercial
airlines are private concerns.  Getting on their
planes apart from the price of a ticket comes with
terms and conditions.  If they decide to protect themselves
against harm being deliberately done to their planes
and other passengers why then should they be hindered?
If one objects then don’t buy a ticket. Or is flying
regardless a right?

.

Bob K
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14 posted 01-05-2010 03:51 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



    
Dear John,

          The airlines are private companies.  They make money and they have the right, within limits, to say what they can do with their aircraft.  One limit on those rights is that they do business using public property — the air, and the government regulates interstate commerce as well as public resources.  You have to broadcast following rules over public airwaves, and because there is only so much traffic possible over a limited number of air routes, the government regulates that traffic and the safety regulations under which carriers may use them.  You don't play nicely, there are others who will, thank you very much.

     It's not clear to me who runs the TSA.  I believe it's a quasi federal agency, though I could be wrong.  I don't think the airlines have much to do with them.  Again, I could be wrong.  I believe the TSA money comes through congress, but through private contractors.  The pay for the workers isn't exactly high, the morale hasn't seemed exactly high when I've gone through since 2001 though they all seem sincere.

     I wish they'd all have gotten some better, more military training and had some  spirit to them, but they really do seem committed to doing a decent job. I simply think that the government wants people to feel like they're safe without actually having to pay for doing the things necessary for making them safe on flights in-country.  

     Out-of country, I don't think we have the best of diplomatic relationships with everybody yet, and I suspect that there are still lots of folks out there who aren't happy with us for one reason or another.  Some have more reason than others.  We have been known to make enemies at times faster than a French Gaullist at a hog-calling contest.  Thankfully, we've been able to make friends as fast or faster at times as well.

    
My best, Bob Kaven
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


15 posted 01-05-2010 04:28 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           Presidents are not in power to make a profit.  That's what people retire and go into the private sector to do, where people can't confuse what you're doing with graft or theft.  Even then, it's easy for people to suggest that you're making a profit off friendships and alliances made in government office.  Sometimes, they may even be right.  Profit and government are two separate things.

     You've lost count at 23, Mike.  Bless you, but I've gone far beyond that by now, and with your encouragement, I'm looking for ever more places to work it in.  When I forget, I simply remember the number of times I've heard you call President Carter, "The Peanut Farmer," and I realize that if you'd been anywhere near serious about your comments about "eight years," I never would have heard that phrase from your pen.  It's a remarkably bracing piece of reality testing for me.  Also, it's only been a few years since I've met you, and you were still talking about President Clinton when we met without any sense of guilt at all.

     I merely follow humbly in your footsteps, Oh magnificent one.  

     I still don't see what running a private sector business has to do with being a good office-holder or working in government.  George Bush, before getting the Presidency. ran a number of businesses into the ground and had to be rescued from a number of others.  His experience as Governor of Texas was hardly that of an important executive, and was certainly not in anything like private sector business.  You believe he was a fine President.  President Grant was a horrible failure in business, as was Truman.  I happen to think Truman was a great President, and I think Grant was a fine general whom I would have rather not have served under.  And not simply because I'm a pacifist.  Eisenhower, far as I know, took time out, to be President of Columbia briefly before running for President?  Do you think of University President as Private Sector?  

     I think there's nothing wrong with being a success at private sector business, mind you.  I think it's one of any number of  different paths people have taken to the Presidency; but it's not special or required or even particularly useful.  That's a fancy of the more modern wing of the Republican Party.  It's not a terrible fancy, either.  It's only wrong because it overlooks other useful avenues.  The occasional Cleric, for example, or academic, or writer or artist, not to mention the occasional ambitious daughter or son of a welfare mother might be a very useful person to have in the Senate or in Congress or even in The Presidency.  At one time, if you'll remember your history, it used to be a virtue in this country to have been born in a log cabin.  The modern equivalent shouldn't be anathema, Mike.  It's not all about money.

I'll try to get back to you tomorrow.  Nice to be writing and back in touch.  All my best.

Yours, Bob K.  
Klassy Lassy
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since 06-28-2005
Posts 2181
Oregon


16 posted 01-05-2010 01:19 PM       View Profile for Klassy Lassy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Klassy Lassy

Terrorism is not active only in the U.S., it is a world problem, a malicious entity with no respect for life...not even its own, and that is an evil which will play on any weakness in any place to achieve its means under whatever guise and lack of reason.  

Hatred toward the U.S. has been very visible for a long time,  and it occurs to me that because we are big and more obviously targeted, smaller countries are less inclined to establish the same security until the expense in human life hits them directly.  The same is true in reverse.

...and that's not to mention, that there are countries who do not agree with U.S.  "policies" overseas, and if not openly unsupportive, are lethargic and apathetic in taking action in an attitude of "political protocol."

I agree that those in office in this country who think this is an isolated incident, and say all is well that ended well (because the attempt to kill failed this time), need to be removed from public service. They are too comfortable in their own skins, and are not even using hindsight.

My opionions are generalities, but the incidences, which are not, affect us all.

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


17 posted 01-05-2010 01:55 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"His failed attempt put paid to the notion that terrorism is the byproduct of a few, specific U.S. policies and of our image abroad. This view dominates the Left and animates the Obama administration. It informs its drive to shutter Guantanamo Bay, to get out of Iraq, and to cater to “international opinion.” If we are only nice and likable enough, goes the theory, the Abdul Mutallabs of the world will never be tempted to violent mayhem.

Only the young Nigerian didn’t appear the least bit moved by Pres. Barack Obama’s commitment to close Gitmo in a year. He didn’t seem to care that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will get a civilian trial in New York. He didn’t appear to be fazed at all by Obama’s Cairo and U.N. speeches, or a year’s worth of international goodwill gestures. He just wanted to destroy an airliner.

It shouldn’t be hard to fathom why. Abdul Mutallab was in the grip of a violent ideology with an existential hatred of the United States at its core, an ideology promoted by a global terrorist conspiracy under the loose rubric of al-Qaeda. This is the essential fact that the Left tends to minimize or deny.

Obama called Abdul Mutallab an “isolated extremist” in his initial statement on the incident, and left the same impression about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the terrorist of Fort Hood. How coincidental that we are beset by isolated extremists believing the same things and inspired by the same people — in the cases of Abdul Mutallab and Hasan, the radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

A totalist rejection of the United States, this ideology will never lack for particular reasons to hate us. For years, we were told that the Iraq War was al-Qaeda’s best recruiting tool. Now, new recruiting tools are at hand. Hasan reportedly was disappointed that Obama stayed in Afghanistan. In taking responsibility for Abdul Mutallab’s attempted attack, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed it was in retaliation for a U.S.-sponsored strike against its leadership in Yemen.

If we pull our troops from Afghanistan, they’ll object to our missile strikes in Pakistan. If we stop the missile strikes, they’ll object to our training of foreign militaries. If we stop that, they’ll object that we have the temerity to maintain a blue-water navy. Nothing short of suicidal abdication will suffice.”


http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmI2ZDlhZWIyM2U0ZDRhMjUwYTY4NGQzZjczNjE5Nzg=


I personally am sick of this the enemy is us nonsense.

PS

"His parents were Salvation Army officers and he was raised as a Christian.

At the age of 16 he went to Saudi Arabia - where he is believed to have spent eight years - and became a Muslim.

He took a degree in Islamic Studies in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, before coming back to the UK.

Faisal spent years travelling the UK preaching racial hatred urging his audience to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8439205.stm

.
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


18 posted 01-05-2010 04:27 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Terrorism is indeed a global problem, as K. Lassy says.  We in the United States tend to think of it as an American problem, because we're on the receiving end of a bit of it now.  If I'd experienced any of it more directly, I can assure you, I'd be speaking at least a bit more hysterically about it.  When I was more associated with the Zionist point of view, as a kid, I was certainly more upset about it.  But it is emphatically not simply a US problem.  Indeed, while President Bush suggested we should fight terrorism wherever we found it, I doubt that he either meant that statement or had the political will to follow up on its implications.  It would have meant that we would have had to send troops into Tibet in alliance with the Red Chinese, for example, and suppress anti-Castro Cuban forces in the US simply because in each case the Legitimate government in each place declares folks we happen to like to be terrorists.

     Doesn't work, couldn't work, won't work.  Bush was talking for show and drama, and meant hardly one word in five.

     What he meant was that other countries should understand that we'd been unjustly treated (and we had been unjustly treated, by golly), and it'd be great if they showed some support.  I don't think he really meant that he expected we should have to return the favor in any sort of inconvenient way.

     But none of that means that Terrorism is a specifically an American problem, and that the rest of the world hasn't been having to deal with it for a very long time.  Some of it has to do with Muslims on the odd end of theology.  Yeah, I think that's a threat.  I think that the amount of threat they offer is less than the amount of threat offered by the other orthodox forms of religion that reject the notion of conception control, however.  I think that the problems we have with infectious diseases and stresses on our food supplies and water supplies are much more dangerous, and that the problems that lack of liberty and human rights worldwide are right up there in terms of danger with the other issues I mentioned as being more significant than our issues with extremist muslims, whose theology is not substantially more disturbing than radical Christianity or Radical Judaism or Radical Hinduism.  So sorry, John.

     The Radical Muslims aren't harmless, but they are people.  

     Starvation, lack of water and breathable air, things of this nature may not be approachable in human terms.  A couple of years back, a decent portion of the people in this country were ready to declare war on Europe for frustrating our rush to war in the Middle East.  These weren't terrible people, these Americans, they simply couldn't see the possibility that Saddam Hussein hadn't blown up the World Trade Center, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and they wanted to save America by destroying America.  People are always wanting to do this sort of thing.  We are silly animals.

    I am reminded of the Charles Lamb essay on Roast Pork.  A farmer whose barn accidentally burns down discovers the delights of Roast pork.  He learns the wonders and the delights of the new taste, but is failed by his imagination; betrayed by it, new barn after new barn seems to catch fire with catastrophic results, but with one delightful commonality, the delicious aroma and taste of roast pork.  It is very sad so many terrible consequences must always accompany it.

     Surely there must be better ways to deal with our quarrels over lack of resources than to waste large amounts of already short resources in our quarrels over the resources that are left.  A nice worldwide zero population growth program might even be helpful as a start.
 
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