Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The More Things Change...

Is the Obama administration as incompetent with national security as the previous administration? In a word, yes. Let's count the ineptitude.

1. The U.S. has now revoked the traveling visa for the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Of course the U.K. had refused to grant him a visa to travel there because of security risks but we thought he'd be alright to come here.

2. The president said he will stop sending Guatanamo Bay prisoners to Yemen. Gee, what were we thinking transferring dangerous jihadists to an unsettled Middle Eastern country.

3. All the missed warning signs before the bomber got on the plane, such as a heads up from the bomber's own FATHER, one way plane ticket bought with cash, and NO passport. Now the president said we failed to connect the dots in intelligence. Hmm, you think? This is the exact same excuse used by the Bush administration, "It's not our fault we went into Iraq, intelligence failed us on locating WMD's."

4. The president now wants all of us to be vigilant for suspicious activity. If we are all supposed to be watching out for our own safety then maybe we can stop spending billions of dollars on dubious screening protocols such as patting down four year olds and octogenarians at the airport. Though politically incorrect, a little profiling might be in order to reduce the inefficiency of screening every person that travels through the airport, no matter how unlikely they are to be suspects. That's what the public will do if we are supposed to be looking out for ourselves.

Yes running a country is hard, especially when you have crazy nutballs trying to blow themselves up in your territory every chance they get. But you would have thought this administration had learned some lessons from the previous one. Despite all the rhetoric during the election about how he would run the intelligence community differently if he became president, there doesn't appear to be any difference in security threats to the U.S. The public is still aggravated by all the same nuisances when traveling, the increasingly bloody and quixotic foreign wars, and the billions of dollars spent on security with no discernible difference in our safety. This is some change.

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