Remember how yesterday Janet Napolitano said that our airline security system worked because the city of Detroit wasn’t pummeled by the flaming wreckage of a jet airplane? Well, she’s changed her mind (via Jonah Goldberg). The new story isn’t “the system worked” but “the system did not work in this instance”.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano conceded Monday that the aviation security system failed when a young man on a watchlist with a U.S. visa in his pocket and a powerful explosive hidden on his body was allowed to board a fight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
A day after saying the system worked, Napolitano backtracked, saying her words had been taken out of context.
“Our system did not work in this instance,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show. “No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.”
Taken out of context, huh? Well, let’s take a look at what Napolitano actually said.
NAPOLITANO: What we are focused on is making sure that the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel. And one thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action.
As Ed Morrissey points out, Napolitano was talking about Flight 253 as well as every other flight when she said “the system worked”. Her claim that she was taken out of context is a dishonest dodge to try to get her out of having to admit that she’s an incompetent buffoon who tried to put one over on us but failed miserably because she’s not a tenth the salesman her boss is.
And speaking of her boss, it appears that at some point this week, he might come in from his beachfront cabana or the golf course, put on a pair of long pants, and give America some sort of assurance that he hasn’t left the White House to the Bozo Squad he calls his roster of Cabinet officials and Czars (via memeorandum). Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not one of those folks who thinks the President needs to make a statement after every single incident. We’re Americans; we don’t need our hands held by Daddy Government. National security is right in the middle of the President’s Constitutional wheelhouse and since his “Let Janet Handle It” strategy isn’t going terribly well, he needs to be front and center on this. It’s not like he’s been shy about taking to the airwaves to hawk his totalitarian health care plan, to tell us how being President is a hard job, or just to talk about seeing his beloved White Sox at “Cominskey Field”. If he can get himself on television more than Vince the Sham Wow Guy, he can certainly find a desk somewhere in that $4,000 a night vacation house on Kailua Beach to give us a two minute statement.
Perhaps he’s trying to figure out how he can blame the colossal failure to take Abdulmutallab’s father’s report to the intelligence community seriously on George W. Bush. I’m sure he’ll find a way. After all, blaming George Bush for everything from the economy to the heartbreak of psoriasis is something this adminstration has elevated to an art form.
Here’s something to remember, though. The progressives heaped blame on George Bush for not “connecting the dots” on 9/11, which occurred not even nine months into his Presidency. It’s been 11 months since Barack Obama took the Oath of Office. By that logic (and I use that term very loosely), the blame for this attack — an attack that nearly succeeded despite a sprawling billion-dollar Department of Homeland Security that George W. Bush didn’t have — belongs entirely to him. That’s probably not fair but hey, I didn’t make those rules.
UPDATE: Thank goodness the left was around to prevent the anti-Nigerian backlash!
UPDATE 2: The hits just keep on coming with Janet “System? What System?” Napolitano.
UPDATE 3: Stephen Green has had enough of it. After reading the TSA’s laughable new guidelines, I’m with him.