I distinctly remember Congress saying it was all over the whole “connecting the dots” thing just a couple or three years ago. Surely — surely! — the 9/11 Commission amounted to more than “Blame George W. Bush”, right? I mean, Jamie Gorelick wasn’t up there just for show and to do a nice little whitewashing job over the “Gorelick Wall” that prevented law enforcement and intelligence from sharing information that would very likely have prevented the deaths of 3,000 people.
And once we knew about that wall, we had to have torn it down with all the vigor of a pickaxe-wielding East German twenty-something hacking at Checkpoint Charlie. Otherwise, what was the point of all those Congressional committee hearings and Blue-Ribbon Commissions?
So, tell me, please, that we did not piss on the ashes of 3,000 Americans by forgetting every darned thing we learned since September 12, 2001. Because I’m reading this and thinking very uncharitable thoughts about the buffoons who have been running things up in Washington.
CBS News has learned that as early as August of 2009 the Central Intelligence Agency was picking up information on a person of interest dubbed “The Nigerian,” suspected of meeting with “terrorist elements” in Yemen.
Sources tell CBS News “The Nigerian” has now turned out to be Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. But that connection was not made when Abudulmutallab’s father went to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria three months later, on November 19, 2009. It was then he expressed deep concerns to a CIA officer about his son’s ties to extremists in Yemen, a hotbed of al Qaeda activity.
In fact, CBS News has learned this information was not connected until after the attempted Christmas Day bombing.
“We must get better at collecting these bits of information, putting them together at a central point, analyzing them and then acting,” said Lee Hamilton, the vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission.
My blood is boiling here, folks. I have about a thousand words I could write about this but half of them are curse words and another quarter of them are articles and prepositions. Lee Hamilton needs to shut his trap and hang his head in shame. It was his commission full of bumbling bureaucrats who helped us to the febrile and still incredibly vulnerable state we’re in today. He has nothing more to contribute unless it’s a heartfelt apology for wasting our time and money.
And lest you think I’m going to let President Bush off the hook, I’m not. He did a lot to keep the Islamists off our backs but his biggest failure (aside from not being very specific about who our enemies are in this war) was in creating the entire gargantuan and byzantine Department of Homeland Security that has done little but suck down hundreds of millions of dollars and militarize our local police forces for no darned good reason. The core problem, that our police departments and intelligence services still can’t get their heads together well enough to keep an Islamist from getting one bad fuse away from blowing up a plane over downtown Detroit, was never a difficult problem to solve. It darned sure didn’t need a brand new giant bureaucracy. What it needed were some rules, written in freaking stone, the first of which should have been “Thou Shalt Not Play Stupid Jurisdictional Games with the Lives of Americans”. And then a few heads needed to roll. It ought to shame George W. Bush that no one was fired after 9/11. Someone should have been. Loudly.
There’s still time to remedy the situation, by firing someone way up the hierarchy immediately. I suggest someone like the DNI whose job it is to make sure this information gets shared in a timely an intelligent fashion. If President Obama can’t do that much, then he’s not even a little bit serious about protecting us from the Islamist threat and we’ll need to act accordingly.
Category: The Long War Here At Home