In the wake of Nigerian jihadist pantibomber Abdulmutallab’s attempt to blow up Northwest Airline flight 253 on Christmas Day, which thankfully succeeded only in frying his Rocky Mountain Oysters, the Obama administration went around crowing that “The System Works!”
Whose “system” was that? The Nigerians’?
Analysis: Many question ‘system worked’ comment
By Jennifer Loven = Dec 29, 2009
Friday’s attempt by a 23-year-old Nigerian to blow up a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam…though it ended with only a fire that was quickly put out, no lives lost and the man in custody, it has raised alarm about the government’s performance.
- How did airport security, improved at much cost after the 2001 terrorist attacks, miss the explosives concealed on the bomber’s body?
- How did the terrorist watchlist system allow Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to both 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’ aggressive action?
Amid those questions, administration officials’ repeated statements Sunday 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.
“The system worked,” Napolitano declared on CNN during questioning about the lapses that let Abdulmutallab and his devices onto the plane. Gibbs used nearly the same language on CBS, saying that “in many ways, this system has worked,” without elaborating.
…Phrases do matter. Sometimes they take on a life of their own, with context and nuance forgotten, and come to represent larger beliefs or fears about a politician.
…For Obama, still short of one year in office, his narrative, critical or otherwise, isn’t set yet. Nonetheless, rumblings keep resurfacing about emotional distance, even coldness. Whether it’s Wall Street bonuses or terrorist near-disaster, people wonder whether he feels as they do or ever acts out of passion.
And the comment isn’t the only part of Obama’s response that is drawing questions.
Until Monday, the president had not been heard from publicly since the Christmas Day scare. He was ordering stepped-up security measures and after-action reviews behind the scenes, but also enjoying his Hawaiian vacation with games of golf, basketball and tennis and trips to the beach.
He drew questions about his level of involvement by not getting his first briefing on the incident until two hours after it was all over – and then only for 15 minutes, when he departed for the gym.
…Late in Obama’s White House run, now-Vice President Joe Biden made newspaper headlines and caused campaign headaches by saying his running mate would, if elected, face international crisis early on from those eager “to test the mettle of this guy.”
With the first year still not over, that test has come.
To read the whole article, go HERE.