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Janet Napolitano’s Mentality


Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab smuggled 80 grams of PETN in his underwear on a Northwest flight on Christmas Day from Amsterdam to Detroit and almost killed 288 passengers and crew. 

How did the geniuses in the Obama administration respond? Janet (“ man-caused disasters”) Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, concluded that the system “worked really very, very smoothly.” 

Need one really point out that, had the system worked, Abdulmutallab would not have been allowed on the aircraft, and certainly not with a bomb? When her statement was criticized, Napolitano reversed course and announced a day later that “Our system did not work in this instance.” 

While it’s good to see that even Obama appointees can learn from their errors, Napolitano’s original gaffe reveals a state of mind among this country’s top decision makers that so long as hundreds of people do not perish, all is well. 

Abdulmutallab’s near-success and Napolitano’s idiotic response tell Americans about the weakness of counterterrorist efforts so many years after 9/11. In brief, because law enforcement refuses to “threat profile” and focus on Muslims, the flying public is both inconvenienced and unsafe.

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum, Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and a columnist for the Jerusalem Post.