Dennis Blair? The CIA? The State department? Janet Napolitano? President Obama? Who’s responsible for the “systemic failure” in our nation’s security apparatus?
Rep. Peter King of New York, the ranking Republican member on the House Homeland Security Committee, tells National Review Online that it’s hard to tell, for now, thanks to a “secretive” White House and numerous “leaks from intelligence agencies trying to make the others look bad.” There’s “a lot of selective ass-covering going on,” he says.
“We’re seeing classic Washington intelligence-community infighting,” says King. “The irony is that the Director of National Intelligence’s office was set up to eliminate this kind of thing.” So should DNI Dennis Blair be fired? “I’m not ruling anything out, but I’m reserving judgement until we know more about the full story,” he says.
Nonetheless, when Congress returns to Washington next month, King says he’ll be ready to begin an investigation into the issues surrounding the foiled terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253. “We need to look into everything we can get our hands on,” he says. The hearings, he predicts, could become “quite adversarial, almost like a trial” as he and others work to piece together “who knew what, when they knew it, and how they shared information.”
Who will be called to the Hill? “The CIA, Homeland Security, the DNI, and even the State department, because the original meeting with the father took place in an embassy,” says King. The congressman says he will also try to question members of the White House staff, though he admits that could be complicated.