Here’s my instant-reaction piece in the New York Post from the statement yesterday. Bottom line: I liked what he said, but am skeptical about what it will mean ultimately.
The problem is that terror threat information has to be handled intelligently and there is no way to set up a protocol or procedure that produces subjective intelligence within the bureaucacy.
Also, in fairness to Obama, the Abdulmutallab case touches on three failings that are indeed a hang-over from Bush: a deliberately stupid airport screening system, the creation of a redundant layer of intelligence bureaucracy under the rubric of reform, and the release of dangerous Gitmo detainees back to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. (At least two of these, of course, came about partly under intense pressure from the Left.)
On another topic, here’s my syndicated column on Obama and transparency. I can’t see how Obama possibly could have meant his promises or not known they were flatly ridiculous.