The Campaign Spot

Awaiting Janet Napolitano’s Latest ‘The System Worked’ Statement

I had just gotten my head around the idea that the Times Square bomber could be another McVeigh-style domestic radical with mayhem on his mind. Now, it appears that may not be the case: “Another U.S. official, recounting a conversation with intelligence officials, said, ‘Don’t be surprised if you find a foreign nexus. . . . They’re looking at some tell-tale signs and they’re saying it’s pointing in that direction.’”

Two quick notes from today’s Jolt:

Hugh Hewitt raises a question I suspect we’ll hear more of in the coming days: “’We are very lucky’ says New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the aftermath of the car bomb not exploding in Times Square. We were very lucky in Detroit when the underpants bomber failed to detonate himself and the plane on Christmas. The Gulf Coast is not so lucky as the incompetence of the Obama adminstration saw the spill spread and spread before even a halting, confused response kicked in. How long is Janet Napolitano going to stay at the top of the Department of Homeland Security?  An MSM replaying “Heck of a job Brownie” forced change on President Bush in the aftermath of Katrina, but that same MSM hasn’t raised the obvious questions about the Obama appointee in charge of stopping bombs from reaching the center of New York or Detroit airspace and oil spills from reaching the coast.”

In the Corner, Bill Burck and Dana Perino conclude, “They targeted Times Square in Manhattan not as a random act, but as a message that Americans remain vulnerable to indiscriminate murder for fanatical religious or political reasons, and that our most significant landmarks are not safe from attack. Whoever did this, we can be sure, is in league with the underwear bomber, Major Hasan, and other terrorists either in fact or in spirit.This is a sobering message to all of us. And it should remind us that the federal officials who continue to in sist that New York City is the best place to try KSM and other 9/11 terrorists are, frankly, out of their minds. Attorney General Eric Holder remains delusional on this front, as he has continued to say that a civilian trial in New York remains on the table, despite the uniform protest of all major New York public officials from the mayor to the police chief to the governor.”

I’d note that at this point, we just don’t know enough to assess whether DHS and the myriad agencies involved with protecting Americans were asleep at the switch or did their jobs as best they could. Maybe this perpetrator raised all kinds of red flags in the process of outfitting his car and assembling his improvised explosive device, or maybe he covered his tracks well (it appears he switched his license plates). But I’m left with a pretty dark sense of foreboding. In hindsight, the run-up to 9/11 looks like an obvious buildup to a massive attack: – the 1993 effort to bring down the Towers, the Bojinka plot, the 1998 Embassy bombings, the Millennium bombing attempt, the U.S.S. Cole, etc. Lately we’re seeing  a lot of awful deeds in the works: the attempt to bomb a Detroit plane on Christmas Day, Fort Hood, several plots in motion disrupted in September 2009, etc. What’s next?

It’s way too early to say whether the war on terror will be a big issue on Election Day 2010. But it’s easy to imagine it being a big deal, no?

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