American Elephants


Two Botched Attempts Don’t Mean Terrorism is Not Serious. by The Elephant's Child

In almost six months, there have been two unsuccessful attacks on American soil,  the Detroit Christmas Day bombing, and last  Saturday’s  Times Square attempted bombing.  Warnings were ignored, facts were not put together.

Our first line of defense is the Visa Security Program which puts Homeland Security officers at U.S. Consulate offices to perform background checks on visa applicants.  To date, the Administration has only deployed officers at 14 high risk countries, out of 57 likely candidates.

Jurisdictional disputes between the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security have interfered with the process.  James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation emphasizes that “visas …are part of a layered national security system for fighting transnational terrorism.” Effective management of visas and passports has a vital role to play.

Obama is planning to freeze the program’s budget for fiscal 2011.  It’s hard to avoid the idea that the administration does not take terrorism very seriously.  There is a constant attempt to over-reassure, and play down the attacks that have taken place. It would seem that this is part of Obama’s efforts to reach out to Muslim countries in hopes of — successful talks someday?

Senators Lieberman and Collins are considering suing the administration to get information about why the signs of Major Nidal Hassan’s increasing radicalism were ignored or sloughed off. Shahzad was dismissed as an amateur, dismissed as a one-off attempt by a lone wolf angry about health care, and Abdulmutallab was given a visa in spite of warnings from his own father that he was dangerous. And at that, because his attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit failed, it was again sloughed off as unimportant. The terrorist attempt in Times Square is referred to on the White House website as “The Times Square Incident.” Another ‘Man-Caused” Event?

We just have different priorities.  Will they change before there is another successful attack?

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