Monday, December 28, 2009

System of an almost downed airliner

On CNN's State of the Union program yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, was discussing the near-tragedy on Northwest flight 253 over the Christmas holiday and barfed up this whopper, "one thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked."

This was perhaps the stupidest spin since then FEMA Director Michael Brown (also part of the Homeland Security Department; what is it with these folks?) said that things in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were "going relatively well."

A system that allowed enough explosive onto an airliner to bring it down most definitely did not work.

We can all praise the heroism of the passengers and crew.

It is also possible that the existing security measures made things just difficult enough that the bomber could not operate his device.

However, the fact remains that the "system" allowed an identified security threat to carry explosive material onto a plane.

When asked about that threat, Sec. Napolitano replied, have to understand that you need information that is specific and credible if you are going to actually bar someone from air travel. He was on a general list, which over half a million people, everybody had access to it. But there was not the kind of credible information, in the sense derogatory information, that would move him up the list.
So why didn't he get an extra search? What good is a "general list" if it doesn't at least lead to additional screening?

The Secretary has some 'splaing to do. She should begin by retracting yesterday's remarks. If she continues to stand by those remarks, the President should show her to the nearest exit.

UPDATE (12/28/2009 11:25 a.m.): Sec. Napolitano has now come out and said "Our system did not work in this instance ... Nobody is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is underway."