Patterico's Pontifications


Obama On Airline Security (Updated x2)

Filed under: Air Security,Obama — DRJ @ 2:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

As a Presidential candidate, Barack Obama promised to protect Americans by improving airline security:

Improve Airline Security:

Barack Obama believes we must redouble our efforts to determine if the measures implemented since 9/11 are adequately addressing the threats our nation continues to face from airplane-based terrorism. Airline passengers are still not screened against a comprehensive terrorist watch list. Such a list must be developed and used in a way that safeguards passengers’ privacy while ensuring the safety of air travel.”

It looks to me like nothing has changed in the 11 months President Obama has been in office, despite the fact that he said the watch list was a problem before the election. If it’s Bush’s fault that he didn’t foresee 9/11, why isn’t it Obama’s fault that apparently little or nothing has been done to correct the watch list Obama said was a problem even before he was elected?

This isn’t a partisan issue. People from every nation and of every political persuasion travel on American airlines. When it comes to national security issues like this, I expect the Obama Administration to follow through on the promises that got Obama elected.

I also expect Obama to talk to the American people about a terrorist event that occurred over American soil. Talk is the one thing Obama is good at and I don’t care if he’s on vacation. Why isn’t he talking about one of the biggest, and potentially most deadly, terrorist events to occur on his watch?


UPDATE: ABC News says Obama is “likely” to talk about Flight 253 “in the next few days” but he is hesitant:

There is a sense in the administration that the President needs to walk a fine line in his response. Responding immediately could perhaps increase the value of such attacks – even those that are unsuccessful – and encourage other would-be terrorists.

Asked about the President’s mood during what was supposed a “news-free” vacations, an aide said Mr. Obama is doing is best to “recharge his batteries” but stressed that the President is very concerned about what is going on in the world and is actively engaged at all levels.”

Surely Obama doesn’t really believe that terrorism was all-about-Bush and the attacks would stop once he took office? This sounds like he could believe that, but there are no magic words that will make terrorism go away.

UPDATE 2: The New York Times reports:

“President Obama ordered a review of the two major planks of the aviation security system—the creation of watch lists and the use of detection equipment at airport checkpoints.”

As set forth above, candidate Obama’s complete airline security platform was to develop and implement an improved terrorist watch list. Why does it take a terrorist event for Obama to act on his one and only aviation security proposal?

33 Responses to “Obama On Airline Security (Updated x2)”

  1. That must be the same list that a bunch of totally innocent people ended up on for no good reason. It is also the same list that Old Chucky Schumer wants to use to deny people their second amendment rights without due process.

    Course the real way to stop this crap is to give extra scrutiny to the religion that is actually committing these acts instead of harassing grandmothers at the airports.

    Chris (55970e)

  2. Why isn’t he talking about one of the biggest, and potentially most deadly, terrorist events to occur on his watch?

    Thought you were smarter than this, DRJ. OK, if I must: Because it’s HIS vacation. His break from all the hard word HE’s been doing is more important than anything else in the world.

    Like his date night which cost taxpayers endless money and trouble, or his 4-times-plus-any-previous-inauguration cost or his Air Force One flyover of NYC which made the of course stupid people of NYC panic, or the state dinner for which special super-expensive tents had to be built even though there’s a dining room inside, or the recognition he gave India that they should “be so honored” that HE chose them for his first state dinner, HIS preferences, time and choices are all that matter.

    What a dreamboat. **sigh**

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  3. forgot the /s (for any Obama-worshipers visiting)

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  4. I’ve updated the post.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  5. He did not really mean it when he made those campaign promises about security. This administration is in denial. It simply wants to pretend that terrorism is not a major issue of concern because they believe that “what the world needs now is love sweet love.”

    It’s almost the same thing as the young woman who needs to pretend that her druggy boyfriend will suddenly become the model of sobriety the minute she marries him. Or like the 50 year old overweight bald guy who is absolutely sure his 19 yr old hotsy totsy paramour is not just after his money.

    Too bad these self delusions almost always end badly.

    elissa (05a195)

  6. That’s the problem with endless Machiavellian political triangulation – you triangulate yourself into nowhere. Obama’s there.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  7. Like everything else, his promises carry an expiration date, preferably when no one’s paying attention and/or his media lackeys are covering for him. Besides, didn’t you hear? This isn’t a terrorist action, it’s a law enforcement issue.

    I heard Juan Williams this morning stating definitively that this was a sole operator, with no connection to AQ. So we already know the media narrative on this from the start, the facts be damned. Unbelievable.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  8. “There is a sense…”

    LOL. I used that horrible phrase in a philosophy essay, because I read it so much in the MSM, and the professor really chewed on me for its unforgivable, irredeemable weaseliness.

    I see what he means now.

    cassandra in MT (744ad1)

  9. Show of hands—–

    If the bomber had actually succeeded in taking down the plane on Christmas day with no survivors, would the public have been immediately assured by officials that terrorism was not involved? (Because, of course, it would have been impossible for someone to carry explosives past security checkpoints.)

    elissa (05a195)

  10. I firmly believe that Barry and his Merrie Band are willing to call this a terrorist act because it failed. Their unwillingness to call the Ft Hood murders terrorism is because it was successful, if you’ll pardon my use of that word.
    Ergo, there have been no succesful terrorist actions on their watch, which means Big Ears is betterer than Bush on security issues.

    Gazzer (d98659)

  11. Or like the 50 year old overweight bald guy who is absolutely sure his 19 yr old hotsy totsy paramour is not just after his money.

    Too bad these self delusions almost always end badly.

    Comment by elissa

    Elissa, that hurt !

    The TSA is all about making people think they are serious by making people inconvenienced. My former office was in a building that had the TSA office for Orange County airport on another floor. The guy who owned the little lunch place there hated them. All they did was hang around his place and smoke. They never bought anything.

    Half of them were probably eligible for a no-fly list.

    None of this is serious.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  12. Huh? According to the quoted article, President Obama is supposed to be having “a ‘news-free’ vacation.” Did I miss something? Did the President of the United States sign an executiove order delegating his powers and responsibilities to Vice President Biden as “Acting President?” Surely, surely! if President Obama just doesn’t want to be disturbed whilst in the alleged state of his birth, he muct have delegated authority temporarily to the Vice President. Why hasn’t this made news?

    The confused Dana (474dfc)

  13. The President appears to have foolishly squandered an opportunity to assert the gravitas and stature of the presidential office to the American public and terrorists at large, by,

    *immediately cutting short his vacation and flying back to D.C. to be available for first-hand information and updates because the safety of Americans is worth the sacrifice, and our enemies better take note,

    *by making a statement to the public of his staff’s investigation into this and the steps he would be taking to further tighten up security efforts (including: permitting profiling because the risk of offending a few in order to save the many is worth it),

    *and to immediately walk back his Homeland Security Secretary’s absurd statement – or at the least, explain to us *what she really meant*. And then fire her for incompetence, and because most Americans would fully support him in this decision and frankly, expect the President to not allow such utter incompetence at that level of decision making because at some point in time, that incompetence will put the citizenry at unnecessary risk.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  14. Our friends on the left liked to slam President Bush for his vacations at Prairie Chapel Ranch, but President Bush certainly never suggested that his vacations were to be “news-free.”

    Of course, the title “Acting President Dick Cheney” would have made their heads explode! :)

    The Dana who notes these things (474dfc)

  15. Dear otherest Dana, the lovely Miss Napolitano is a member of not one but two Acknowledged Victim Groups; she cannot be fired simply for incompetence. Please make a note of it.

    The politically correct Dana (474dfc)

  16. “…fire her for incompetence”

    Dana, I feel sure that Obama could temporarily raise his favorable poll numbers several points by canning Napolitano tomorrow. From what I can tell it would be received by America as kind of a nice bi-partisan no brainer.

    elissa (05a195)

  17. Listened to Sec.Napolitano on This Week, and knew from the first three words that it was all BS:
    Well, I think….”
    What can you believe when they start with a lie?

    If I can’t drive there, or if El-Al doesn’t fly there, I’m not going.

    AD - RtR/OS! (55853a)

  18. elissa, if this president were savvy and truly had his finger on the pulse of the American citizen, he would have had his tush back in the Oval Office ASAP, and Napalitano would already be tendering her resignation and/or facing a humiliating yet well earned firing.

    And Confused Dana @ #12, you are absolutely right: If you sign up for the job of POTUS, there is no such thing as a “news-free” vacation. Too bad, so sad, you are on call 24/7, holidays included. The hours are horrible, the pay is lousy, and someone will always be criticizing and tearing at everything you do and say. Don’t like the job expectations? Don’t present yourself as someone willing to take all of it on – the good, the bad, and the inconvenient.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  19. This ia getting scary ridiculous. I’m very concerned that one of these guys is going to succeed – it’s a matter of time, rule of averages and all that – and dozens or hundreds of innocent people are going to die. And the fault will lie with the men and women who have taken the responsibility of protecting us onto themselves who refuse to carry out their duties competently. Everyone knows who to look out for. Mostly Muslims but not entirely. The point is they KNOW who is a risk and who isn’t and they don’t act responsibly on purpose, and even if they were using some goddam common sense they’d still be incompetent as they have proven themselves to be over and over again. Concerned? Actually it fills me with more than a little dread and a lot of frustration. These people need to be gone, ASAP, before people die.

    chaos (7c068a)

  20. It is now crystal clear that people of conscience need to use every method that is legal and peaceful to remove Obama from office or we are risking our freedom, our children’s futures, and our very lives.

    Kevin Stafford (abdb87)

  21. there is a simple explanation as to why Ear Leader has not yet been directly heard from on this issue.

    TOTUS was vacationing somewhere else, and hasn’t been able to get to Hawaii yet…. %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  22. I added Update 2 to the post.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  23. I would not read anything into this about a lack of a speech from Obama – The President and his administration did not try to set a bomb off and kill our fellow citizens – Al Qaeda did in reaction to his going after Afghanistan –

    Making decisions about the safety of millions of Americans is NOT something he would take lightly and he needs our support – not endless navel gazing without any real information yet.

    I would wait a few weeks before making any kind of judgement in this case

    Janet Napalitano as well, any more statements like that Obama should take action – but then again if he did that would send a signal to the terrorists and their recruiters that they have succeeded in doing something insted of failing as they ACTUALLY did

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  24. We will not be safe until they stop dithering and start to profile passengers. The Israelis have been the prime target for decades and have been able to keep their planes safe since Entebbe. I would rather fly El Al on an international flight than a US carrier now.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  25. My wife flew on Korean Airlines (over American Airlines) the last time she traveled. They know their business too.

    nk (df76d4)

  26. Notice the usual libs are not defending the Dithering Idiot and the Blithering Idiot? What it is going to take is a Liberal Democrat caucus being taken out in another attack for Democrats to WAKE UP!!!!!

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  27. Also, notice all the hack Democrats demanding to be flown on USAF transports rather than commercial air? Maybe if they got a dose of flying with the “Major Hasans” in the USAF, then there will be real change.

    Maybe make ALL congress critters fly coach on regularly scheduled US air carriers.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  28. No surprise: Janet Napalitano walks back her outrageous claim, saying her comment was “taken out of context”. Of course it was.

    In an interview Monday on NBC’s Today Show, Napolitano said her words in Sunday’s CNN interview had been “taken out of context.” She said the comment referred to the reaction in the 60-90 minutes after the suspect attempted to blow up the plane. Up until that point, did the system fail miserably, Matt Lauer asked. “It did,” she responded.

    Lauer pressed: How does a guy who’s on this general terror list, who buys a one-way transtlantic ticket with cash, who checks no luggage, and who’s own father has flagged him to authorities, get on the plane? Napolitano said that “our system did not work in this instance” and no one “is happy or satisfied with that.” She maintained “air travel is safe.”

    (emph. added)

    Dana (f64b7d)

  29. Why do we need major adjustments when it seems they have missed the obvious ….

    Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

    ‘An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said “This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.” The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17(Although I think he is 23 he doesn’t look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said “you can’t board without a passport”. The Indian man then replied, “He is from Sudan, we do this all the time”. I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said “You will have to talk to my manager”, and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn’t on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager.

    Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor, MI. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

    Neo (7830e6)

  30. i am looking foward to seeing one of these guys getting on af one in the same way they got into a state dinner.virgins for every “body’. i wonder what womem who die in jihad get.

    clyde (281d90)

  31. “…i wonder what womem who die in jihad get.”

    Free batteries for eternity?

    AD - RtR/OS! (191d21)

  32. women martyrs get to be the head virgin out of the 72. Probably.

    Chaos (7c068a)

  33. #23 — Comment by EricPWJohnson — 12/28/2009 @ 2:34 am

    You are right EricPWJ: why all the urgency? The President needs a vacation. We are only talking about 300 lives that were almost slaughtered, not a big deal.

    Besides, his crack team of security experts have already solved the problem — hands in lap for the last few hours of the flight; pure genius ! (Passports, smassports — who needs them?) (no-fly-lists, smo-fly-lists — who needs those?)


    President Obama and his “brain”-trust sure have al Qaeda shaking — with laughter.

    Pons Asinorum (f0b741)

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