Patterico's Pontifications

12/31/2009

Obama’s Terrorist Watchlist Review

Filed under: Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 12:44 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama has ordered a review of the Terrorist Watchlist program following the Northwest Flight 253 terror attack. Last Sunday he named John Brennan, a CIA veteran who helped establish the National Counterterrorism Center, to head the review. Today Brennan received an ethics waiver so he can begin the inquiry.

Brennan may have a lot of work ahead of him. A May 2009 Justice Department audit found problems in the Watchlist program that affect national security:

The FBI has been slow to update the national terror suspect watchlist — and the lapses pose real risks to U.S. security, a Justice Department audit has found.

A report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Glenn Fine, found that 12 terror suspects who were either not watchlisted or were slow to be added to the list may have traveled into or out of the United States during the period when they were not placed on the list.”

Representatives from Homeland Security and the FBI gave assurances that corrections would be made. In hindsight, their assurances are not reassuring:

“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the issues have been addressed and her agency is publicly committed to working with the Justice Department “as a shared mission of protecting this country is paramount,” said Sara Kuban, a spokeswoman for Napolitano.

In two of every three cases the auditors examined, the FBI failed to update information in the watchlist, as required.

FBI Assistant Director John Miller said the bureau has already taken steps to improve the system.”

Two of every three cases?

— DRJ

31 Responses to “Obama’s Terrorist Watchlist Review”

  1. Brennan may have a lot of work ahead of him. A May 2009 Justice Department audit found problems in the Watchlist program that affect national security:

    “The FBI has been slow to update the national terror suspect watchlist — and the lapses pose real risks to U.S. security, a Justice Department audit has found.

    A report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Glenn Fine, found that 12 terror suspects who were either not watchlisted or were slow to be added to the list may have traveled into or out of the United States during the period when they were not placed on the list.”


    Of course the first order of business for the democrats concerning this information is to find a way to blame it on Bush.

    …because in this “Hope and Change” administration run by the “adults”…the buck no longer stops at the Presidents desk like we heard from liberals for 8 years under Bush….it now stops at his Crawford Ranch a full year into Obama’s tenure as POTUS.

    There is no better sign that Obama’s first year has been such a failure than to watch democrats still whining about Bush because they have no successful accomplishments to brag about.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  2. No wonder Napolitano thought the “system worked”.
    The dumb bitch expected 2 out of 3 suspects to be left off of the watch-list.

    Krusher (fad639)

  3. DRJ

    No its TWO OUT OF THREE CASES they sampled

    Comforting……

    As I fly BACK to the Middle East where airline security is taken very seriously….

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  4. If this is how good government health care will be, then we’re screwed

    DaveinPhoenix (2bd6c3)

  5. > Two of every three cases?

    Certainly. The government’s current on its tracking and profiling of right-wing tax protesting “teabaggers” and other white collar, middle class terrorists. You’ve gotta have your priorities!

    HatlessHessian (cca288)

  6. Well Brennan, was the one who declared that the ‘war on terror’ was obsolete, they packed him in the back like a case of Arm and Hammer baking soda.
    They have his number from the time he was station chief in Riyadh, back in the early 90s

    bishop (d3e60d)

  7. Ya gotta hand it to Obama. What a hoot! He begins an inquiry into a national security breakdown by exempting his lead investigator from ethics requirements to do a thorough job. There’s no better way to make sure inconvenient facts don’t come to light.

    ropelight (0bdde5)

  8. When dysfunctional countries like Mogadishu (?!!) have superior screening procedures when compared to your own, then you’ve got problems so huge that words cannot convey the extent of your ineptitude. Heckuva job, Nap!

    Dmac (a964d5)

  9. We are being led by the best, brightest, and most caring people in the country…
    now, where did I put that HP ammo again, need to load more mags?

    AD - RtR/OS! (c7228f)

  10. As the man who attempted to kill on Christmas day was not allowed in England, perhaps our elites could check WHY England banned some of these people (and some of our other former allies’ lists)to decide whether or not they admit them to the USA? And, once again, the left is busy cya instead of fighting the enemy…..the ones trying to kill us.

    J (2946f2)

  11. HP or Heckler and Koch, AD, so Brennan set up the NCTC, the watchlist, everything, nothing to see here

    bishop (d3e60d)

  12. The mistake is not turning this problem over to someone who has managed large databases for private companies. Here is someone who could probably do the job very well.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  13. Hey the FBI are batting .333 on updating the terror lists. That’ll get you into the Hall of Fame. The system worked.

    KingShamus (fb8597)

  14. This is what happens when an effort (intelligence gathering and analysis) is so bifurcated by being spread amonst so many agencies that are (quite frankly) jealous and antagonistic towards one another.
    Under the Clinton Administration, we had Jamie Gorelicks infamous fire-wall between the CIA and FBI that prevented dots from being shared, thus hindering any attempts at connecting same.
    Then, under Bush, we attempted to collate all of the analysis in a central repository called the National Intelligence Directorate. But, we still have all of this intell gathering under all of these disparate entities that do not play well together: State, Defense, NSA, CIA, Justice, NSC, the shoe-shine stand at Union Station…
    The system created under NSA-47(?) was never perfect, and it seems to be now utterly disfunctional. Not only are dots not being connected, nobody seems to know what a dot is, and those that do, refuse to share.
    If we survive, we might want to pray more – at least to Thank Providence, if not to ask for Forgiveness.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c7228f)

  15. Comment by KingShamus — 12/31/2009 @ 8:55 am

    One out of Three…
    Except, it also means that if you’re wrong the first time, you’re dead!
    As you will be when you’re wrong the second time, even if you’re right the first time;
    Nobody actually gets a chance for a third time.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c7228f)

  16. White House aides, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and new White House counsel Robert Bauer, ordered staff to begin researching similar breakdowns — if any — from the Bush Administration.

    “The idea was that we’d show that the Bush Administration had had far worse missteps than we ever could,” says a staffer in the counsel’s office. “We were told that classified material involving anything related to al Qaeda operating in Yemen or Nigeria was fair game and that we’d declassify it if necessary.”

    The White House, according to the source, is in full defensive spin mode. Other administration sources also say a flurry of memos were generated on December 26th, 27th, and 28th, which developed talking points about how Obama’s decision to effectively shut down the Homeland Security Council.

    http://spectator.org/archives/2009/12/31/the-politics-of-incompetence

    Sanmon (319c0c)

  17. The Obama administration and the DHS turn their attention to the real problem.

    As long as we’re expending efforts to get to the root cause of the problem, I suppose I’ll sleep better tonight. What a bunch of morons.

    I know we can play this game all day, but can you just imagine the head-exploding anger and anguish if the Bush administration had subpoenaed a journalist or blogger over a security leak?

    Ag80 (525921)

  18. Breaking news…
    Due to the failure of the Bush Administration to implement the Kyoto Accords, needless suffering was endured by Washington’s forces at Valley Forge.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c7228f)

  19. From Ag80’s link at #18:

    “Elliott, the blogger who first published Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 … said he was surprised and somewhat intimidated by the TSA visit and being served with the subpoena. … Elliott … had ‘just put the kids in the bathtub when Special Agent Robert Flaherty knocked on my front door with a subpoena.'”

    Knocking down doors in the middle of the night, remiscent of Genghis (pronounced Jenghis) Khan, ignoring local tradition. Where is John Kerry when you need him?

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  20. Actually, it makes me wonder if Janet Reno is quietly advising the TSA. She is quite good at these things although they haven’t shot anybody’s dog yet.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  21. “The system worked” because Jan-taking-a-Nap-on-the-job says it worked.

    Icy Texan (ba93f6)

  22. On the serious side, how many of us have confidence that we will ever get a truthful answer as to where the breakdown was, raise our hands….Mine is still at the level of the keyboard.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  23. Where does TSA get subpoena power from?

    nk (df76d4)

  24. Same place as the FBI, DEA, etc….
    They’re just another infernal federal police force.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c7228f)

  25. “In two of every three cases the auditors examined, the FBI failed to update information in the watchlist, as required.”

    Tutu-garbed J. Edgar must be spinning in his grave…

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  26. As if anyone cares,the subpoenas have been suspended.

    Of course, the DHS had one computer for a while and returned it with corrupted files.

    Hope, change and transparency. I would like just one lefty justify this infringement on the 1st Amendment. Won’t happen. It only counts when Republicans are in charge.

    Bah.

    Ag80 (525921)

  27. The subpeonas were finally suspended after an adult managed to gain access to the TSA bunker where decisions were being made. He was able to turn off the robot and take over on manual.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  28. […] more here: Obama’s Terrorist Watchlist Review […]

    Obama’s Terrorist Watchlist Review | Liberal Whoppers (d16888)

  29. Data entry is hampered by the expertise of the data clerk in dealing with unfamiliar languages/names in these languages.

    Not everyone can search effectively – especially in a large, complex database.

    These and other factors let us know that we will never be able to travel with 100% certainty that we are terror-free. See my post on this subject:

    Homeland Security Data Management: An Accident Waiting to Happen?

    http://samandimp.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/homeland-security-data-management-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/

    SamHenry (8f467c)


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