Patterico's Pontifications


Toby Harnden: 10 Reasons Obama Gets an “F”

Filed under: Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The UK Daily Telegraph’s U.S. Editor Toby Harnden gives President Obama and his Administration an “F” for their handling of the “events that led to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarding a Detroit-bound plane in Amsterdam with a PETN bomb sewn into his underpants.” The highlights, or maybe I should say the lowlights, from Harnden’s analysis (NOTE: My summary with Harnden’s thoughts in quotes):

1. What did the CIA know? The CIA had “at least two face-to-face meetings, telephone calls and written correspondence with [Adulmutallab’s] father. If it’s true that the CIA sat on this then it beggars belief.”

2. What did the National Counter Terrorism Center, the NSC, and the White House know? “CIA spokesman George Little says here that ‘key biographical information’ and information about ‘possible extremist connections in Yemen’ was passed to NCTC. If NCTC knew about it, then did someone at the National Security Council within the White House?”

3. This wasn’t the Administration’s only intelligence failure.According to CBS, as early as August of 2009 the Central Intelligence Agency was picking up information on a person of interest dubbed ‘The Nigerian’ suspected of meeting with ‘terrorist elements’ in Yemen.”

4. Obama’s initial response did not demonstrate leadership. Obama’s delayed, legalistic and aloof response — punctuated by golf, tennis, and snorkeling — suggests he is “dangerously close to failing as a leader.”

5. Obama can’t continue to be complacent about the danger of terrorism. “There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks” as illustrated by its initial non-existent or tepid responses to the Arkansas recruiting center shooting, the Fort Hood shooting, and now this.

6. Obama should rethink closing Guantanamo Bay. “How many other enemies of America and the West are going to be released back to the battlefield?”

7. Janet Napolitano can’t do this job. “[Her] ‘system worked’ comment was a ‘heckuva job, Brownie’ moment. Is she up to the job?”

8. “Will Obama hold individuals accountable?” Obama has called for “accountability at the highest levels.” Will he follow through by making the right heads roll?

9. Stop blaming Bush. Obama and members of his Administration continue to blame Bush: “It’s bordering on the juvenile. Obama’s been president for a year now. It’s time for him to accept that things that happen as his responsibility …”

10. “Will there be US air attacks against targets in Yemen?” In other words, will Obama talk or will he do something?

Read the whole thing.

H/T The Drudge Report.


19 Responses to “Toby Harnden: 10 Reasons Obama Gets an “F””

  1. Obama’s initial response was empty. He’s not really much of a president it turns out.

    It’s embarrassing for our little country and at a not very good time.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  2. “dangerously close to failing as a leader.”

    oh puhleese: he is the penultimate second lieutenant… you can’t tell him shit, he can’t think for shit, and he sure as hell doesn’t know shit. the only thing you can count on is that he sure as shit is going to get good people killed.

    fuck him.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  3. I think hat-tipping Mr. Drudge is the very quintessence of graciousness. You just hardly ever see that.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  4. So many people have started to comment on the “blame Bush” habit that I would expect the White House to begin to shift its strategy. Expect them to begin saying, “Naturally, we cannot blame the criminal incompetence and negligence of the previous administration. President Obama will shoulder full responsibility.”

    Thereby simultaneously trying to look like an adult and still making the listener think that the problem somehow started with Bush.

    Gesundheit (5c938e)

  5. Gesundheit,

    Naturally they already do that to some extent. But it’s nakedly an attempt to pass blame. The stage is already set for 2012. “We’ve made a lot of progress fixing Bush’s mistakes, and we need 4 more years. You’re super lucky to have us in charge!”

    It’s ridiculous, but that’s the best card they have to play unless they want to change their policies.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. A year? that’s nothing.

    We had a 9 year government here in New Zealand (kicked out last year) who only stopped bashing the previous government (who was forced to make drastic cuts in government expenditure) after they won their third election.

    And it wasn’t the occasional hint that Obama’s people throw out, it was *every* statement they made mentioned the “failures of the 90s” or “the failed policies of the previous government”.

    They’ve got a line, they’ll use it until it’s just too ridiculous. That point (I’m guessing) is about 4 years away.

    scrubone (9faf48)

  7. I think folks misunderstand what Obama’s presidency is about: doing as much damage as possible to arrogant racist America so that we can never again endanger the world with our power. And he’s doing a bang-up job of it.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  8. Oh Gawd Kevin, I know your comments are correct and I but shudder!

    For sme reason I can’t, (and I could for sure be wrong as I am old as the hills and openly admit to not listening to and retaining all we heard from Bush), remember him calling out that Fucker, (self admitted), Clinton who had ample opportunity to cage the prick, for causing 9/11.

    Seems he stood up, told Bin Laden to duck and cover about the same time the first missiles were in flight. Told us all we have a new challenge and it’s not going to be easy or short term to deal with either.

    It’s too bad we have nothing in congress with balls as well. I do mean nothing!

    So far all this prick has said is that WE WILL NOT LIKE HIS DECISIONS and oh boy was he ever right!

    TC (0b9ca4)

  9. It reminds me of the classic stand-up line, which I am embarrassed to admit I used back in the 80’s when I was having a stab at it, when the ‘comedian’ would say,
    I was just beginning my act, when the audience remembered how bad the guy before me was, and started booing again…

    Gazzer (d98659)

  10. 9 years? Are you serious?

    Try 180 years, give or take, since slavery. We are still at fault as a people.

    We have the government we deserve.

    Ed from SFV (1333b1)

  11. Oops. 150 years. Apologies.

    Ed from SFV (1333b1)

  12. Obama’s delayed, legalistic and aloof response — punctuated by golf, tennis, and snorkeling — suggests he is “dangerously close to failing as a leader.”

    That’s at least somewhat better than the grotesque, pathetic behavior he displayed at the press conference right after the Fort Hood killings. You know, the event where the current occupant of the White House, before mentioning the massacre, said something about giving high fives to a Medal of Freedom recipient. And then, to add insult to injury, his saying the following day about it not being good to jump to conclusions about the killer.

    Well, America, you chose Mr. “Goddamn America” to be your president, and so you’re now goddamned.

    Mark (411533)

  13. i’m just happy that Ear Leader is *not* MY president…. you fools voted for him, you own him.

    and yes, I TOLD YOU SO.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  14. “Will there be US air attacks against targets in Yemen?” In other words, will Obama talk or will he do something?

    Given that this guy was radicalized in London, and a discipline of a US born Muslim who preached at Falls Church VA, maybe the cruise missiles should be falling on Bloomsbury Square and the Old Dominion.

    a concerned conservative (70dd00)

  15. The blame Bush business has no life left to it. George Bush took office on January 20, 2001. He immediately had his highest officials undertake a review of national security issues. The review was finalized by late July, early August 2001, and the regulations implementing changes to the policies of Clinton became effective September 10, 2001. Unfortunately that was not enough time to implement the new mindset he wanted to reign in his Administration, and he still could not get approved many of his national security and other officials due to democrap obstructionism.
    Now, if Bush had been Obama, he would not have done any review of the former policies of Clinton, and when 9/11 hit, he would have blamed the entire episode on Clinton’s ‘failed policies’, etc. Yet if Obama were Bush, he would have already undertaken the review of these policies and would have had the ‘problems’ fixed by policy and regulatory changes, during the past 11 months. Too bad the only things Obama knows how to do are to give a speech and to vote present.

    eaglewingz08 (39833d)

  16. Percent chance of an air-strike on al-Qaeda operations in Yemen, ordered by President Bambi:

    Icy Texan (ba93f6)

  17. i lived in arizona while incompetano was gov. and this was exactly the kind of job i axpected of her and also the kind of job obama asked of her.

    clyde (281d90)

  18. Apparently the CIA didn’t know the full name of “The Nigerian” who was training with the Al Qaeda in Yemen.

    They did, however, know that part of his name was Umar Farouk.

    Why they couldn’t connect those dots is beyond me. Any half-competent data mining would have succeeded.

    Heck, any Boy Scout could have done it for an antiterrorism merit badge.

    Gary Coleman (05d081)

  19. It is interesting that the left complains about President Bush not panicking the children by finishing the story that he was reading and actually waiting for an accurate report. The difference that they do not understand is that people trusted the president to actually have competent people working for him and to actually be working on the problem as soon as he left. The current president was obviously avoiding the issue and playing around. Had President Bush been in the middle of a round of golf when something happened, he might ahve finished the round in order to show calm and confidence, but there would have been a flurry of effort going on behind the scenes.

    Even the rabid leftists do not trust the current president to be doing anything, and they consider his minions as bad as him.

    sabbahillel (498858)

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