White House advisor briefed on ‘underwear bomb’ in October

White House advisor briefed on ‘underwear bomb’ in October

Rick Moran

Newsweek follows up its story on Obama being informed of a Christmas terror plot with the story that White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan being briefed about the kind of bomb used during the holiday attack:

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan was briefed in October on an assassination attempt by Al Qaeda that investigators now believe used the same underwear bombing technique as the Nigerian suspect who tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day, U.S. intelligence and administration officials tell NEWSWEEK.The briefing to Brennan was delivered at the White House by Muhammad bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s chief counterterrorism official. In late August, Nayef had survived an assassination attempt by an operative dispatched by the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda who was pretending to turn himself in. The operative had tried to kill the Saudi prince by detonating a bomb on his body, but stumbled on his way into the prince’s palace and blew himself up.

[…]

U.S. officials now suspect that Nayef’s attempted assassin and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian suspect aboard the Northwest flight, had the same bomb maker in Yemen, intelligence experts tell NEWSWEEK. At the briefing for Brennan, Nayef was concerned because “he didn’t think [U.S. officials] were paying enough attention” to the growing threat from Al Qaeda in Yemen, said a former U.S. intelligence official familiar with the briefing. (A senior Saudi official told NEWSWEEK Saturday that “we don’t have any concerns that the U.S. government isn’t sufficiently concerned about Yemen. In the latter part of the Bush administration and in this administration, the U.S. has been very focused on the dangers emanating from Yemen.”)

The more that dribbles out about the reaction of the administration to this threat, the more klutzy they look.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/white_house_advisor_briefed_on.html at January 02, 2010 – 10:10:11 PM EST

War? What War? The Obama administration refuses to admit that we are at war.

War? What War?
The Obama administration refuses to admit that we are at war.

By Charles Krauthammer

Janet Napolitano — former Arizona governor, now overmatched secretary of homeland security — will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: “The system worked.” The attacker’s concerned father had warned U.S. authorities about his son’s jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight. He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers.

Heck of a job, Brownie.

The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism “man-caused disasters.” Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management.

And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term “war on terror.” It’s over — that is, if it ever existed.

Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately, al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term “asymmetric warfare.”

And produces linguistic — and logical — oddities that littered Obama’s public pronouncements following the Christmas Day attack. In his first statement, Obama referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as “an isolated extremist.” This is the same president who, after the Ford Hood shooting, warned us “against jumping to conclusions” — code for daring to associate Nidal Hasan’s mass murder with his Islamist ideology. Yet, with Abdulmutallab, Obama jumped immediately to the conclusion, against all existing evidence, that the bomber acted alone.

More jarring still were Obama’s references to the terrorist as a “suspect” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device.” You can hear the echo of FDR: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor.”

Obama reassured the nation that this “suspect” had been charged. Reassurance? The president should be saying: We have captured an enemy combatant — an illegal combatant under the laws of war: no uniform, direct attack on civilians — and now to prevent future attacks, he is being interrogated regarding information he may have about al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Instead, Abdulmutallab is dispatched to some Detroit-area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point — surprise! — he stops talking.

This absurdity renders hollow Obama’s declaration that “we will not rest until we find all who were involved.” Once we’ve given Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent, we have gratuitously forfeited our right to find out from him precisely who else was involved, namely those who trained, instructed, armed, and sent him.

This is all quite mad even in Obama’s terms. He sends 30,000 troops to fight terror overseas, yet if any terrorists come to attack us here, they are magically transformed from enemy into defendant.

The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator — no judge, no jury, no qualms. But if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.

The president said that this incident highlights “the nature of those who threaten our homeland.” But the president is constantly denying the nature of those who threaten our homeland. On Tuesday, he referred five times to Abdulmutallab (and his terrorist ilk) as “extremist(s).”

A man who shoots abortion doctors is an extremist. An eco-fanatic who torches logging sites is an extremist. Abdulmutallab is not one of these. He is a jihadist. And unlike the guys who shoot abortion doctors, jihadists have cells all over the world; they blow up trains in London, nightclubs in Bali, and airplanes over Detroit (if they can); and they are openly pledged to wage war on America.

Any government can through laxity let someone slip through the cracks. But a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy — jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon — turns laxity into a governing philosophy.
 
Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010, The Washington Post Writers Group


National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZWI2MGE2YTE4MzM4M2QyMTE5ZWE0OWI0Y2E3OTZiMGU

White House visitors log reflects Obama agenda

White House visitors log reflects Obama agenda

December 31st, 2009

By Michael D. Shear, Washington Post

 Anna Burger with the SEIU is one of Obama’s most frequent visitors

Tens of thousands of people poured through the White House in September, including many who visited as part of organized outreach by the Obama administration to particularly important constituencies, according to visitor logs that were released Wednesday.

The records, made public as part of President Obama’s effort to keep his promise of government transparency, include almost 25,000 entries from the computerized visitor logs, primarily covering the last two weeks of September. It was the latest of three such releases, and the first of what are expected to be large-scale monthly reports by the White House.

The growing list of names of White House visitors, which now totals almost 30,000, offers a fresh, if imperfect, window into the efforts of Obama and his staff to use the White House as a tool for bringing key groups together in the historic venue.

Thousands of entries remain somewhat mysterious, offering no explanation for the reason for the visit, and some visits are not disclosed at all, including those of visitors whose known presence at the White House would pose a national security risk.

The list also highlights the continuing influence of the labor unions: A senior official for the Service Employees International Union, Anna Burger, was one of the most frequent visitors to the president himself.

Read More:

Big Surprise: Mortgage bailout program hurting rather than helping say experts

Big Surprise: Mortgage bailout program hurting rather than helping say experts

Rick Moran

Before Obama is out of office, the four most overused words in the English language are going to be…

“I told ya so:”

The Obama administration’s $75 billion program to protect homeowners from foreclosure has been widely pronounced a disappointment, and some economists and real estate experts now contend it has done more harm than good.

Since President Obama announced the program in February, it has lowered mortgage payments on a trial basis for hundreds of thousands of people but has largely failed to provide permanent relief. Critics increasingly argue that the program, Making Home Affordable, has raised false hopes among people who simply cannot afford their homes.As a result, desperate homeowners have sent payments to banks in often-futile efforts to keep their homes, which some see as wasting dollars they could have saved in preparation for moving to cheaper rental residences. Some borrowers have seen their credit tarnished while falsely assuming that loan modifications involved no negative reports to credit agencies.

Some experts argue the program has impeded economic recovery by delaying a wrenching yet cleansing process through which borrowers give up unaffordable homes and banks fully reckon with their disastrous bets on real estate, enabling money to flow more freely through the financial system.

 

Omigod. It appears that Peter Goodman of the New York Times has discovered the free market! That last paragraph that describes what must happen before a housing recovery can occur must have been used by conservatives a hundred times before this idiotic bailout package was passed.

And the Treasury Department is still fiddling with the program, trying to get it to work. With more than 50% of people who got their mortgages adjusted once again finding themselves more than 90 days behind, this boondoggle will keep the housing sector depressed for years to come. There will be no recovery until individuals and banks pay the price for their greed and stupidity. That’s how capitalism works and no one has found a go around for it yet.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/big_surprise_mortgage_bailout.html at January 02, 2010 – 12:24:49 PM EST