Napolitano: “System worked” in terror attack attempt on Detroit-bound plane


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the thwarting of the attempt to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit airline flight Christmas Day demonstrated that “the system worked.”

Asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” how that could be possible when the young Nigerian who has been charged with trying to set off the bomb was able to smuggle explosive liquid onto the jet, Napolitano responded: “We’re asking the same questions.”

Napolitano added that there was “no suggestion that [the suspect] was improperly screened.”

Watch the video at that same link.

Thomas Joscelyn unloads:

The would-be Christmas Day bomber boarded a plane with an explosive device that may have been capable of destroying an airliner, and yet “the system worked”? One wonders: What would it take for the “system” to fail? And if Abdulmutallab was not “improperly screened,” then what is the point to screening anyone at all?

As far as we can tell according to the press accounts thus far, there are two reasons Abdulmutallab failed in his attempt at mass murder. Neither reason has anything to do with the “system.”

First, Abdulmutallab’s explosive device may have had a faulty detonator. Second, alert passengers pounced on Abdulmutallab, thereby preventing him from trying to rectify the problem, but only after Abdulmutallab had already started a fire on the plane.

Again, neither of these reasons for Mutallab’s failure has anything to do with the “system.”

In fact, contrary to what Napolitano says, there are an increasing number of “suggestion(s)” that the “system” failed miserably. Abdulmutallab’s father says he contacted the U.S. embassy to warn American officials about his son’s radicalism weeks ago. If true, and he still wasn’t prevented from getting on an American-bound airliner, then this was a “system” failure. According to this account from CBS News, U.S. officials knew about Abdulmutallab for two years and while he was not on the no-fly list (a failure in and of itself), he was “on a list that includes people with known or suspected contact or ties to a terrorist or terrorist organization.”

So, how did the “system” work if U.S. officials were warned about Abdulmutallab by his father, after knowing about him for two years, and yet didn’t manage to do anything to stop him?

It’s because Democrats live in an alternate, wacked out reality when it comes to terrorism. Remember, it was “Bush’s fault” for allegedly “increasing” terrorist recruitment in the aftermath of 9/11 by responding forcefully both in Afghanistan and Iraq in the face the deadly attacks that took place on American soil. It was anti-war Democrats – the ones who repeatedly bashed Bush on his persistence when it came to winning the war in Iraq, like Joe Biden and Barack Obama – who had the audacity to try and take credit for the success of the surge that they both opposed. It is Democrats who believe that trying KSM in NYC will remind the world of the fairness of the US justice system – in spite of AG Holder’s admission that KSM won’t be released even if he’s found not guilty. And remember a few years ago when former senior counterterrorism official for both the Clinton and Bush admins, and lefty icon and all-around blowhard Richard Clarke tried to give “the system” credit for stopping the thwarted Clinton-era Millennium attack that was supposed to have happened in LA? Guess what? That’s not exactly how things happened:

Was it “shaking trees” or shaking knees that led to the arrest of convicted millennium terrorist Ahmed Ressam?

As former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke tells it in his book “Against All Enemies,” an international alert to be on the lookout for terrorists played a role in Ressam’s capture at a Port Angeles ferry terminal in December 1999, his car loaded with bomb-making material.

But national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice, in her testimony before the Sept. 11 commission last week, discounted Clarke’s version and credited a savvy U.S. customs agent, Diana Dean.

Dean stopped Ressam because “she sniffed something about Ressam. They saw that something was wrong” — not because of some security alert, Rice testified.


Ressam’s arrest came on President Clinton’s watch. Early that month, Clarke wrote in his book, the United States had learned terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden were planning as many as 15 attacks on Americans worldwide as the millennium approached.

Clarke, who worked for both Clinton and Bush, said he convened the Counter-terrorism Security Group, which he chaired, and sent out warnings both overseas and to local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies around the country to be on heightened alert for suspicious activity. “And then we waited,” he wrote.

“The break came in an unlikely location,” Clarke wrote, describing Ressam’s arrest by customs agents during a “routine screening.”

According to a former customs agent who was involved, Clarke’s version, laid out in one chapter of his book, wrongly implies they were on “heightened alert” and somehow looking for terrorists.

“No,” was the terse reply of Michael Chapman, one of the customs agents who arrested Ressam, when asked if he was aware of a security alert.

“We were on no more alert than we’re always on. That is a matter of public record,” said Chapman, now a Clallam County commissioner.

A review of the trial testimony of Chapman, Dean and two other U.S. customs agents involved in the arrest turned up no reference to a security alert.

Rather, it supports Chapman’s assessment that agents thought Ressam was smuggling drugs when they opened the trunk of his rental car and found bags of white powder buried in the spare-tire well. Only after finding several plastic black boxes, containing watches wired to circuit boards, did anyone suspect a bomb.

Dean has said repeatedly she singled Ressam out for a closer look because he was nervous, fumbling and sweating. Ressam has since told agents he was sick, and federal sources have confirmed Ressam had apparently gotten malaria while at terrorist-training camps in Afghanistan.

Clarke’s version of that night contains other errors. Some of them are minor. But one implies national-security officials knew more about Ressam’s plans than they could have at the time:

• Clarke wrote that Ressam bolted and left his car on the ferry. In fact, Ressam drove off the ferry and ran when he was stopped for inspection.

• Clarke reported Dean ran after Ressam. Actually, two other agents gave chase.

• More significantly, Clarke wrote that agents had found “explosives and a map of the Los Angeles International Airport” in the car, implying the threat to the airport was known almost immediately.

Clarke lied about the Clinton administration’s knowledge and the alleged “heightened alerts” regarding the planned Millennium attack, Democrats lied about Bush being an unwitting “recruiter of mass amounts of terrorists,” Obama and Biden lied in trying to give their party credit for the success of the surge in Iraq (a success Obama wouldn’t outright admit to as a candidate unless it was to give his party credit for it), the Obama admin lied on the rationale behind bringing KSM to NYC for trial (it’s really to put the evil Bush admin on trial), and Napolitano is lying now about the “system working” Friday after passengers and crew subdued a jihadi onboard a Detroit-bound plane who had “significant ties to terror.”

It’s these same head-in-sand Democrats who unwittingly aid in the recruitment of Islamofascist terrorist thugs by way of doing things like engaging in apology tours overseas, their attempts at appeasing Europe via moving hardened terrorists from their Gitmo confines to a prison right here on US soil, their dishonest explanations about how trying 9/11 mastermind KSM will show the world the shining example the US justice system is, and their laughable explanations about how the “system has worked” when clearly it has not.

They lie!

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