I mean, really.
In giving his update on the investigation into how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab managed to get explosives on to a Detroit-bound plane he allegedly planned to blow up, President Obama yesterday said something that has made my head spin.
“I’m directing that our intelligence community immediately begin assigning specific responsibility for investigating all leads on high-priority threats so that these leads are pursued and acted upon aggressively — not just most of the time, but all of the time. We must follow the leads that we get. And we must pursue them until plots are disrupted. And that mean assigning clear lines of responsibility.”
Take a minute and read the first part again.
“I’m directing that our intelligence community immediately begin assigning specific responsibility for investigating all leads on high-priority threats so that these leads are pursued and acted upon aggressively — not just most of the time, but all of the time.”
Now, I’m not a law enforcement professional.
Nor do I play one on TV.
But what the hell????
It’s been eight years since September 11th — hell, it’s been almost 17 years since the first attack on the World Trade Center. The United States has been the target of many attempted plots since then.
There was Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and others being convicted of a plot to blow up bridges and tunnels in New York City.
There was Ahmed Ressem’s plot to attack LAX at the millennium.
The list could go on and on.
Now let’s assume that the government has been pursuing leads. I mean, after all, there likely wouldn’t be indictments without leads having been pursued.
You really have to wonder why the President felt the need to make that a big point of his speech…. You have to think the whole pursuing leads thing is second nature.
Speaking of oy….
As has been made perfectly clear, the intelligence community failed in this one. The signals were there and they just botched it.
What it makes it all the more astounding is that more than THREE YEARS AGO — when Richard Reid was arrested in his failed attempt to blow up an airliner — brilliant writer and noted intelligence analyst Calvin Trillin went on The Daily Show and warned the world the next attack could very well be the underwear bomber.
Really. Go about four minutes in and watch for thirty seconds.
And then go buy all of Trillin’s books because that way, as the world goes to hell, at least you’ll have many good laughs on the way.