When President Obama took office I had high hopes for his national security team – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. James Jones. But on the Homeland Security front it's been Ready, Fire......Oops……. Aim.
Remember when the president promised to shut Guantanamo within his first year in office? it’s been a lot more difficult than he thought and one year later Gitmo’s still open for business.
When the Christmas Day bomber got off the plane in Detroit, he was bragging and "babbling like a brook," according to former Attorney General Mukasey. But after a mere 50 minutes, the Justice Department stepped in and read him his Miranda rights, including the "right to remain silent." So he got lawyered up, and then he clammed up. We never got to interrogate him adequately about those Yemeni terrorist training camps he spent months at, or about he about what other terrorists might be headed our way. We didn’t even find out who sewed the explosives into his underwear!
The Obama administration claims Umar Abdulmutallab was thoroughly interrogated and all the relevant agencies were part of the process. Yet the heads of homeland security, national intelligence, and the FBI all swore under oath that they hadn’t been consulted in advance.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced his decision to try the mastermind of the Sept 11 terror attacks in lower Manhattan without consulting NYPD Chief Kelly or Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who heard about it from the press. Now they’ve asked the Attorney General to move the trial out of New York, rather than put whole section of the city under virtual lockdown for the better part of a year to protect the courthouse and jail -- all to the tune of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
Are these folks goof-ups and just a new administration finding its balance? Or are they indicative of a White House that sees terrorists as isolated extremists who belong in civilian courts rather than enemy combatants?
Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan Administrations, where she was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. She does a weekly video-blog for FOX News, DEFCON 3 by KT. Her Web site is KTMcFarland.com.