When President Obama took office I had high hopes for his national security team – Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and Gen. Jim Jones. But on the homeland security front it's been one bungled effort after another.
Remember when the president promised to shut Guantanamo within his first year in office? Well, it’s been a lot more difficult than he thought, and Gitmo's still open.
The Christmas Day bomber saga is like a keystone cops movie. First, he was babbling like a brook. But after a mere 50 minutes, the Justice Department stepped in and read him Miranda rights, including the ‘right to remain silent.’ So he got lawyered up, and shut up.
After withering criticism, the White House sent FBI sent agents to Nigeria to convince the bomber’s parents to come to the US and convince him to start talking again. Never mind that his six weeks of silence has given Al Qaeda plenty of time to cover its tracks.
The New York terror trials? Turns out the Attorney General announced they would be in NYC without bothering to consult the mayor or police chief, who think they will be expensive and cumbersome and, according to some, put New Yorkers in harms way.
These goof-ups are more than a new administration getting its balance. They’re indicative of a bigger problem – that much of our homeland security efforts are being dictated by an attorney general who sees terrorists as isolated extremists and lone wolfs better dealt with in civilian courts with all the rights of citizens –than as enemy combatants who might have valuable intelligence about the next terrorist attack.
Since our two top intelligence officials have now warned there will be another attempted terrorist attack by July, the president needs to remember that his primary responsibility is to protect the American people and tell the attorney general either to get with it or get out.
Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. She wrote Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s November 1984 "Principles of War Speech" which laid out the Weinberger Doctrine. She is a senior adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum. Watch "K.T." and Mike Baker every Monday at 10 a.m. on FoxNews.com's "DefCon3" already one of the Web's most watched national security programs.