WSJ: Reports, Intercepts Suggested Attack Preparations; Multiple Agencies Had Warning (headline hat tip Dan F)
But seriously, folks, we were safe under Bush. And while he had a half assed approach to jihad, he wasn't making love to it. Obama is a failure.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney accused President Barack Obama on Tuesday of “trying to pretend we are not at war” with terrorists, pointing to the White House response to the attempted sky bombing as reflecting a pattern that includes banishing the term “war on terror” and attempting to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
“[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe,” Cheney said in a statement to POLITICO. “Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It [the harsh reality] doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society.”
Cheney was joining a chorus of Republicans who have criticized Obama following the Christmas Day attack, in which a Nigerian [Muslim] suspect is accused of trying to blow up a loaded airliner with a bomb stitched into his underwear.
A senior Democrat said in response: “It’s telling that in attacking the president and the administration, that Vice President Cheney did not condemn the attack against our nation on Christmas Day.” [or alleged attack as Obama would say, ed.]
Foreshadowing the party’s strategy for next year’s midterm congressional elections, GOP officeholders have eschewed the customary partisan restraint following a terrorist incident, and have baldly portrayed Democrats as weak on security.
Rep. Peter King of New York, ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee and a member of the Intelligence committee, said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show: “I think that the administration has made a mistake by treating this terrorist as a common criminal, by putting him into the criminal-justice system. I wish they had put him into a military tribunal so we could get as much intelligence and information out of him as we could.”
Here is Cheney’s full statement:
"As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.
“He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war."
Although Cheney and other Republicans have accused Obama of a muted response to the attack, President George W. Bush was quieter for much longer about the attack by shoe bomber Richard Reid in December 2001.
Obama went before cameras on Monday, the third day after the fizzled bomb attempt.
It was six days after the attack when Bush finally discussed the incident, saying as part of a response to a question at his ranch in Crawford, Texas: “[W]e’ve got to be aware that there are still enemies to the country. And our government is responding accordingly.”
The day before, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had refused substantive comment, saying: “That’s a matter that’s in the hands of the law enforcement people.” Earlier, White House press secretary Scott McClellan had said officials were “continuing to monitor events.” Also, Democratic officials maintain that Obama is, in fact, comfortable with the notion that the U.S. is at war with terrorists. Near the start of his inaugural address, he said: “Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.”
And John O. Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, declared in an August speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “[A]s the president has made clear, we are at war with al-Qaida, which attacked us on Sept. 11 and killed 3,000 people. We are at war with its violent extremist allies who seek to carry on al-Qaida’s murderous agenda. These are the terrorists we will destroy; these are the extremists we will defeat.”
The senior Democrat said: “There are numerous other such public statements that explicitly state we are at war. The difference from the last administration is that we are at war with that which is tangible -- al-Qaida, violent extremists, and terrorists -- rather than at war with a tactic, ‘terrorism.’” [ritual splitting of hairs, cemini sectores, again, ed.]
As indicative of what they contend is Obama’s world view, conservatives passed around the recording of a statement Obama made while taking calls on New Hampshire Public Radio on Nov. 21, 2007: “I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated, that not only does the country look at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world, they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country and I may be a Christian, but I also can understand their point of view. … [translation: I bow, curtsey and apologize, ed.]
Read it all.