As a former naval intelligence officer on a high level staff (Top Secret Cryptographic clearance), I agree with President Obama that the breach of security associated with the Detroit-bound airliner is "totally unacceptable". The warning signs were there, but the intelligence community failed to recognize, analyze and disseminate the information. This is the same type of failure which led to the 9/11 attacks and the Ft. Hood massacre.
Although only a small percentage of Middle East inhabitants are terrorists, almost all of the terrorists emanate from Middle East countries. We have to pay much more attention to travelers to this country from the Middle East and a few other countries, and our Department of Homeland Security has to work with foreign airports to beef up their security operations. We need many more intelligence officials who are proficient in Arabic and who can penetrate al Qaida networks in various countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
Unfortunately, the Bush Administration transferred a number of Yemini terrorists from Guantanamo Bay back to Yemen, and at least one of them was involved in the planning for the attack on the Detroit-bound airliner. President Obama wants to close down Guantanamo and transfer the terrorists to the U.S. mainland for prosecution. Will these terrorists be convicted of their crimes? Will they be executed? If not, how long will they stay in prison? Will they be eligible for parole? Will they spread their hate for the U.S. to other inmates? Why take a chance with these hard core terrorists? Keet them in Guantanamo.
We need President Obama to stop appeasing the leaders of countries that sponsor terrorism including Iran, Syria, and Somalia; and he has to cease bowing to leaders of the world, and appearing subservient to them. These actions are construed by terrorists as signs of weakness, which give the terrorists inspiration to attack us.
President Obama weakened the CIA operations, and the intelligence agencies in general, when he criticized the CIA for its interrogation techniques. Although some of these techniques might be unacceptable to the world community, we have to be able to somehow access information from captured terrorists. I believe the recent failures of our intelligence agencies to provide warnings of potential terrorist activities can be partially attributable to some apathy and lack of initiative within the intelligence community, and President Obama bears some responsibility for the climate of distrust among intelligence officials.
Janet Napolitano is not qualified to fill the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. We need a professional intelligence/security person in this critical position. Unfortunately most high level federal positions, including cabinet positions, go to unqualified politicians for payback for supporting the President during the campaign.
Note: The President was deeply involved and approved the people for these positions.
The U.S. is less safe on Obama's watch, and we could be susceptible to on-going terrorist attacks due to an appeasing and apologetic President, incompetent Secretary of Homeland Security, and weakened intelligence agencies.
Donald A. Moskowitz