It evidently didn't matter to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab that Barack
Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, is trying to close the prison
at Guantanamo Bay, and has sucked up shamelessly to the Islamist regime
Mr. Abdulmutallab, 23, is the Nigerian who on Christmas Day boarded
Northwest Air Lines flight 253 with a sophisticated bomb built into his
underwear. That Mr. Abdulmutallab wound up doing more harm to liberal
shibboleths than to the 278 passengers is due to a faulty detonator and
prompt, heroic action by Dutch tourist Jasper Schuringa rather than to
any action taken by the U.S. government.
But that didn't prevent Janet Napolitano, the comically inept secretary
of Homeland Security, from declaring on the talk shows last Sunday that
"the system worked."
Ms. Napolitano backtracked the next day after it was revealed Mr.
Abdulmutallab's father had warned U.S. authorities a month ago about his
son's radicalism; that Britain had banned him from entering that
country, and that Mr. Abdulmutallab had paid for his ticket in cash, and
had no luggage, both of which ought to have been red flags.
"This incident was a compound failure of both intelligence and physical
security, leaving prevention to the last line of defense the
passengers themselves," Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown
University, told the Washington Post.
"Right now we have no indication it was part of anything larger," Ms.
Napolitano also said last Sunday.
That statement became inoperative when al Qaida in Yemen, where Mr.
Abdulmutallab trained for his mission, claimed credit Monday for the
attack. After his arrest, Mr. Abdulmutallab told the FBI in Detroit
there were others like him in Yemen who would strike "soon."
We're likely to hear no more from Mr. Abdulmutallab about the plot,
because thanks to the Obama administration's "criminal justice"
approach to fighting terrorism he has lawyered up.
"Do you think that most Americans prefer that this guy is A) watching
cable tv in a warm cell funded by taxpayers and enjoying his right to
remain silent; or B) at an undisclosed location being waterboarded to
learn about his little friends back in Yemen and their plans to kill
us?" a friend asked Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a part of Ms.
Napolitano's bumbling empire, responded to the incident by imposing new
restrictions on travelers. Had they been in effect at the time, these
restrictions would have done nothing to frustrate Mr. Abdulmutallab's
plans, but could have subjected Mr. Schuringa, who did frustrate Mr.
Abdulmutallab's plans, to criminal prosecution.
"Why are we so bad at detecting the guilty and so good at collective
punishment of the innocent?" asked Christopher Hitchens in Slate.
The reason, said Ralph Peters, a retired Army intelligence officer, is
because our Politically Correct leaders refuse to recognize who the
enemy is, and what motivates him.
"Despite vast databases crammed with evidence, our leaders of both
parties still refuse to connect Islamist terror with Islam," LtCol.
After Maj. Nidal Hasan murdered 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in November,
the Obama administration and leading journalists attributed the crime to
any motive other than the obvious one.
In the aftermath of the Fort Hood shootings, Ms. Napolitano expressed
more concern about a possible "backlash" against Muslims than about
further Islamist attacks.
Brian Jenkins, a terrorism expert for the RAND Corp., said that of 32
terror-related "events" in America since 9/11, 12 occurred this year.
This spike is due in part because security officials in the Obama
administration think it more important to avoid hurting the feelings of
Muslims than to take effective measures to protect Americans.
This is in part why TSA finds it easier to punish innocent air travelers
rather than focus on the handful of potential threats. The Israeli
airline El Al, which takes the opposite approach, hasn't had a terror
incident in many years.
The security director for the International Air Transport Association
thinks it's time we tried the El Al way.
"We've spent eight years looking for little scissors and toenail
clippers," Ken Dunlap said. "Perhaps the emphasis should be looking for