I heard Janet Napolitano say the following while I was recently on the road, in response to questions about security, in the wake of the terrorist attack on Christmas day. I just shook my head in disbelief then and now.
“One thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked.”
After much criticism, Napolitano has changed her story.
From Sphere, December 28, 2009.
“Al-Qaida Claims Responsibility for Attempted US Attack”
“Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on a U.S. airliner on Christmas day, saying it was retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen.
In a statement posted on the Internet, the group said 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab coordinated with members of the group.
Yemeni forces, helped by U.S. intelligence, carried out two airstrikes against al-Qaida operatives in the country this month. The second one was a day before the attempted bombing of the plane.
The group said the would-be bomber used explosives manufactured by al-Qaida members. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is an alliance of militants based in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Meanwhile, federal authorities met Monday to reassess the nation’s system of terror watchlists to determine how to avoid the type of lapse that allowed a man with explosives to board a flight to the U.S. even though he was flagged as a possible terrorist.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano conceded Monday that the aviation security system failed when a young man on a watchlist with a U.S. visa in his pocket and a powerful explosive hidden on his body was allowed to board a fight from Amsterdam to Detroit.”
“A day after saying the system worked, Napolitano backtracked, saying her words had been taken out of context.
“Our system did not work in this instance,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show. “No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.””
“On Sunday, Napolitano said, “One thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked.” On Monday, she said she was referring to the system of notifying other flights as well as law enforcement on the ground about the incident soon after it happened.
The top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee took issue with Napolitano’s initial assessment.
Airport security “failed in every respect,” Rep. Peter King of New York said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “It’s not reassuring when the secretary of Homeland Security says the system worked.””
“Both lines of defense were breached in an improbable series of events Christmas Day that spanned three continents and culminated in a struggle and fire aboard a Northwest jet shortly before its safe landing in Detroit. Law enforcement officials believed the suspect tried to ignite a two-part concoction of the high explosive PETN and possibly a glycol-based liquid explosive, setting off popping, smoke and some fire but no deadly detonation.
An apparent malfunction in a device designed to detonate the PETN may have been all that saved the 278 passengers and the crew aboard Northwest Flight 253. No undercover air marshal was on board and passengers and crew subdued the suspect when he tried to set off the explosion. He succeeded only in starting a fire on himself.”
Here is a Youtube video of Janet Napolitano making her irresponsible statement:
“A Montage of what our officials had to say about Northwest Airlines Flight 253 Terrorist Attack on NBC, Meet The Press, ABC George Stephanopoulos and Chris Wallace,Fox News Sunday and FaceThe Nation”
“What Our Government Officials Had To Say About The Attempted Terrorist Attack On Flight 253″
Thanks to commenter LM.