Obama Admits: We Failed In ‘Potentially Disastrous Way’


obamaPresident Barack Obama today said that the nation’s security system failed in ‘potentially disastrous way’ and that al Qaeda will stop at nothing in its efforts to kill Americans, in his update about steps the¬†government is taking to keep the country safe after an alleged terrorist’s failed attempt to destroy a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner on Dec. 25.Obama met¬†this afternoon with high-ranking government officials charged with carrying out two reviews he ordered after the botched attack – on airline passenger screening and on the U.S. terror watch-list system.

He was expected to outline his findings for the public after the 90-minute meeting.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking to reporters beforehand, said Obama would provide a “candid update” on the status of the review he ordered, outline steps already taken to improve domestic security and go through some timelines for additional security announcements that may be forthcoming.

The Transportation Security Administration already directed airlines, effective Monday, to give full-body, pat-down searches to U.S.-bound travelers from Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and 11 other countries.

White House officials, while eager to portray Obama as aggressive on the issue, also sought to minimize expectations for his remarks this afternoon. He planned no major airline security announcement, officials said.

Gibbs also said the president continued to have full confidence in his three top security officials: director of national intelligence Dennis Blair, CIA Director Leon Panetta and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. They were among the 20 high-level officials who sat down with Obama in the White House Situation Room.

Gibbs declined comment on whether anyone would lose their jobs because of the incident, saying the reviews were yet to be completed.

Since the attempted attack, the government has added dozens of names to its lists of suspected terrorists and those barred from flights bound for the United States.

Obama will get updates on the investigation from FBI Director Robert Mueller, on the prosecution from Attorney General Eric Holder and on the review of terrorist detection techniques from Napolitano. Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan will update the president on his own review of the system of watch lists and outline his initial findings. Agency heads will comment on their internal reviews.

The addition of names to the government’s terrorist watch list and the no-fly list came after U.S. officials scrutinized a larger database of suspected terrorists, an intelligence official said Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak publicly.

People on the watch list are subject to additional scrutiny before they are allowed to enter this country, while anyone on the no-fly list is barred from boarding aircraft in or headed for the United States.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian who claims ties to al-Qaida, remained in federal custody, charged with trying to destroy the Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit. He is alleged to have smuggled an explosive device on board the aircraft and set if off, but the device sparked only a fire and not the intended explosion.

Abdulmutallab’s name was in the U.S. database of about 550,000 suspected terrorists, but was not on a list that would have subjected him to additional security screening or kept him from boarding the flight altogether. That omission prompted a review of the National Counterterrorism Center’s massive Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database.

“It’s a reality check with respect to the threats that may be emerging from those countries,” said CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate. “That said, it’s going to create strains on the relationships.”

{CBS Broadcasting/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The Dummy-In-Chief should be impeached.
    His policy of appeasement puts this country
    at risk. At least he should fire Janet
    Napoletano. (My grandmother would have been
    more competent for homeland security.)

    The Dummy-In-Chief blames the system.
    Obama is the system. He is to blame.
    The idiot still wants to close Gitmo and
    bring those vermin devils to New York
    for a jury trial. (A jury trial is only
    for American citizens. But Obama doesn’t
    care. He puts world interests ahead of
    American interests. The guy doesn’t
    follow the American Constitution.)

    In light of the Fort Hood massacre
    and the Nigerian Al-Kaida operative
    who tried to blow up a passenger plane,
    the guy should be impeached. All the
    liberal lunatics should be thrown out

  2. The president said that we failed to get the intelligence we needed. We didn’t fail to GET the intelligence; the man’s own father reported him to the proper channels. The failure is in INTERPRETATION (shades of Ft. Hood?). Unlike his predecessor, I’m afraid this president is steeped in relativism and is basically unable to admit to the existence of absolute evil.