Right Wing Exploits The Northwest Airlines Terrorism Episode

Ken AshfordObama Opposition, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

The Village Voice wrote my post for me.  Some excerpts:

Napolitano has not been too sharp in her response to the incident, but her statements that the TSA performed well in the aftermath of the incident ("once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have"), and that there is at present "no indication" of a wider plot behind the crotch-bombing, seem like unremarkable bureaucratic attempts to calm fears after a widely-publicized attempted terrorist attack.

Rightbloggers, for obvious reasons, are less interested in calming fears than in exacerbating them, and proclaim, as is their wont, that the Obama Presidency has failed and that America will only be safe when it has come to an end.

Some merely blocked out Napolitano's repeated distinction that the system worked well after the incident, and read it to mean that letting Abdulmutallab on board with his crotch-bomb was part of the plan.

"WTF?" cried Be John Galt. "The system is SUPPOSED to seat terrorists wearing explosive clothing right next to the fuel tanks???" "What system worked?" said Weasel Zippers. "The only thing that stopped him was the fuse on the bomb malfunctioned…" "If the 'system' had 'worked,'" said Michelle Malkin, "Abdulmutallab would have been barred from the U.S…" "Maybe she's not talking about OUR system at all," said deadenders. Etc.

Debbie Schlussel claimed that Napolitano was "already declaring that Abdulmutallab wasn't involved in any larger terrorist plot," which is a great stretch from Napolitano's "Right now we have no indication that it is part of anything larger, but obviously the investigation continues" — to which Schlussel actually linked her charge — but Schlussel isn't running Homeland Security, thank God, and thus had no need to be careful about her wording.

Robert Stacy McCain went further, claiming that Napolitano's cautious statements meant the Administration was planning to play a "Lone Nut Card" to absolve its friends in Al Qaeda. "So far, I've seen no evidence of the 'victim card' being played on behalf of Abdulmutallab," he admitted, "but this Associated Press biographical profile of the suspect portrays him as having had a 'saintly aura' as a student in England. Give the media time, though. Their best spinmeisters are still on holiday."


During all this the President remained on his Hawaii vacation, and even played golf, which predictably enraged rightbloggers who, despite their contempt for him, decided that Obama intervention was desperately needed.

"When Muslim terrorists attack, Muslim Presidents play golf," said Bare Naked Islam. "NEROBAMA HAS GOLFED MORE HIS FIRST YEAR THAN BUSH IN 8 YEARS," claimed Reliapundit. "AND HE'S IN HAWAII PLAYING GOLF – WITH NO TIME FOR CHURCH ON CHRISTMAS EVE." "In retrospect," said National Review's Jim Geraghty, looking for a pattern of Democratic malfeasance, "it's rather amazing that President Clinton never visited the Twin Towers after the 1993 bombing…"

Some returned to the "My Pet Goat" gag they used after the Fort Hood incident. "No mention as to whether or not he was reading 'My Pet Goat' between holes," said Say Anything. "Who knows, maybe he was reading My Pet Goat," said For His Glory.

"Actually," said Cassy Fiano, "this is far worse than 'My Pet Goat,'" because Bush "immediately gave a press conference addressing the attack at the school" after his children's-book reading, while Obama was "sitting around in a mansion with his family… Instead of addressing the scared country, he went to the gym and then played golf," which led to the widespread national panic we are now experiencing.

It's a good thing we have right wing bloggers to lend their perspective and make this episode stand for what it should stand for (in their eyes): an indictment of everything Obama-related.

Blogosphere aside, it should be that Republicans are pointing fingers at the Transportation Security Administration for the near-success of this attack.  That is their wont, but I should also add that there is no head of the TSA, because South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has a hold on the appointment of a TSA chief, over his concern that the new administration could allow security screeners to unionize. 

Furthermore, Republicans have cast votes against the key TSA funding measure that the 2010 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security contained.  In the June 24 vote in the House, leading Republicans including John Boehner, Pete Hoekstra, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan voted against the bill, amid a procedural dispute over the appropriations process.  A full 108 Republicans voted against the conference version, including Boehner, Hoekstra, Pence, Michelle Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Darrell Issa and Joe Wilson.

The conference bill included more than $4 billion for "screening operations," including $1.1 billion in funding for explosives detection systems, with $778 million for buying and installing the systems.

But it's Obama's fault, right?