Comment: This is pathetic. No one now serving in the White House is capable of telling the President the truth–that our $75 billion a year is wasted, that the agencies are suffering from 1950’s mindsets with 1970’s technology and security and legal blinders that are the operational equivalent of castration. Until the President, General Jones, and Admiral Blair are willing to recognize reality, this will continue to be a national disgrace. Condi Rice has a chance to fix all this (IC Memo, DHS Memo), as did Admiral McConnell (One Pager), the pathos is that until the President is willing to break some china and cut some budget whiile launching a multinational multifunctional information-sharing and sense-making network that defaults to NOT SECRET, the USA will continue to be Stupid Nation as opposed to a Smart Nation as we proposed in 1995. Within DoD, they keep doing the wrong thing righter instead of the right thing faster, better, cheaper. This is a tragedy of historic proportions.
Thomas Lipscomb is a fellow of the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future (USC). as published in Huffington Post.
It isn’t the terrorists who have created the morass of asinine travel restrictions. They are thoughtlessly piled on by CYA-schooled public servants willing to do anything but really seriously think about what they are doing.
Incompetent State Department consular officials and poor enforcement of visa procedures that have been in place long before the personal computer, the Xerox machine or even the jet airliner are the problem here. And we aren’t hearing a word about it.
Better the American public should be forced to endure another blizzard of press releases announcing another round of ridiculous indignities by dazzling Rube Goldberg technology rather than have our press and our government demand an accounting from the employees at a government bureaucracy who can’t even comply with their own time-tested procedures.
1. No existing search procedures will find virtual diapers full of explosives.
2. US blew it–they approved the individual by name in advance of take-off from The Netherlands. Had the US had its act together, it had enough information to warrant a full body search “with significance” as the Spanish like to say.
Spy Agencies Failed to Collate Clues on Terror
By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC LIPTON December 31, 2009
The National Security Agency intercepted discussions of a plot by leaders of Al Qaeda in Yemen, but spy agencies did not combine the intercepts with other information.
. . . . . . .
In some ways, the portrait bears a striking resemblance to the failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, despite the billions of dollars spent over the last eight years to improve the intelligence flow and secret communications across the United States’ national security apparatus.
And also from the NYT:
WASHINGTON — The finger-pointing began in earnest on Wednesday over who in the alphabet soup of American security agencies knew what and when about the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up an airliner.
. . . . . . .
Eleanor Hill, staff director of the joint Congressional inquiry into Sept. 11, called the emerging story “eerily similar to the disconnects and missteps we investigated.”
“There seems to have been the same failure to put the pieces of the puzzle together and get them to the right people in time,” Ms. Hill said.
Richard Wright adds:
In the wake of the latest terrorist incident (the ‘underpants bomber’) President Obama has identified the U.S. National Security Establishment as flawed and singled out the U.S. Intelligence System for failing to “connect the dots” in spite of having significant information about the alleged terrorist before he tried to execute his plan. Of course the talking head counter-terrorism “experts” have also taken up the hue and cry that the U.S. is in mortal danger because of what President Obama called “systemic failures” within the National Security Establishment. This is rather troubling since much the same litany was heard after the East African embassy bombings in 1998, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 and of course the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Indeed the publicly available facts suggest that yet again the U.S. Intelligence System failed to analyze the available information, identify a clear threat and to produce an assessment of this threat.