Smoking Guns

The Obama folks have spent the past week recovering from the embarrassing performance of Janet Napolitano a week ago Sunday, as well as the President's poor positioning statement from Hawaii the day after. So why was Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan saying things like this yesterday about the Christmas Day BVD Bomber.
"Well, first of all, there was no single piece of intelligence, a smoking gun, if you will, that said that Mr. Abdulmutallab was going to carry out his attack against that aircraft. What we had, looking back at it now, were a number of streams of information."
Streams of information that made it quite clear that there was a potential terrorist to be concerned about.
As early as August, telephone intercepts alerted intelligence officials to someone called "The Nigerian" involved in a planned attack... Then in November, the suspect's father contacted the U.S. embassy in Nigeria to warn U.S. officials about his son's radical associations and that he had disappeared.
The Deputy refers to further details that should have caused skipped heartbeats through the intelligence network as "snippets."
We had the information that came from his father where he was concerned about his son going to Yemen, consorting with extremists, and that he was not going to go back. We also though had other streams of information coming from intelligence channels that were little snippets. We may have had a partial name, we might have had an indication of a Nigerian, but there was nothing that brought it all together.
If cops got a warning from a concerned father who said he thought his son was going to rob a bank and that the lad was currently attending training sessions at the John Dillinger State College, wouldn't you think that gun would be smoking enough to send out a warning to all banks and law enforcement officials?
What we need to do as a government, and as a system, is to bring those -- that information together so when a father comes in with information and we have intelligence, we can map that up so that we stop individuals like Abdulmutallab from getting on a plane.
But the big problem for the President is his decision to treat "The Nigerian" as a suspect rather than an enemy of war. Instead of U.S. intelligence officials having the chance to continue gathering information from Mutallab, he is instead clamming up at the advice of counsel.
Specifically, court records show that a team of Public Advocates, lawyers retained by US courts for suspects who cannot directly afford a lawyer for themselves have now been retained for him by the US government. At the head of the legal team is a well-known US lawyer, known to have defended terrorism suspects in the past. US local reports say Miriam Siefer, will be leading the team of lawyers to defend Mutallab in the hearing expected to start Friday next week.
That's right - instead of sending him down to Gitmo for some tough interrogation, we're now paying lawyers to tell him to stop talking. So, after 8 years of the media pounding the Bush administration for being bad guys because they were dilligent in defending the country, voters now get to see how they like the other side of the coin. So far, it doesn't look good for the president.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters think the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim to blow up the airliner as it landed in Detroit should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Only 22% say it should be handled by civilian authorities as a criminal act, as is currently the case.
When dealing with a real life situation, after years of propaganda to the contrary, the American people want to take the Dick Cheney approach to national security (according to the new Rasmussen poll.) Meanwhile, Obama's world, with health reform legislation still pending, has the potential to unravel.
Just when it looked like healthcare reform was a sure thing without anything standing in its way... Suddenly the special election in Massachusetts to replace Ted Kennedy is drawing interest among Republicans. There's no facts to suggest that the race is close, but the GOP is definitely motivated, and now David Weigel confirms that Rasmussen will conduct its first poll to see whether challenger Scott Brown can beat Attorney General Martha Coakley.
We'll look for those numbers tomorrow with hopes of good news, but Coakley has been confident enough that she will win on the strength of her "D" that she took six days off last week.