Monday, December 28, 2009

"Out of Context" My A_s . . . .

So, according to the AP, Janet Napolitano is claiming her words on Sunday's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" regarding the airport security screening system were "taken out of context." Huh.

Here's the Secretary of Homeland (In)Security on the "Today Show" this morning:

And here on "Morning Joe":

Well, Gang. Here's the transcript:

(Georgie was off this week, so there was actually a decent reporter handling the show - Jake Tapper.)


TAPPER: I want to get your reaction to a comment from the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who said in a statement: "I am troubled by several aspects of this case, including how the suspect escaped the attention of the State Department and law enforcers when his father apparently reported concerns about his son's extremist behavior to the U.S. embassy in Lagos, how the suspect managed to retain a U.S. visa after such complaints, and why he was not recognized as someone who reportedly was named in the terrorist database."

Madam Secretary, how do you answer Senator Lieberman's questions?

NAPOLITANO: Well, I think, first of all, we are investigating, as always, going backwards to see what happened and when, who knew what and when. But here -- I think it's important for the public to know, there are different types of databases.

And there were simply, throughout the law enforcement community, never information that would put this individual on a no-fly list or a selectee list. So that's number one.

Number two, I think the important thing to recognize here is that once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have. The passengers reacted correctly, the crew reacted correctly, within an hour to 90 minutes, all 128 flights in the air had been notified. And those flights already had taken mitigation measures on the off-chance that there was somebody else also flying with some sort of destructive intent.

So the system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days.

TAPPER: Well, let me ask you a question about intelligence-sharing. When the suspect's father went to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and said, I'm worried because my son is displaying extremist religious views, how was that information shared with other parts of the U.S. government, or did it just stay at that U.S. embassy?

NAPOLITANO: Well, again, we are going to go back and really do a minute-by-minute, day-by-day scrub of that sort of thing. But when he presented himself to fly, he was on a tide (ph) list. What a tide list simply says is, his name had come up somewhere somehow.

But the no-fly and selectee list require that there be specific, what we call, derogatory information. And that was not available throughout the law enforcement community. He went through
screening in Amsterdam as he prepared to board a flight to the United States.

The authorities in Amsterdam are working with us to make sure that screening was properly done. We have no suggestion that it wasn't, but we're actually going through -- going backwards, tracing his route.

But I think important for the traveling public recognize that A, everybody reacted as they should. We trained for this. We planned for this. We exercised for this sort of event should it occur.

And B, we have instituted additional screening in what we call mitigation measures that will be continuing for a while. And so we ask people perhaps to show up a little bit earlier at the airport during this heavy holiday season, and to recognize we're going to be doing different things at different airports.

So don't think somebody at TSA is not on the job if they're not doing exactly at one airport what you saw at another. There will be different things done in different places.

TAPPER: But, Secretary Napolitano, you keep saying everybody acted the way they were supposed to. Clearly the passengers and the crew of that Northwest Airlines flight did.

But I think there are questions about whether everybody in the U.S. government did.
And here's a question for you, how many of -- so many of us are subject to random security searches all the time, how come somebody who is not on a terrorist database isn't subject to more stringent security when they check in to a flight to the U.S.? Why does that automatically just happen?

NAPOLITANO: Well, if he had had specific information that would have put him on the selectee list or indeed on the no-fly list, he would not have actually gotten on a plane.

But those numbers pyramid down. And they need to, because again, there is lots of information that flies about this world on a lot of different people. And what we have to do in law enforcement is not only collect and share, but do it in the proper way.

Now once this incident occurred, everything went according to clockwork. Not only sharing throughout the air industry, but also sharing with state and local law enforcement, products were going out on Christmas Day, they went out yesterday, and also to the industry to make sure that the traveling public remains safe.

And I would leave you with that message, the traveling public is safe. We have instituted some additional screening and security measures in light of this incident. But again, everybody reacted as they should, the system -- once the incident occurred, the system worked.
As FoxNoise would say: "We report. You decide." Out of context or not?

(As a sidenote, does anyone else abhor the idea of joe LIE-berman having yet another excuse to have his Droopy Dawg mug in front of a camera? Gag, choke, gasping for fresh air . . . . )

Watch those "revisions," Janet. Might make it a bit difficult opening doors, using a tissue, applying makeup, etc.

Man, this "hope" and "change" stuff is workin' out just great, isn't it ? ? ? ?

(Cross-posted from Moved to Vancouver)

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