Homeland Security chief skipped EunuchBomber review, shows up for SOTU
posted at 11:36 am on January 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
The most embarrassing thing Janet Napolitano did on Wednesday turns out not to be napping during her boss’ State of the Union speech. Instead, as CNS News reports, the Secretary of Homeland Security apparently ditched a meeting with Congress over the handling of the EunuchBomber. Even Democrats want an answer to the question, “Where the hell is Secretary Napolitano?”
Top Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee publicly scolded Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for failing to show up at a Wednesday hearing where the committee examined the attempted Christmas Day suicide bombing of Northwest Flight 253. One Democrat on the committee said he wanted to know “where the hell” Napolitano was.
That evening, Napolitiano [sic] did prominently show up at the Capitol to attend President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. But earlier in the day, she dispatched Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute to testify on her behalf in the Homeland Security Committee on what went wrong in the homeland-security process that allowed would-be suicide-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board a plane bound from Amsterdam to the Detroit.
The committee has primary oversight over Napolitano’s department, and top Democrats on the panel made it clear they were angry that she failed to show up for such an important hearing.
Napolitano instead sent an aide rather than deal with the committee. Why? The first part of the clip gives us an idea. Chris Carney (D-PA) says he wants an answer to the question of why Napolitano went on television to claim that “the system worked,” when it clearly did not. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) spoke with Napolitano earlier in the week, and she had given him no indication that she would be unable to attend.
Her high-profile catnap during the SOTU speech shows pretty clearly that she didn’t use the time to get some rest. So what pressing business took priority over fixing the problems that almost led to 300 deaths and the first foreign terrorist attack in years? Because if something else takes priority over counterterrorism for the Homeland Security Secretary, then that’s just another reason why we need a replacement — now.