Lieberman: The system failed with Times Square bomber

posted at 11:03 am on May 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The third terrorist attack attempt on US soil in six months linked to radical Islamist terrorist networks shows that the system isn’t working properly, Senator Joe Lieberman told Fox News today.  The chair of the Homeland Security Committee said that the goal of counterterrorism efforts has to be prevention of attacks, and the Times Square bomber clearly wasn’t prevented by anything except his own incompetence:

Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday that “the system failed” in the lead-up to the attempted Times Square bombing, despite the successful arrest of suspect Faisal Shahzad last week.

Lieberman, chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, called the attempted attack a “break through our defenses,” comparing it to the Fort Hood shooting last year and the failed Christmas Day airline attack.

“We were lucky. We did not prevent the attempted attack,” Lieberman, I-Conn., told “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s hard to stop them every time, but that has to be our goal. … So I’d say in terms of prevention, the system failed.”

There are two separate areas of security in this issue.  Law enforcement did its job, and did it well.  The NYPD expertly defused the bomb and the FBI tracked down Faisal Shahzad in 53 hours.  As deputy FBI director John Pistole said at the press conference, that’s a pretty good number.  Except for the major fumble at the end, when Shahzad was allowed to get on an Emirates Air flight and almost take off, law enforcement did a good job.

However, our counterterrorist resources have now had three plots leak through to fruition in the last six months.  Nidal Hasan murdered 14 people in a shooting spree at Fort Hood long after he began communications with Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda recruiter who was also behind the underwear-bomber plot on the Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.  Only the incompetence of the bomber kept hundreds of people from dying in mid-air that day, just as the only hurdle standing behind Shahzad and potentially thousands of victims in Times Square was a faulty bomb design.

What does the Obama administration have to say?  They’re saying that the system worked:

But White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan defended the intelligence community’s track record in the face of an onslaught of threats and plots.

“We’re not lucky. We’re good,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ve stopped many, many operations, terrorist plots, from taking place here in the United States and overseas. On a daily basis, we are being successful at finding them, arresting them, killing them.”

Perhaps, but “we’re good” didn’t stop the bombs from going off on Northwest 253 and in Times Square; that was sheer luck.  Lately, though, they seem to be a lot less successful than in the previous eight years since airline passengers caught Richard Reid attempting to light his shoes.  Lieberman would like to know why, but the Obama White House is stonewalling his subpoenas on the Fort Hood shooting.  Lieberman may take Obama to court to get some answers:

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and ranking Republican Susan Collins (Maine) on Thursday said they are poised to press their subpoena fight with the Obama administration into court.

Lieberman and Collins, speaking separately, both said the Justice and Defense departments have been uncooperative with their efforts to obtain more information about the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 people.

Both senators stopped short of saying they’ve made a final decision, but made it clear they are probably headed toward a court confrontation with administration lawyers based on doubt that the final round of negotiations would bring success.

“If they won’t respond, I think we have an obligation. It’s not easy to enforce a subpoena against the executive branch, but I’m going to make the fight,” Lieberman said.

Maybe the White House can get a court to grant them the “we’re good” waiver for Congressional subpoenas.

Update: Ian Schwartz has the video at Real Clear Politics.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Go get ‘em Joe. I look forward to hearing the administration’s side of the story.

jeanie on May 9, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Nidal Hasan murdered 14 people in a shooting spree at Fort Hood

November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 people.

Mr. Morrissey thank you for remembering the unborn child.

fourdeucer on May 9, 2010 at 11:11 AM

The NYPD expertly defused the bomb

They expertly defused the dud after it fizzled?

Buddahpundit on May 9, 2010 at 11:12 AM

no kidding, and the focus of this admin is to leak info about how awesome things are going.

rob verdi on May 9, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Last week, they were saying that the civilians who reported the bomb “saved” the day. No, they didn’t. While it was great they reported it, the bomb had already failed at that point. Even Shep was pointing that out.

kingsjester on May 9, 2010 at 11:17 AM

A system run by unionized, government employees. Historically the least motivated, and the laziest segment of our culture…What could go wrong?

repvoter on May 9, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Good old occasionally correct Joe -the perpetual faux hand–wringing, “look at me” liberal. I’ll give him credit for one thing, he’s consistent about protecting Israel,if not innocent life, even though he’s ignorant enough to belong to the anti-israel party.

Don L on May 9, 2010 at 11:19 AM

The panty bomber was turned in by his own father and still he managed to board a plane with a pantload of explosives.
The Times Square bomber was under surveillance that was lifted in the beginning of Obama’s term.
There were numerous red flags in regards to Nidal Hasan but no one would act because he was a muslim and it was not PC.
All this in just six months.
Homeland Security is busy arresting the deadly super secret elite murder kill teams of the Hutaree Militia who are so dangerous they have all been released on bond while all these muslim based plots are slipping through the cracks.

“This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it”

NeoKong on May 9, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Wait a second, is he saying that blind luck and random street vendors aren’t part of Obama’s awesome security apparatus?

The System works! (By chance).

mudskipper on May 9, 2010 at 11:22 AM

The Ogabe administration is going to get a lot of innocent Americans killed. Scares the h**ll out of me.

Sic’ em’, Joe. And the sooner the better.

GrannyDee on May 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM

The Police and Military are doing their jobs.

Taking credit for their work is not doing your job Obama.

William Amos on May 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM

The Police and Military are doing their jobs.

Taking credit for their work is not doing your job Obama.

William Amos on May 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Post of the day!

ladyingray on May 9, 2010 at 11:27 AM

The Ogabe administration is going to get a lot of innocent Americans killed. Scares the h**ll out of me.

Sic’ em’, Joe. And the sooner the better.

GrannyDee on May 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Janet Napolitano, Sec. of Homeland Security

THAT scares the h*ll out of me!

donh525 on May 9, 2010 at 11:29 AM

You know, when Bush was in office everyone on the left kept saying that Bush had made us less safe even when there weren’t any more successful terrorist attacks since 9/11. I eve remember Obama saying that Bush had made us less safe during the campaign.

But now, when they have actual attacks that only fail due to pure luck (and one at Fort Hood that didn’t fail), all we hear from them is how competent they are and how they’re “good”. They want a benefit of the doubt from us that they were never willing to give W.

In Obamaland:
No attacks get through = Bush made us less safe
Attacks do get through = Obama has made us more safe

JohnInCA on May 9, 2010 at 11:31 AM

TSA employees making a mockery of the screening process and Janet Renopolitano at DHS and Joe Lieberman wants to strip Shahzad of his citizenship. Not exactly a comforting team for fighting terrorism.

fourdeucer on May 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM

This is what the experts have been saying for years. That if you take a “law enforcement” approach to terrorism, you aren’t going to prevent future attacks. The law only gets involved AFTER a crime.

OxyCon on May 9, 2010 at 11:34 AM

In a casino, when a winning high-roller starts to think luck is on his side, that’s when the floor manager can relax.

RBMN on May 9, 2010 at 11:37 AM

All muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are muslims. Recognition of this by our government is crucial to any real preventative strategy. So far the govenment (and society in general) has failed this reality.

docdave on May 9, 2010 at 11:37 AM

In Obamaland:
No attacks get through = Bush made us less safe
Attacks do get through = Obama has made us more safe

JohnInCA on May 9, 2010 at 11:31 AM

You have to remember that O’bama set a new record for the most votes ever from high school dropouts. 70%.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Then fix it, Liebs.

BallisticBob on May 9, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday that “the system failed” in the lead-up to the attempted Times Square bombing, despite the successful arrest of suspect Faisal Shahzad last week.

Ya think???

The arrest was just sheer dumb luck as well. I don’t trounce on the NYPD here. The fact that it went this far is based on a security by the Feds that is inept, complacent, and uncaring. They are NOT doing the job we’re paying them to do. They’re doing Obama’s bidding. And that means an inferior security system is in place….and open doors for all terrorists to give us their best shot.

After all….we’ve had it to good, for to long, and Obama is just the man to see to it, that we’re put in our places.

capejasmine on May 9, 2010 at 11:40 AM

This is what the experts have been saying for years. That if you take a “law enforcement” approach to terrorism, you aren’t going to prevent future attacks. The law only gets involved AFTER a crime.

OxyCon on May 9, 2010 at 11:34 AM

That’s been proven time and again. But when one tries to point this out to the sniveling Left, they get all defensive and blame Bush for not “preventing” 9/11.

The only problem with this “logic” is that the only way Bush could have prevented 9/11 would by using methods the Left would impeach him for-things like warrantless wiretaps, racial profiling, etc.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Any attempt to set off a bomb is a failure of ‘the system’ no matter how you try to parse it.

James on May 9, 2010 at 11:50 AM

The Ogabe administration is going to get a lot of innocent Americans killed. Scares the h**ll out of me.

GrannyDee on May 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM

The attempted, and the successful, terrorist attacks have been within the bastions of liberalism, or in areas rift with the new and growing political correctness. Pure chance or exploitation of the obvious weak points?

Unfortunately you are correct. One of them will get it right pretty soon. Jan Nap will keep claiming the system worked, until the day the system doesn’t work. Then it will be the right and the tea-party members who allowed a bunch of liberals die.

Yoop on May 9, 2010 at 11:58 AM

After the eunuch bomber set his genitalia on fire trying to set off a bomb, the system failed miserably. Now the same scenario has happened again. Thousands of lives could have been lost because this adminustration has incompetents at every level of responsibilty. If either bomb had exploded and massive loss of life happened, Obama would be in impreachment proceedings for total incompetence at all levels. The sad thing about it all, Obuma does not have a clue what is going on. It IS going to happen.

volsense on May 9, 2010 at 11:59 AM

The chair of the Homeland Security Committee said that the goal of counterterrorism efforts has to be prevention of attacks, and the Times Square bomber clearly wasn’t prevented by anything except his own incompetence

Don’t worry Ed it’s all part of Obama’s plan:

The US will attack Pakistan if there’s a successful terror attack in the US.

BDU-33 on May 9, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Well, we’ve lost enough freedom and privacy, so whats the problem? Lets fix it.

johnnyU on May 9, 2010 at 12:05 PM

1. They took him off the watch list prior to the attack

2. The bomber failed . It had nothing to do with the gov’s action

3. He almost got away

Obama failed

CWforFreedom on May 9, 2010 at 12:07 PM

You have to remember that O’bama set a new record for the most votes ever from high school dropouts. 70%.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2010 at 11:39 AM

And his advisors have the least business experience since at least Teddy R.

http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2009/11/does_obama_admi.html

CWforFreedom on May 9, 2010 at 12:09 PM

The Taliban hates ObamaCare!

Akzed on May 9, 2010 at 12:11 PM

This vermin and, for that matter, anyone making multiple trips in and out of a problem country should at a minimum be questioned by local FBI as to the purpose of their trips. If their business or purpose there cannot be independently corroborated or shows suspicious activity of any kind, they should at once be placed on the No Fly List. Period.

Of course, if you can’t even acknowledge that we’re in a war against Muslim jihadists, or turn your back to them, systemic failure is your result.

The worst failure here, however, and in the other attacks in the last year is Mirandizing the vermin after only very limited interrogation. When that is your approach, what message does it send to our own people involved in security and, worse, to the jihadists?

TXUS on May 9, 2010 at 12:13 PM

The system that sets up decent citizens for heavy handed abuse and turns a seeming blind eye to their patsies and shills who sell their fear mongering worked perfectly.

Tony Soprano on May 9, 2010 at 12:25 PM

There were those jihadis who thought they were bombing skyscrapers last year. I think one was in Texas and the other in Colorado. Well, it turned out that the US government was in control of the fake bombs and they admitted it in those instances. If they hadn’t admitted it, then we’d be pondering why several jihadi bombs in a row have failed to go off.

The jihadis used to know how to explode bombs. The first WTC bomb wasn’t powerful enough to bring down the building, but it was still a big explosion that would have killed thousands of people if had been put in a different building’s parking lot. Close calls might be more useful to the jihadis and the US government. Who calls for more freedom when everyone thinks bombs are ticking away? You get all the fear with none of the retaliation, and that suits the government and the terrorists just fine.

Buddahpundit on May 9, 2010 at 12:29 PM

I am convinced that if New York were attacked and reduced to nothing but a big smoldering smoky hole in the ground, the moronic nitwits that are the Obama Administration would still say with perfectly straight faces that the system worked.

pilamaye on May 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM

As Joe reminds us we are luckier than we are well led, Leonard Pitts today reminds us that we can’t always be lucky and good, and so when the bad thing happens just remember not to blame it on anyone – like say, the President. It just can’t be helped. Not only that, he explains how the fact the GWB kept us safe for 8 years after 9-11 when we assumed we would get hit again… that is really meaningless.

Funny how 8 months into a Republican Presidency, everything in the world got laid at the door of the Oval Office, and now after almost 1.5 years of a Democrat President… oops, it’s nearly my tee time! Gotta run.

drunyan8315 on May 9, 2010 at 1:00 PM

On a daily basis, we are being successful at finding them, arresting them, killing them.”

Maybe in Pakistan but not here in the States.

chemman on May 9, 2010 at 1:05 PM

“We’ve stopped many, many operations, terrorist plots, from taking place here in the United States and overseas.”

DO YOU COUNT THOSE SUCCESSES THE SAME WAY YOU COUNT “JOBS CREATED OR SAVED”?

Color me skeptical. That way I won’t appear RACIST!
(RACIST! is a TM of the Democratic Party, currently under license to the Obama Administration to deflect uncomfortable questions of executive branch competence.)

GarandFan on May 9, 2010 at 1:25 PM

WAY Off Topic: Has Anyone else gotten this email message?

Obama finds legal way to grab guns. Be sure and read the link below as it validates this information.

Obama Finds Legal Way Around The 2nd Amendment And Uses It.

On Wednesday Obama Took the First Major Step in a Plan to Ban All Firearms in the United States. The Obama administration intends to force gun control and a complete ban on all weapons for US citizens through
the signing of international treaties with foreign nations. By signing international treaties on gun control, the Obama administration can use the US State Department to bypass the normal legislative process in Congress.
Once the US Government signs these international treaties, all US citizens will be subject to those gun laws created by foreign governments. These are laws that have been developed and promoted by organizations such as the
United Nations and individuals such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg.
The laws are designed and intended to lead to the complete ban and confiscation of all firearms. The Obama administration is attempting to use tactics and methods of gun control that will inflict major damage to our 2nd Amendment before US citizens even understand what has happened. Obama can appear before the public and tell them that he does not intend to pursue any legislation (in the United States) that will lead to new gun control laws, while cloaked in secrecy, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is committing the US to international treaties and foreign gun control laws. Does that mean Obama is telling the truth? What it means is that there will be no publicized gun control debates in the media or votes in Congress. We will wake up one morning and find that the United States has signed a treaty that prohibits firearm and ammunition manufacturers from selling to the public. We will wake up another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that prohibits any transfer of firearm ownership. And then, we will wake up yet another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that requires US citizens to deliver any firearm they own to the local government collection and destruction center or face imprisonment.

This is not a joke nor a false warning. As sure as government health care will be forced on us by the Obama administration through whatever means
necessary, so will gun control. Read the Article

U..S. reverses stance on treaty to regulate arms trade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.

The decision, announced in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, overturns the position of former President George W. Bush’s administration, which had opposed such a treaty on the grounds that national controls were better.
View The Full Article Herehttp://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE59E0Q920091015
; 14 Nov. 2009
<http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE59E0Q920091015
; > Please forward this message to others who may be concerned about the direction in which our country is headed.

Silence will lead us to Socialism.

mechkiller_k on May 9, 2010 at 1:29 PM

If they won’t respond, I think we have an obligation. It’s not easy to enforce a subpoena against the executive branch, but I’m going to make the fight,” Lieberman said.

I think SEN Lieberman is right on this point. Good for him and for us. Please continue your pursuit, Senator.

ted c on May 9, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Scott Brown and Lieberman have failed us.

I don’t want to ever hear people complain about people voting for Kennedy instead of Brown after this.

Spathi on May 9, 2010 at 3:14 PM

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan

“We’re not lucky. We’re good,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ve stopped many, many operations, terrorist plots, from taking place here in the United States and overseas. On a daily basis, we are being successful at finding them, arresting them, killing them.”

Que?

On a daily basis our counter terrorist efforts RIGHT HERE IN THE USA consist of
Finding them
Arresting them
And
Killing them, RIGHT HERE IN THE USA?

The left wing nuts go into vapors in 5,4,3,2?

DSchoen on May 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Every failed attempt by terrorist jihadists and the follow-up legal pretzel twistings of our justice system to protect the wannabes is another arrow in the quiver of hostile forces who mean to destroy us from within and from without. The enemy is patient and is watching.

onlineanalyst on May 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

The Ft Hood attack can be credited to emphasis on being polically correct. The other two may have some connection to 0′s success with the drones. Maybe he is killing too many potential sources of information because he doesn’t want Gitmo to remain open.

Oleta on May 9, 2010 at 3:54 PM

I eve remember Obama saying that Bush had made us less safe during the campaign.

In Obamaland:

No attacks get through = Bush made us less safe
Attacks do get through = Obama has made us more safe

JohnInCA on May 9, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Kinda sorta begs the question who is the “us” is when Obama said “Bush had made us less safe

DSchoen on May 9, 2010 at 4:26 PM

“signing of international treaties with foreign nations”
mechkiller_k on May 9, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Signing unnamed, unknown international treaties with unnamed, unknown foreign nations is a little on the vague side don’t ya think?

DSchoen on May 9, 2010 at 4:39 PM

I miss the Bush whitewashes.

BL@KBIRD on May 9, 2010 at 4:43 PM

pilamaye on May 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Ya mean like they have with Nashville Tenn?

DSchoen on May 9, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Good thread Ed….BUT…how come nothing on Lieberman’s proposed legislation???
That is a VERY slippery slope…

jerrytbg on May 9, 2010 at 8:06 PM

If it makes Muslims feel safer, more Americans must die.

The Obama Aministration Doctrine in a nutshell.

profitsbeard on May 9, 2010 at 8:41 PM

The NYPD expertly defused the bomb

They expertly defused the dud after it fizzled?

Buddahpundit on May 9, 2010 at 11:12 AM

I suggest you watch Danger UXB

Slowburn on May 10, 2010 at 3:55 AM