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Richard Wolffe, an analyst on MSNBC, reported tonight that his White House sources have told him that the President and his security team are investigating the possibility that the “breakdown” in our intelligence on the “underwear bomber” was deliberate! I reiterate that this is only reported by Mr. Wolffe at this point, and that nothing has been proven.
That being said, if this story does pan out to be true, it will be one of the most disturbing stories of our times.
There could be multiple reasons why the information about Abdulmutallab was not passed to the proper agencies which would have prohibited him for boarding that plane in Amsterdam for the United States. It could be a simple “failure to communicate”; it could have been “lost in the shuffle” of an overwhelming amount of data coming in from all over the globe; it could have been some kind of inadvertent clerical error or omission from some list. But the most disturbing scenario is that it could have been either for “turf wars” between agencies like the FBI and the CIA….or it could have been for political reasons!
It was reported last year that the former vice president’s loyal associates still hold their jobs in the CIA, and that Mr. Cheney talked with some of them on a regular basis, even after he left office. With the heated political rhetoric by Mr. Cheney, it takes no stretch of the imagination that he would have his own warped agenda in wanting the President to look as bad as possible, especially on the subject of fighting terrorism. He has repeatedly come out with outrageous charges, attempting to cut the legs out from under the President on any and every issue…but especially our battle against religious extremists. He has released another statement as late as today to Politico with more of the same.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions before the facts are known. But if this lapse in intelligence is due to some sick, deliberate attempt to defeat the President, I cannot guarantee that I can keep my anger in check. To think that any professional CIA agent would risk the lives of 300 American citizens on that airplane for a political vendetta is unfathomable…almost surreal!
If this is a matter of “turf wars” between agencies, it is just as serious. Lives were risked for the sake of somebody holding all the cards and gamesmanship! Unacceptable…totally unacceptable! Heads should roll!
The President is to meet tomorrow at the White House with all parties involved. Let us hope that he and his staff can get to the bottom of this, and then to work towards keeping all Americans safe from the threat of terrorism without the usual partisanship of the right. This, after all, is not in any way a partisan issue. This is about the safety of all of us.