A New Year's Gift to Al-Qaeda

The Obama Administration has given Al-Qaeda two New Year’s presents. First, in the wake of the Christmas Day terror attack against Northwest Airlines 253, the Transportation Security Administration imposes new security procedures that are so ridiculous that they have to be repealed two days later.

Not allowing passengers out of their seats for the hour preceding landing just begs the questions – why wouldn’t terrorists just leave their seats before the last hour of the flight to do their damage? Not allowing anything in the laps of passenger during the same last hour is also ridiculous. What would happen during final approach into Dulles International when a devout Muslim was reading his Koran? Isn’t that ripe for some litigious Imam to file suit against the airline that attempts to enforce this silly rule?

The imposition of security measures that have no positive impact on security, but rather just inconvenience passengers, makes the United States government look impotent. We would all be better off, safer and less hassled at the airport if the intelligence apparatus worked properly. Once Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab became known to the CIA, thanks to his father, and the United Kingdom revoked his visa, our intelligence community should have connected the dots and revoked his visa to enter the United States.

Just as I said back in 2004, the reorganization of our intelligence community under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 would result in nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs. Apparently, I was right. If the point of that act was to connect the dots, it does not seem to have worked. Unfortunately for President Obama, even he must now admit that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not just an isolated extremist. Instead, he is a soldier in Al-Qaeda’s terror war against the West in general and the United States in particular. Until the President understands that Islamists have declared war on us, he will not put us in a position to win.

The second gift that the Administration has given Al-Qaeda is the closing of our embassy in Yemen. While no one wants to endanger our diplomats posted overseas, the closure of our embassy means that we are unable to protect it and those who work there. It is a sad state of affairs that the world’s only superpower is apparently unable, or unwilling, to take the steps that are necessary to ensure the safety of those posted to its embassy in Sana’a. This is despite the fact that we have special operations forces working in Yemen. I wonder if the men and women of the US Marine Corp and the Diplomatic Security Service agree with this assessment. Another victory in the War on Terror for the enemy.

2010 is not off to a good start for us in the War on Terror. The New Year’s gifts that the President Obama has given to Al-Qaeda will only serve to embolden them. Let’s just hope that the Administration gets better at connecting the dots.

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