In last night’s remarks, President Barack Obama made another one of his late-in-the-game, 180 degree turnarounds. Not only did the system not work, as asserted by Robert Gibbs and Janet Napolitano after the Christmas Day incident aboard Flight 253, but now the President is calling it a “systemic failure” in our intelligence agency apparatus. No longer is it, as Obama said earlier, an “isolated incident” committed by the “alleged” terrorist.
The government, it is clear, knows that al-Qaeda was behind the attack, had information beforehand that someone from Nigeria would be involved, and had “warning signs” that were ignored. And just as before 9/11, intelligence agencies either did not share material some of them had with the other parts of the security apparatus. It also is now known that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had engaged in much activity that gave even his father cause to worry, as President Obama acknowledged.