The Republicans and the usual hacks have gone berserk, accusing President Obama of failing in the war on terrorism by waiting three days before mentioning the Northwest 253 attempted bombing.
Obama Seeks to Reassure U.S. After Bombing Attempt
By PETER BAKER and SCOTT SHANE
HONOLULU — President Obama emerged from Hawaiian seclusion on Monday to reassure the American public and quell gathering criticism as a branch of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the thwarted attack on an American passenger jet on Christmas Day.
. . and . .
HANNITY: Well, what do you make of the handling of the whole situation — you know, “the system worked,” Janet Napolitano tells us. The president — you know, when we finally got a remark out of him, he says it’s an isolated extremist, which we don’t know to be the fact, but he said that. And then he talks about a systemic failure days later, but only because of president criticism.
HANNITY: When you look at the entire incident in total, what does it tell you?
ROVE: Well, it tells me that we got the gang that’s not got its act together. First of all, I think it was a mistake for the president to have the incident happen on Christmas and for him not to be heard from for four days. The White House sent out its people to spin the press in that they were trying to reassure the American people. Well, I don’t understand why keeping the president off the stage and then not having him explain it for four days is supposed to reassure us.
Plenty of that going on. But, as usual, their thinking has been particularly narrow. Consider this: The underwear bombing was 100% a response to air strikes against Al Qaeda in Yemen.
The strikes resulted in the deaths of at least 35 militants and lead to the arrest of at least two dozen others. The attacks were carried out on December 17 and December 24 . . .
How do I know this to be true? Because Al Qaeda said so:
According to the group, the young man’s actions were in response to the military attacks in Yemen that were backed by United States intelligence and directed against suspected Al Qaeda cells in three locations in Yemen.
In other words, Al Qaeda got hurt in Yemen, and they were pissed. They sent out a rookie with a dubious plan and it failed, although it’s shocking he got as far as he did.
And what did Al Qaeda say about their failure? They actually bragged about it:
“[Abdulmutallab] managed to penetrate all devices and modern advanced technology and security checkpoints in international airports … defying the large myth of American and international intelligence, and exposing how fragile they are, bringing their nose to the ground.”
There you go. So, knowing what the background was that caused all the events to occur, would you prefer that the President cancel his vacation to come back to ‘reassure the nation’? Or was waiting a couple days the smart thing to do?
Well, do you care what Al Qaeda think? Or how they operate? Do you care that they surely would have bragged about being able to yank the chain of the Most Powerful Man (and nation) On The Planet? Do you think they care about p.r., these terrorists?
Or are you so very scared by this attempt that you need Daddy to hold you tight?
He’s so sure of himself and his actions that he fails to see that he misses the moment to be president — to be the strong father who protects the home from invaders, who reassures and instructs the public at traumatic moments.
He’s more like the aloof father who’s turned the Situation Room into a Seminar Room.
Maureen Dowd votes for ‘Hold Me, Daddy.’ After all of the “Terror! TERROR!” of the Bush years, I vote for the guy who’s bent on actually beating Al Qaeda.