Janet Napolitano has become the latest target by conservatives for a statement she had made after the attempted attack on an airliner in Detroit. The statement in question was taken after the attempted attack where Napolitano said "the system worked," but later she added that her comments were taken out of context and that she was describing the coordination of efforts after the failure that allowed the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to make it as far as he did. The attack on her comments are reminiscent of the attack on John McCain during the presidential campaign, where he said the economy was "fundamentally sound." The only difference I can see is that one statement was made during a crisis while the other after one, and I would have to say that I agree with Napolitano. Tom Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey and co-chairman of the independent commission that investigated September 11th said that Napolitano "had an unfortunate press statement, that's all," and that the real problem was with the sharing of terrorism related information, which is the job of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, headed up by Dennis C. Blair, not Napolitano.
One problem that I see with the cries from the right is that the security failures occurred outside the United States. While many argue that full body scanners could have prevented this attack, previous concerns regarding privacy has prevented their installation, with some countries believe they violate the law in certain circumstances, such as minors passing through, because the scanner's depiction of genitalia would violate child pornography laws. Since the Christmas Day attack, the Dutch have made statements that they plan on installing such scanners for U.S. bound flights and Washington has changed it's position on these scanners, believing that they are now necessary, but I still cannot see how a security failure in the Netherlands is a job failure for Napolitano, unless you are the minority party and looking for any way to combat the administration.
On many conservative sites, Napolitano has already captured the headlines, along with attacks on Islam, the bomber, and now Yemen, where former Gitmo detainee Said Ali al-Shihri is said to have helped plan the attack. While it may be pointed out that he was released from custody in 2007, during the Bush administration, conservatives still find away to blame Democrats. From a Big Government article, Andrew Marcus discusses the connections between the bomber, al-Shihri, and Yemen, as well as the president's release of the detainee, and asks the question: "Does anyone seriously believe [Bush] would have ever [released al-Shihri] if not for the constant pressure applied by the American Progressive Left?"
When you hate the president and the majority party so much, I guess it makes it easier to prove your point, no matter how ridiculous it is. Attack a current government official for a failure that occurred outside the country, involving former Gitmo detainees who aided Abdulmutallab, or blame the current ruling party, and majority, for pressuring the then president to release the detainee? Either way you look at it, in the conservative view, Democrats are to blame for this year's Christmas Day terrorist attack. Can we maybe throw in their how culpable the Bush administration was for ignoring memorandums regarding what would culminate in the September 11th attacks, or is that also derived from Democratic actions?