Dec 29 2009

Bureaucrats Running For Cover Over Flight 253

The finger pointing going on right now in the aftermath of the barely missed Christmas Day Massacre on Northwest Flight 253 is dizzying. The State Department is blaming the National Counter Terrorism Center for not revoking Abdulmutallab’s visa, and I am sure the NCTC is going to question why the State Department didn’t tell them that the guy had a visa which needed to be revoked:

The State Department said the father of 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had gone to the US embassy in Abuja on November 19 to raise concerns about his son.

The embassy relayed those concerns the following day in a diplomatic cable to the State Department and the National Counterterrorism Center, which coordinates intelligence among various government agencies, said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly.

But Kelly told reporters, “The information in this … cable was insufficient for this inter-agency review process to make a determination that this individual’s visa should be revoked.”

The cable did not say — nor was it required to say — that Abdulmutallab had received a two-year multiple-entry standard tourist visa from the US embassy in London on June 16, 2008, Kelly said.

Emphasis mine. This is a clear sign things are really wrong in DC. The incompetence of the young Obama administration is shining through as events are spinning out of control for them. The seasoned DC hands are beginning to play CYA – and very poorly I might add.

It is a lame excuse for State to say ‘we were not required to inform NCTC that they needed to tell us to revoke a potential terrorist’s visa – and we were not required to tell them that he had one needing to be revoked’.

And I thought I had heard it all! What a bunch of double speak.

As the facts in this case trickle out from panicked career bureaucrats and lame political appointees, the picture we are seeing is one where DC is in flames, covering butts while the President vacations in Hawaii. Obama should have been back by now to right things. But he is to inexperienced to see the political danger signs, let alone the national security warning bells.

I would suggest the State Department is in serious trouble here. Not only did they fail to tell the complete story of Abdulmutallab to the NCTC, they failed to tell Yemen who knew exactly where the terrorist was leading up to the botched Christmas Day Massacre:

The Nigerian man accused of trying to attack a U.S. airliner on Christmas day lived in Yemen for two different periods of time, a year from 2004-2005 and from August-December this year, a Yemeni government official said Tuesday.

We didn’t get any notice from the Americans to put this man on a list,” al-Lozy said. “America should have told Yemen about this man as they have of others.”

Yemen’s Foreign Ministry said Monday Abdulmutallab was granted a Yemeni visa after authorities were reassured that he had “several visas from a number of friendly countries.” It noted that Abdulmutallab had a valid visa to the United States, which he had visited in the past.

So what was the administration focused on from November 19th to Christmas Day? Let’s see, they were muscling through a disastrous health care bill, running to pick up Obama’s Nobel Peace prize (talk about gag gifts) and racing to Copenhagen to pump more hot air into the failed global warming balloon. I can see how they missed the terrorist attack in Detroit – priorities you know.

Is this why the Obama administration failed to act decisively when it was presented some of the most clear and glaring warning sings of any terrorist attack yet? I mean the father turned the son in – how much more obvious does it need to be!? Does the terrorist need to send the President a personal text message declaring his intentions?

President George H.W. Bush (the first) was pilloried for being amazed by a grocery scanner. It gave the impression of someone ‘not in touch’ with reality.

President Obama’s team closed down an investigation into an Army Major who screamed out he was a warrior of Allah and 13 people died (along with one unborn baby) and over 30 people injured at Ft Hood. Now we learn nearly 300 people just missed dying (thanks to a faulty detonator) because no one was paying attention to the warning signs surrounding Abdulmutallab! Talk about being out of touch!

And why is the President still goofing off (or is that ‘golfing’) in Hawaii while his administration keeps bungling around, pointing fingers in all directions? Is he still missing the signs?

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Bureaucrats Running For Cover Over Flight 253”

  1. AJ,

    What we saw with the State Department was a full up example of a Douglas Adams’ style “Somebody Else’s Problem Field” in action.

    The U.S. embassy in Nigeria did not emphasize the warning in its report on the Xmas Day bomber, after his father turned him in, because Abdulmutallab was then;
    1) A resident of Britain,
    2) On a student visa, and
    3) Did not currently reside in Nigeria,
    Thus the American embassy in Nigeria did not consider him a priority threat, because he wasn’t a threat in Nigeria.

    Thus we have a classic case of the “SEP Field” in action, doing its normal job of destroying important information.

    Here is the Wikipedia entry on the subject.'s_Problem

    Somebody Else’s Problem
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Somebody Else’s Problem (also known as Someone else’s problem or SEP) is an effect that causes people to ignore matters which are generally important to a group but may not seem specifically important to the individual. Author Douglas Adams’s description of the effect, which he playfully ascribed to a physical “SEP field”, has helped to make it a generally recognized phenomenon. The label is now widely used to focus public attention on matters that might have been overlooked and, less commonly, to identify concerns that a depressed individual should ignore. It has also been employed as trivial shorthand to describe factors that are “out of scope” in the current context.[1]

  2. […] A.J. Strata has a must-read piece about the finger-pointing while Obama is mid-golf swing: It is a lame excuse for State to say ‘we were not required to inform NCTC that they needed to tell us to revoke a potential terrorist’s visa – and we were not required to tell them that he had one needing to be revoked’. […]

  3. It is a lame excuse for State to say ‘we were not required to inform NCTC that they needed to tell us to revoke a potential terrorist’s visa – and we were not required to tell them that he had one needing to be revoked’.

    We barely tolerate this in children.

    In supposedly mature adults…?!!!

    My bad; we voted out the adults last November. 🙁

  4. November of 2008 🙁 (Sorry; insufficient coffee).

  5. […] The Strata-Sphere – Bureaucrats Running For Cover Over Flight 253 […]

  6. BarbaraS says:

    The guy should have been put on the “no fly” list wherever he was. There was no way of telling where he would do his dirty deed.

    It is always surprising to me that the government can uncover the tiniest piece of information but can’t seem to grasp the big things like this. They can tell you what someone ate for lunch on any given day but can’t keep up with a terrorist who moves all around the world. And to not tell Yemen this guy was a hazard in their territory. That was consciousless. I suppose even though Yemen is a muslim country, they are an ally, like all our other allies and need to taken down and/or directly or indirectly.

  7. BarbaraS says:

    to be taken down and/or insulted directly or indirectly.

  8. Neo says:

    Now with CNN and CBS reporting that the CIA was “tracking” this terrorist with a “load in his pants” since August of 2009 (note: not on Bush’s watch), the reasons for all the talk of no Congressional investigation by the White House makes this look worse than the 2001 CIA daily reporting “UBL to use planes.”
    These folks had a specific “target” and nearly let him take out 300 “souls.” It makes Obama’s 3 days of golf before emerging to talk like a lawyer look even worse.

  9. […] agencies, multiple signs. The CIA was on the trail since August. Even Yemen knew where this guy was from August to early December and the US never gave them a heads […]