December 29th, 2009
04:51 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama: Systemic, human failures let terror suspect on U.S. flight

(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that a "mix of human and systemic human failure" allowed a terror suspect to board a U.S. airliner in the botched bombing attempt on Christmas Day.

In a brief statement to reporters during his vacation in Hawaii, Obama said information on the suspect should have been sufficient to alert authorities to prevent him from getting on the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan.

"A systemic failure has occurred and I consider that totally unacceptable," Obama said, adding that the breakdown was "a mix of human and systemic failure."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    Yeah there were failures; like the failures of the American people to realize they elected a complete baffoon like you. Tool.

    December 29, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. The problem with Obama.........

    is that he has no interest in terrorism or national security........if it has nothing to do with his socialist agenda, he views it as a nuisance.

    December 29, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. This will prevent Obama from.....

    ever closing Gitmo.......several Yeminis were released from Gitmo only to return to Yemen and take up arms against us stupid can we be?????

    December 29, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. democratsruinwhattheytouch

    Appeasement, apologies and throwing money haven't worked have they Barry. That only works on the dope smokers and unions in this country. Don't blame it on Bush and Cheney. Try accepting some responsibility instead of acting like a democrat.

    December 29, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Mike in MN

    Blame someone else again Obama. We can always count on you to do that. Even though Bush kept us safe after 9/11, Obama tells us over and over again we were really not safer, we were actually less safe because of the Bush post 9/11 policies. Obama promised we would really be safer under his policies. So in a short period of time we get the Ft. Hood terrorist attack and the attack of a airliner in Detroit. How are we now safer under Obama? But Obama won't admit he has thus far failed to keep us safer than we were under Bush, he just finds someone or something else to blame.

    December 29, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Sherry

    Bush took Yemen off the terrorist watch list months before he left office. It's not Obamas fault....Blame it on Bush for this happening....As 9/11 was Bush's fault ......The repubs need to get their facts straight.

    December 29, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    "Systemic Failure".... just another word for government ineptitude. Government employees have no concept of what a real job is, and don't take it seriously....they only care about their next paycheck. You will REALLY see "systemic failure" when so-called Health Care is implemented. Run by the same inept bureaucrats......

    December 29, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Jimmy James

    How about the fact that by treating him as a criminal you have made it so he gives no intel on the operation that got him to carry this out? He lawyers up. He is a terrorist and they had declared war on us in 98. I know the left says he has rights but when they do get it right and cause a devistating attack , the left will cry we more neeeded to be done to prevent it. He is a enemy combatant. Treat him as such.

    December 29, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. libs are funny little critters

    This administration is a joke.

    December 29, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. Chris - Denver

    I still haven't heard what McCain would have done differently that would have prevented this guy from sneaking a bomb onto the plane. Anyone? Anyone? Didn't think so. It is not logical to say that Obama's policies led to this attack. As far as I can tell, there's not much daylight between Obama's terrorism policies and the Republicans'.

    December 29, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. bess

    BO's bland response to this latest terrorist attack can only be explained by the fact he can't blame Bush.

    December 29, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. MsDp

    America, what's happening to us! Even though this incident happened, divine intervention prevailed! I know everyone wants to blame someone, but I hope all of you at least thanked GOD for controlling this event. Even if you profess to not believe in HIM, some of us do. With that said, if each of us who do believe would pray more and realize that HE is real and offer up thanksgivings instead of looking at all the negativeness and pointing fingers. None of us know what really happened in this situation, but we were protected. And now that we are aware of the problem, now we can get it right!!! Stop complaining and start praying!!!!! GOD is real!!!

    December 29, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Debby

    Obama is so clueless about terrorism. He just cares about his popularity around the world vs. the American people. This man isn't qualified to lead period.

    December 29, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Gerry NH

    Because of Bush the Obama administration is slacking off on being strong on homeland security. The family reported the son as being a danger in August of 2009 and nothing was done by homeland security to keep him from flying.

    December 29, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. Dale

    This is Obama's fault. He should have realized that the current TSA structure the was formulated under Bush needed a cold hard look BEFORE it failed. Obama didn't do that. After the president's speech the difference between the president and Bush is plainly clear. Obama come the the people, explains what happend, what went right, but more importantly shows what went wrong. He has no fear of the issues. He takes the lessons learned from them and make changes. Bush spent his time lying to the people or attempting to blame anyone else he could.

    December 29, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. frank, pennsylvania

    Republicans please, please, stop playing politics with our national security! The electorate are intelligent enough to appreciate what is going on.

    December 29, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Jim

    Pres. Obama knows how to identify problems, speak truthfully and intelligently, accept responsibility and implement pragmatic solutions. I am very confident of his leadership for our nation in this challenging 21st century. I am very proud my two daughters were able to cast their first votes for Obama in 2008, and will again in 2012.

    December 29, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. Tim

    And as the WH made sure to point out a couple of days ago, a system inherited from Bush. Never pass up the opportunity to blame someone else, that's the mark of a true leader!

    December 29, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Tim

    Rosa, b'ham al,
    If the policies Bush implemented were'nt adequate, why has Obama waited over a year to address them?

    Remember, he's the great multi-tasker who rates himself an A.

    December 29, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Meka

    President Obama, is doing EXACTLY WHAT HE PROMISED.

    The Federal Employee's WORK FOR US! And he knows WE DESERVE ANSWERS!

    December 29, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. Chicana

    Quit blaming Bush, Mr. President!
    The Obama administration is one incompetent and useless bunch, including their leader...

    December 29, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. bennie new york

    If I were in Obama's shoes, I'd be firing the people who were supposed to be acting on this information. As for Napolitano, I'm sure she's very much focused on Islamic radicals. Democrats and liberals do actually realize the danger they pose, you know.

    December 29, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. ann

    When is the US going to realize that the CIA isn't working? How many mistakes is the government going to let happen before we realize that the system is seriously failing us? Shore up people – shore up.

    December 29, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Hammerer

    OK which is it "the system worked", "the system failed", "we will investagate" or "systemic failure".
    Can you say "totally incompetency".

    December 29, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. JAE

    So, Hussein, what are you going to do about it, since SOMETHING SHOULD HAVE BEEN done BEFORE the attempt. Like NOT lettting him in THIS country and ON a plane!!

    December 29, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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