December 29th, 2009
10:59 AM ET
9 years ago

The return of terror politics

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Peter Hoekstra posted a message on Twitter accusing the administration of 'stonewalling.'"]Washington (CNN) - When President Obama spoke out on the terrorism scare in Detroit, Michigan, he entered a debate that had already begun over his administration's new approach to combating terrorism.

"As a nation we will do everything in our power to protect our country," Obama said while vacationing in Hawaii. "We will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us, whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland."

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is being held for allegedly trying to blow up a flight carrying 300 passengers on Christmas Day. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility Monday for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Yemeni soil.

On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially gave something of a thumbs up to the government's handling of the Detroit terror scare.

"One thing I want to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action," Napolitano said on CNN's State of the Union.

Within minutes, Republicans went on the attack.

"Earlier today Secretary Napolitano said the system worked. in fact the system did not work," Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Full story

Filed under: Peter Hoekstra • Peter King • President Obama
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. strong

    Return of terror politics??

    When did it ever go away? .... yawn.

    December 29, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    I seem to remember all Americans (even those who voted against Palin that hate their country) standing together after 9/11. It wasn't until Bush started his unnecessary war in iraq that he began to get criticized. I don't seem to remember anyone blaming Bush for the shoe bomber.

    December 29, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Ted

    The system worked? Are you kidding?
    – The suspect's father informed authorities he was a risk, yet he still got on the plane
    – He got the explosives through security
    – He was able to light the explosive

    The only thing that "worked" was that the explosive failed, buying time for a herioc passenger to intervene.

    December 29, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Palin Not

    What I think is interesting, is that Obama has not changed one security practice that was in place in the Bush administration. Not one....

    This guy would have gotten on the same plane, with the same plan no matter who was in office, Bush or McCain.......

    This flight originated in Nigeria, where the security is not as good. Then he left out of Amsterdam, where he was in a secure area and really not subject to further screening.

    I agree the fact that he had a one way flight, and no luggage should have been the thing that alerted everyone and put him under further scrutiny...

    Had the flight been a domestic flight, or one originating out of USA, he would have not made it past the first security check. Our systems work, it is those in other countries that don't.

    December 29, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. jacq

    If feel safe under the dems leadership if the republicans were in charge every other country would be invaded and there would be any military personal here the protect the homeland.All the safe guards were put in by the republicans anyway,again your failed policies to go to war without jugdement,the pirates off of Somalia,three bullets,McCain would have invaded.Costing tax payers more money,this is your thinking.

    December 29, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Bren

    "Reminder: 9/11 happened when a Republican President was in office."

    --Watch the documentary "The Events Leading Up to 9/11"---then you will see who "really" set the stage for 9/11 to occur---and I guarantee you-–it WASN'T Bush and the Republicans!!!

    The first attack on the towers, the US embassy attacks, and the US Cole--all attacked under Clinton's watch.

    While Clinton was in office-–his Admin had MANY opportunities to capture the terrorists responsible for 9/11-–but he let them get away.

    Watch the documentary-–and at least "attempt" to educate yourself.

    December 29, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. DALE

    And how long did Bush sit on his butt while people were actually dying in New Orleans?

    December 29, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Ed

    Rep. Peter Hoekstra voted against H.R. 2892: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010 which passed 307-114 (with significant Republican support) and voted against H.R. 2668 Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009. Meanwhile, Sen. Dent is blocking the appointment of the new TSA head. Who is stonewalling?

    December 29, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. A.Darton

    When 9/11 happen I don't recall Democrats sitting on tv blaming GW Bush. These people who will play politics like this is a disgrace. That man on that plane with that bomb didn't give a darn if those people were Republicans or Democrats. All he cared about is that they were Americans. Okay politicians stop trying to score political points, roll up your sleeves and work together to fine answers to whatever questions there is. And try your best to prevent this from happening again. It is a disgrace to be playing politics with this, a total disgrace.

    December 29, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    We are far more safe with Obama than we were a year ago. Anyone with half a brain will tell you that, because it is the truth. Are we completely safe? Of course not, we never will be. But we have to confront the problems of terrorism at the root. Anyone who just wants to drop some bombs is an idiot.

    December 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Annie, Atlanta

    Republicans using fear and terror for political gain. Wow, what a concept. Sadly there is a portion of society that eats this stuff up. It's that same portion who's interests Republicans will vote against time and time again once elected. What's that saying about us being our own worst enemy?

    December 29, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Buffalo Bill

    How can the Commander in Chief be taken seriously when he will NOT identify who these "violent extremists" are? You can't fight a war if you are more concerned about offending the enemy than destroying them!

    December 29, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Larry

    Napolitano says "the system worked. Passengers and crew took appropriate action!"

    So we're supposed to depend on passengers and crew to p-olice terrorism?

    You're a joke Napolitano!

    December 29, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Ted

    Typical rightwing neocon Republican obstructionist blather. Had Bush and Cheney actually gone after Osama Bin laden and destroyed the Alqueda and taliban back in 2001, maybe we would not be dealing with this in 2009. Had the merging of the intelligence agencies in to the Dept of Homeland Security actually been executed well, maybe we could actually deal with the terrorists in a more timely proactive way. But no. Bush and Cheney allowed the DHS to become a quagmire of disassociated agencies that do not trust each other and it is a huge bureacracy of insanity and it is no wonder that we haven't been attacked again due to the severe incompetency that has resulted.

    Obama has an opportunity here to move beyond the Bush Cheney bureacracy and get things rolling so that we can in fact be safe. But it won't be easy as the Grand Obstructionist Party will drag its heels as it will fight anything Obama wants to do.

    December 29, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. liberals don't think

    How in the world did Janet get her job. She is a complete joke. Come on Obama, you had your pick at the FBI, CIA, Military....

    And we have liberal idiots blaming the Bush administration for 911. Have they already forgotten that the Clinton administration didn't kill Osama when they had a chance AND that they 'reorganized' communication between the departments in the defense department.

    December 29, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Fredm

    Where are the Air Marshals on that flight? Were they laid off?

    December 29, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. ivan

    These Republicans are quick to point their finger at others, but when Republicans are involved they suddenly become mute. Where was this finger pointing at the President [Republican] when there were security lapses that contributed greatly to the success of 9/11.

    December 29, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Jayson

    Non-invasive technology exists which would have prevented this guy from getting on the plane and yet it is still not being used. Also the new heightened procedures used by TSA at airports creates more problems then it solves by refusing to specifically target those who are terrorists. Instead of trying to be politically correct all time it is about time this administration faces the facts as to who the threat is instead of implementing random counter measures that for the most part don't make it any safer to fly.

    December 29, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. TJK

    At least the Obama administration did not disappoint: First Janet Napolitano said "the system worked", and then Obama blamed the Bush administration for the failure of the system. What a bunch of amateurs in a world where the stakes are life and death. 2010 and 2012 are coming. It is time to get our rights, and our life back from the amateurs.

    December 29, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Debbie from VA

    Why is that when a Republican points out that the system did not work, CNN reports that the Republicans went on the attack? I am sure it would have been phrased differently if a Republican administration had said the same. I watched her interview and was appalled when she said that the system worked because a passenger took the terrorist down. I would have been equally appalled if the other side said it.

    December 29, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Terrorism in our Nation has no political ambition, it's to destroy. So if you think for one minute being a Democrat or Republican will save your behind from terrorist who don't give a darn about you or your political affiliation, then you are dead wrong.

    December 29, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    Now everything comes out... What does "Reverend Wright" have to do with this?? Everyone thinks TERROR is supposed to STOP or not STOP because someone is elected into office. We have our own TERRORISM right here in America with men running around raping children and getting away with it!!

    If McCain was elected, do you REALLY believe the incident that occurred on Christmas Day would not have happened??? If this person was known since August, 2009, do you really believe someone else – who is not being watched – would have been unable to "smuggle" a bomb onto the airline? The terrorist are way ahead of us and December 25, 2009 would have happened no matter what!!!

    December 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. IndiePA

    Why should anyone be surprised at Janet Napolitano's failures in her position??? With Obama's backing, she has essentially stopped the implementation of the current immigration laws. This not only supports the efforts of ILLEGALS in our country, but allows for the free movement of those who may be terrorists. anyone listening??

    December 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Barbara Independent in NY

    Isn't Hoekstra the guy that comes out of meetings and leaks confidential information to the Media? What a hypocrite!

    December 29, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Seriously, Left

    Maybe this wouldn't have happened if GWB were still in office. C'mon folks.....say it with me....TERRORISM. Oops, I forgot. That's a no no word under this administration.

    December 29, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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