I really am beginning to suspect Jack Kelly actually understands the ideas put forward by the smart members of Obama’s administrative team. Kelly understands them and could articulate them if he so chose, and actually help people understand what really happened with the Christmas “underwear” bomber. Kelly could help us understand what this incident tells us about how the government is handling its war/campaign against terrorism.
Yet Kelly has decided to go the route Fox News goes, of distorting the facts and making accusations against Obama that (in my opinion) don’t reflect reality and in fact, if the analysis of some government and news people is correct, could actually push harmful policies. In his column today, Kelly has a smart set of quotes from a senior man in Obama’s counter terrorism team, John Brennan, made during Obama's campaign in March 2008. Those first four paragraphs could have lead to a discussion about how our government is collecting so much information about possible terrorist suspect it is actually drowning in information. This is something I have read elsewhere, and which (I believe) Mr. Brennan himself has said after the underwear bomber incident. It’s not that the employees of DHS and various government agencies weren’t working hard on terrorism, it’s almost as if they are working too hard, collecting too much information, and thus becoming unable to sift through what they do have. It is possible that we need to find ways to be smarter, find those pieces of information that are more important, that will lead to possible terrorist attacks.
But Kelly, after those first four paragraphs, goes in exactly the opposite direction, and accuses Obama of telling his administration to ignore terrorism. Kelly accuses the administration of treating the underwear bomber as unimportant, and Obama himself of deciding to stay three more days in Hawaii when he was informed (three hours after the incident occurred) of the incident.
To demonstrate that I am captive to the liberal agenda, or perhaps just to tell the truth, I will point out that when the “shoe bomber” struck on December 22nd of 2001, George Bush was on vacation. He not only did not return from Camp David, he went on to Crawford. After six days he said something (one or two sentences) about the shoe bomber, but in the atmosphere of huge patriotic fervor following 9/11, no one was willing to say anything against the President, not the cowering opposition Democrats or those paragons of patriotism, the Republicans. Richard Reid was tried in a civilian court. All this only four months after 9/11. It should have been a major event, in fact a sign that even with National Guard patrolling our airports terrorists (even apparent idiots like Richard Reid) could still strike our airliners.
The thing about the underwear bomber is there were a lot of clues. But, as I said before, what I am also hearing is that the government has been pursuing a huge number of clues. What apparently happened is that there are so many clues about everything, it is hard to recognize when something really significant shows up.
But Kelly is quoting people who say that Obama is only paying lip service to fighting terrorism. If Kelly actually does understand why the government couldn’t identify the underwear bomber ahead of time, then his column, with its implication that the government needs to collect much more information, could cause our whole system to develop huge holes that terrorists could crash airliners through, or attack chemical plants, or explode nuclear bombs or nerve gas canisters in our harbors through. It’s hard for me to understand why Kelly would do advocate something he knows will be harmful to the Country. Except that if the terrorists do successfully attack the US again, it is likely the Democrats will lose the Congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012. Could a former marine, sworn to protect the United States, actually think that way? I hope not, but honestly I don’t know.