We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for January 6th, 2010

Obama Slams Intel Agencies for Christmas Day Attack Attempt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Obama Slams Intel Agencies for Christmas Day Attack Attempt
Barack Obama gave U.S. intelligence agencies the presidential equivalent of a knuckle-rapping Tuesday for their failure to connect the dots and nab Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before a fellow passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was forced to foil his underwear bomb plot the old-fashioned way.  —KA The Washington Post: President Obama rebuked the U.S. intelligence community Tuesday for a “potentially disastrous” failure to detect an airline bombing plot, saying it ignored various “red flags” and failed to pull together pieces of information it already had. He called the intelligence breakdown intolerable and vowed that “we will do better” in the future. On his first full day back at the White House after an 11-day vacation in Hawaii, Obama briefly outlined preliminary findings in a review he has ordered of “human and systemic failures” that allegedly allowed a radicalized young Nigerian to smuggle explosive chemicals aboard a Northwest Airlines jet and attempt to bring it down as it approached Detroit on Christmas morning with nearly 300 passengers and crew. Declaring that “the system has failed in a potentially disastrous way,” Obama said elements of the U.S. intelligence community knew that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had traveled to Yemen and joined up with extremists there. Read more Watch Obama’s speech about the incident and its aftermath below:

Obama

Barack Obama gave U.S. intelligence agencies the presidential equivalent of a knuckle-rapping Tuesday for their failure to connect the dots and nab Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before a fellow passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was forced to foil his underwear bomb plot the old-fashioned way.? —KA

The Washington Post:

President Obama rebuked the U.S. intelligence community Tuesday for a “potentially disastrous” failure to detect an airline bombing plot, saying it ignored various “red flags” and failed to pull together pieces of information it already had. He called the intelligence breakdown intolerable and vowed that “we will do better” in the future.

On his first full day back at the White House after an 11-day vacation in Hawaii, Obama briefly outlined preliminary findings in a review he has ordered of “human and systemic failures” that allegedly allowed a radicalized young Nigerian to smuggle explosive chemicals aboard a Northwest Airlines jet and attempt to bring it down as it approached Detroit on Christmas morning with nearly 300 passengers and crew.

Declaring that “the system has failed in a potentially disastrous way,” Obama said elements of the U.S. intelligence community knew that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had traveled to Yemen and joined up with extremists there.

Read more

Watch Obama’s speech about the incident and its aftermath below:

Related Entries


Sick With Terror
The underwear bomber has reignited the debates about how best to protect the American people, while a killer that claims 45,000 lives annually—one dead American about every 10 minutes—goes unchecked. By Amy Goodman

The underwear bomber has reignited the debates about how best to protect the American people, while a killer that claims 45,000 lives annually—one dead American about every 10 minutes—goes unchecked.


Related Entries



Steve Clemons: Losing Smith Bagley

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:47 am by HL

Steve Clemons: Losing Smith Bagley
(A giant tree at Musgrove, the family estate of Smith Bagley and the Arca Foundation — photo credit: Steve Clemons) In Dubai a day…

Democrats Dropping Out Of 2010 Elections
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan stunned fellow Democrats when he decided not to seek re-election this fall and swung open a race…

Democrats Are Dropping Like Flies
It is not shaping up to be a pretty week for the Democrats. The all-but-assured Democratic nominee for governor in Michigan, Lt. Gov. John Cherry,…

Amy Goodman: Sick with Terror: Inadequate health care kills 45,000 Americans per year
The media have been swamped with reports about the attempt to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day. When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, now…


Fox News goes on a witch hunt for Janet Napolitano

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:46 am by HL

Fox News goes on a witch hunt for Janet Napolitano

Since the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight, Fox News has waged war on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, going so far as to ask whether she should be fired. In doing so, various Fox News figures and outlets have seized on Napolitano’s comments that “the system worked” after the attempted terrorist attack while ignoring both Napolitano’s later clarification that she was discussing the emergency response notification system that took place following the attempted attack, and that Bush administration officials Attorney General John Ashcroft and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge previously claimed success for passengers’ ability to thwart “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid’s December 2001 attempted bombing of a domestic airline.

Fox News wages war on Napolitano

Doocy: Napolitano is “number one on the list” of people who might be fired. On the January 5 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy quoted President Obama saying the airline security breach was “totally unacceptable” and remarked that “it did sound for a little while like some career person might wind up losing their job, and Janet Napolitano was number one on the list” because, in Doocy’s words, she said, “Everything worked before she said it did not work.” The on-screen graphic that aired during Doocy’s comments said, “What to Watch For; Do Heads Roll?” Later during the broadcast, Doocy again asked, “Will heads roll? Remember, it was Janet Napolitano, the director — the secretary of Homeland Security, who came right out and said, ‘The system worked.’ OK, which part of the system worked? Was it the five guys who jumped on this guy, who were sitting nearby? Or was it the fact that something else happened, because a couple of days later she came out — the next day she came out and said, ‘OK, there was a system failure.’ So will her head roll? Chances are, no.”

Fox Nation: “Fire Napolitano? She Says ‘The System Worked,’ Then Backtracks.” On December 28, Fox Nation posted an article about Napolitano, claiming that she “conceded Monday that airline security failed … a turnaround from her declaration a day day [sic] earlier that ‘the system worked.’ ” The headline asked if Napolitano should be fired, though the article to which Fox Nation linked contained no such declarations.

Fox Nation highlighted attacks on “hapless” Napolitano who shouldn’t “remain in office.” On December 30, Fox Nation posted a NewsBusters article under the headline, “Words NOT in Napolitano Op-ed: War, Islam, Yemen, Nigeria.” The article claimed that “Janet Napolitano is seeking to diminish the Obama administration’s NWA 253 failure by exaggerating the cunning of the Christmas Day plot”; described Napolitano as “hapless”; and asked, “How much longer can she possibly remain in office?”

Fox guest “Gunny” Bob Newman claimed Napolitano “not qualified to conduct a cavity search on a bowling ball.” On the January 4 edition of America’s Newsroom, former radio host “Gunny” Bob Newman said, “With all the ways Al-Qaeda can attack us, is we have got to get qualified people in the jobs.” After naming deputy national security adviser John Brennan and national security adviser James Jones as examples of qualified people, Newman claimed, “Then you have the other end of the spectrum, again, and you look at Janet Napolitano, in charge of Homeland Security, and she’s not qualified to conduct a cavity search on a bowling ball.”

Cavuto compares Napolitano to fired Redskins coach Zorn. On the January 4 edition of Fox News’ Your World, host Neil Cavuto compared the job that former Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn did with his NFL football team to the job Napolitano is doing as secretary of Homeland Security. Cavuto said that “Jim Zorn is out as coach of the Washington Redskins, Janet Napolitano still in as head coach of Homeland Security. He lost some games and lost his job. She could have lost a lot more and keeps hers.”

Hannity calls Napolitano remarks “laughable,” “absurd.” On the January 4 edition of Hannity, Sean Hannity claimed that Napolitano “tried to convince us that [Abdulmuttalab’s] attempt failed because ‘the system worked.’ Her laughable explanation had many enraged and now has critics from both sides of the aisle calling for her to step down.” He added, “[A]bsolutely no one bought Napolitano’s absurd claim.”

Peter Johnson Jr. claims, “We should be concerned as Americans.” Appearing on the December 28 edition of Hannity, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. claimed that his impression of the interview he conducted with Napolitano was that “we should be concerned as Americans. It was a disturbing interview. She gave an interview yesterday on all networks and embarrassed herself. She did the same thing today. And if she’s embarrassing herself, and she’s embarrassing us as Americans, what do our enemies think?” Guest host Tucker Carlson replied later, “That’s such a measured way of saying she’s a disaster.”

Fox ignored context of and later explanation of Napolitano’s “the system worked” remarks

Napolitano said “the system worked” before discussing the “the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively.” On the December 27 broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union, Napolitano stated that “the system worked” before discussing the emergency notification system and response to the incident. From the December 27 edition of State of the Union:

NAPOLITANO: One thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight. We instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas, both here in the United States and in Europe, where this flight originated.

So the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly.

Napolitano later clarified that “the system worked” comments were in reference to the emergency response and notification system. On the December 28 noted that Bush administration officials “claimed success” in the public’s role in thwarting a similar failed attempt by “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid. Reid was subdued and detained by fellow passengers when he unsuccessfully attempted to detonate a shoe-bomb on an American Airlines flight. According to Tapper:

Napolitano’s predecessor as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, went on MSNBC’s Hardball on September 10, 2002, where host Chris Matthews asked him if the US government had thwarted any terrorist attacks within the US.

“You can’t measure that success,” Ridge said, “because it’s difficult to determine with an organization that’s so decentralized.”

Matthews suggested that such success could in fact be measured “if you catch a guy about to blow up a building” or “you catch a guy moving a car bomb into an area of their building.”

“Because of the vigilance of some citizens, we certainly have gotten some folks on airplanes, shoe bombers,” Ridge said.

Ashcroft: “We’ve asked citizens to be vigilant” and “alert to any possible threat,” and “success of this policy was made clear” in Reid case. Tapper also reported that Attorney General John Ashcroft stated in a 2002 press conference:

“Throughout the war on terrorism, our military and intelligence officials have made a concerted effort to share appropriate information with the public in order to enlist their assistance,” Ashcroft said. “We’ve asked citizens to be vigilant, to be alert to any possible threat. The success of this strategy was made clear by yesterday’s indictment of Richard Reid, who may very well have succeeded in destroying American Airlines Flight Number 63, as the indictment charges, had it not been for the courage and attentiveness of the citizen passengers and crew.”


Small Town Illinois Sheriff Charged With Pot Dealing And Murder-For-Hire

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:45 am by HL

Small Town Illinois Sheriff Charged With Pot Dealing And Murder-For-Hire
Raymond Martin had been sheriff in tiny Gallatin County, Illinois, for 20 years. So when he was arrested on federal drug and gun charges last May for allegedly running a large-scale marijuana dealing operation out of his police SUV, residents were shocked. But that was only the beginning.


TSA Withdraws Subpoenas Against Bloggers
The Transportation Security Administration has withdrawn the subpoenas it issued to two bloggers in an attempt to find out who leaked the agency’s new security directive, issued in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing attack.


The DLC Dem vs. The Batty Teabaggers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

The DLC Dem vs. The Batty Teabaggers


Hoeven Will Run for Senate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

Hoeven Will Run for Senate
With news that Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is not running for re-election, Politco reports that North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven (R) “is letting his political allies know that he’s preparing to run for the seat.”

“Hoeven’s decision gives Republicans an excellent shot at winning back the Senate seat in the solidly Republican state.”

Dodd Will Not Seek Re-Election
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), “a 30-year incumbent who has been struggling in public opinion polls for more than a year, plans to announce today he will not seek reelection,” the Hartford Courant reports.

But unlike Sen. Byron Dorgan’s (D-ND) decision yesterday to retire — which leaves his party defending an open seat in a Republican-leaning state — Dodd’s retirement is actually seen as giving Democrats a better shot at holding the seat in heavily Democratic Connecticut.

In fact, the AP reports Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) is wasting no time and will announce his candidacy for Dodd’s seat.


2020: China Rises, the U.S. Declines and the Planet Strikes Back

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

2020: China Rises, the U.S. Declines and the Planet Strikes Back
Much will change in 10 years. China will rise, the global South will grow in importance, the U.S. will decline. These phenomena will be eclipsed by devastating planetary changes.

Much will change in 10 years. China will rise, the global South will grow in importance, the U.S. will decline. These phenomena will be eclipsed by devastating planetary changes.

Conservative Mogul Buying Up Reporters to Promote His Regressive Agenda
Pete Peterson, the Wall Street billionaire who wants to loot Social Security, has created a "news network" hooked up to the Washington Post.

Pete Peterson, the Wall Street billionaire who wants to loot Social Security, has created a "news network" hooked up to the Washington Post.

Did U.S. Forces Execute Kids in Afghanistan?
The apparent mass murder of Afghan schoolchildren, including one as young as 11, by U.S.-led troops, was virtually blacked out in the American media.

The apparent mass murder of Afghan schoolchildren, including one as young as 11, by U.S.-led troops, was virtually blacked out in the American media.

Jobs: The One Issue That Can Sink Democrats in November
If unemployment is 10 percent or more next November, the Dems are in danger of losing the House and will almost certainly be short of the 60 votes they need in the Senate.

If unemployment is 10 percent or more next November, the Dems are in danger of losing the House and will almost certainly be short of the 60 votes they need in the Senate.

Who’s Getting Rich From the Naked Full-Body Scanner Boom?
The TSA has a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies. Will the "digital strip search" device just bring more of the same?

The TSA has a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies. Will the "digital strip search" device just bring more of the same?


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:38 am by HL

Presented By:

New America Foundation Banned Organization In Iran — TWICE
Now, this has to be one of the strangest round-ups of organizations I have seen in a long time — organizations considered by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence to be trouble-makers inside Iran and thus “blacklisted.” Here is the Iranian source…



IranNew America FoundationMiddle EastMinistry of Intelligence and National Security of IranPolitics


Colorado Sen. GOP candidate claims individual mandate is unconstitutional, despite expressing earlier support.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:37 am by HL

Colorado Sen. GOP candidate claims individual mandate is unconstitutional, despite expressing earlier support.
Appearing at the Jefferson County Men’s Club on Monday, Jane Norton — a former Lt. Governor who is running to unseat Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) — endorsed Colorado Attorney General’s John Suthers’ efforts to invalidate reform and announced her opposition to the individual mandate: One of the constitutional things, thank God we have an […]

Appearing at the Jefferson County Men’s Club on Monday, Jane Norton — a former Lt. Governor who is running to unseat Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) — endorsed Colorado Attorney General’s John Suthers’ efforts to invalidate reform and announced her opposition to the individual mandate:

One of the constitutional things, thank God we have an Attorney General, John Suthers, who is banning with 13 other Attorneys General to say, let’s look at this so-called health reform bill. Because I do not personally think that the individual mandate is constitutional. Nor do I think giving sweetheart deals to other states at the expense of other states is constitutional. So we have to just keep the pressure up and make sure that we are encouraging like-minded folks.

Watch it:

If support for dismantling health care reform will become a litmus test for conservative candidates, Norton — who served as a liaison on health insurance reform for the Governor’s office — may be in for an embarrassing campaign. In 2007, Norton appeared to endorse Selvoy M. Fillerup’s book Chronic Condition: Critical Care for America’s Collapsing Healthcare System, a health care book that promoted the individual mandate. “Initially, government must mandate that everyone will be insured,” Fillerup writes on page 147, explaining that the mandate is part of several “fundamentals” of reform. On the book’s back cover — a spot usually reserved for endorsement — Norton is quoted as saying, “‘You…have challenged our thinking.”


Health bills would shift Medicare money to Mayo and other ‘high-value’ hospitals

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 6th, 2010 5:36 am by HL

Health bills would shift Medicare money to Mayo and other ‘high-value’ hospitals
As House and Senate lawmakers start to reconcile their health-care bills with an eye to final passage, a little-noticed provision is already prompting celebration from a small group of influential hospitals that stand to gain millions in Medicare dollars

Democrats holding final intraparty talks on health-care reform
Democratic leaders in Congress began a final round of health-care talks Tuesday, pledging to overcome their remaining differences, with the aim of sending a bill to President Obama before his State of the Union address in late January or early February.

Return of Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay is suspended
The Obama administration said Tuesday that it is suspending the repatriation of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to Yemen, where a deteriorating security situation driven by a branch of al-Qaeda has stoked fears that detainees could join — or rejoin — the terrorist organization if released.

Attempt to bomb airliner could have been prevented, Obama says
President Obama said Tuesday that U.S. intelligence agencies could have prevented the attempt to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day, and used a grim and forceful White House statement to demand rapid improvements in efforts to protect Americans from attack.