Critics of Obama way off base on this one

Yes — the not-so-bright, would-be terrorist from Nigeria got though international and domestic security mechanisms supposed to have stopped him long before the jerk lit his underwear afire before landing in Detroit.  And yes — the incident happened during the administration of President Barack Obama.  But the sniping at the president by Republicans, including former Vice President Cheney, and by conservative radio and TV commentators, borders on — if not passing into — asinine.

The criticism has included such childishness as blasting Obama for waiting a few days before making a national speech on the incident.  For heaven’s sake, the president was briefed on the incident from the moment it occured; he made statements almost immediately indicating his concern and that he was being regularly briefed; he took time to gather the facts and meet with his national security team; and then he appeared publicly to give a rational, measured, but hard-hitting response.  And for this, a former vice president criticizes him.

Partisanship truly has pervasively infected our political system when a reasonable, measured, factual, timely and substantive response by a president to a single security incident — the roots of which clearly indicate long-simmering problems that predated his tenure in office — is publicly blasted as irresponsible.  In point of fact, those levelling such counterproductive attacks are the ones engaging in irresponsible behavior.

822 comments Add your comment

Katrina

January 7th, 2010
12:37 pm

The truth is that there is good reason to criticize President Obama over this affair. When Napolitano said things were going “swimmingly” that had to prick everyone’s ears up.

These are the people he chose to fill these important positions. Unfortunately I doubt we will learn anytime soon whether the plans these people put in place contributed or allowed these things to occur.

Beyond that, the Administration has not commented on the facet of the terrorist plan to blow up the airplane on approach or the choice of the date on one of the holiest days in Christendom. While the attack would have resulted in the deaths of hundreds on the aircraft, one could only speculate on how severe the death toll would have been to the families celebrating Christmas along the flight path.

Until the Administration is willing to admit and state to the world the types of people these terrorists are, and deal with them and their allies accordingly, nothing will be resolved. But then, I guess that would just be a little too “Bush.”

SCChuck

January 7th, 2010
12:38 pm

This is satire, right? Seriously. It’s OK to slam Bush for anything and everything but when a plane load of Americans comes this close to being blown up over Detroit, we should just shut up so his highness can pass the buck? Is that it? Seriously?

I don’t think so.

Phil Barton

January 7th, 2010
12:38 pm

REALLY? The president was in full control of the situation, briefings, intel, etc. How do you explain his first public comments that this was a lone nut-job when he did finally speak…BOB?

FreeRad

January 7th, 2010
12:39 pm

Well if you’re not blowing the Republican you’re blowing the Democrat. So much for the 3rd party. More like Republican lite now a days.

Hank Richards, PRonlineNews.com

January 7th, 2010
12:39 pm

Hey Bob: It must have been Barbara Bush’s fault for conceiving “GW.” How dare she bring such a disgraceful person into this world without seeking the advice of your political advisors.

Give me a break – you know and so do I – everything has political ramifications that surround it just like your “BARR CODE” column. It’s all done in the name of politics.

You just lost a supporter. BTW – Shame on you Barbara !

Hank @ PRonlineNews.com,
Southeast Division,
(256) 417-6084

Haggis OKeafe

January 7th, 2010
12:39 pm

I don’t agree that Obama was notified immediately of the incident aboard flight 253. It’s well documented that Obama’s aides allowed him to sleep for at least an additional three hours before he was awakened and briefed. This is plausible considering that Hawaii is five hours behind Detroit. If someone wants to take Bush to task for his 7 minute delay, then let’s have at it, at least he was awake and notified.

Not to reference Hitler, but his staff was also reluctant to awaken him and allowed him to sleep until 10am when the allies first landed at Normandy. History remembers Hitler sleeping in as a very favorable circumstance for the allies at the time.

b' en natuf

January 7th, 2010
12:40 pm

Sorry about all the typo’s

Denis from VT

January 7th, 2010
12:41 pm

Way to raze the BARR, bob. Mayybee you should taik some spelling lesons.

Jeff

January 7th, 2010
12:43 pm

Mr. Barr, Since you are pro-bipartisan, please blast the democratic leaders locked away in private deciding the healthcare bill.

Looking for leadership....

January 7th, 2010
12:44 pm

Enter your comments here
I was an independent… now an R’. I am looking for some kind of leadership. I am near 50 and I have never seen an administration or a president continue to blame a past administration like this one. I think Bush could have really publicly plowed into Clinton about the loss of intel’ prior to 911, but he just moved on ….so Obama MOVE ON! And stop thinking the government creates jobs!

JG

January 7th, 2010
12:44 pm

Newsflash!!!…new tool in the world of editing…SPELL CHECK.

Steve Dankle

January 7th, 2010
12:45 pm

Give me a slight break Bob. You know the saying about the “buck stops here”. It is becoming quite clear that the magnitude of incompetence that has allowed this incident to occur reflects a systemic problem and one that is quite significantly influenced by the attitude and approach of the chief toward muslim fanaticism – an attitude and approach grounded in pure fantasy.

Okie

January 7th, 2010
12:45 pm

They waited three hours before telling him and then Leitner stayed on the slopes. That’s not “from the moment it happened.”

Jeez, Bob. You’re losing it.

Jake

January 7th, 2010
12:46 pm

Bob, For our President to wait 10 days to go to Washington, and 11 days to have the first face-to-face meetings with Intelligence Officials, may not lead to the next terrorist attack, but it does send a message, true or not, that terrorism is not high on the agenda. And that is the wrong message to send in a post-9/11 world. Plain and simple. End of story. Obama should have been in Washington on Dec 26, if anything, to show a dedication to fighting terrorism and keeping America safe, whether it exists or not. Period.

Chris Broe

January 7th, 2010
12:47 pm

Maybe Bob Barr should learn to spell assinine. You know, Bob, when you mispell assinine, you make an ass out of U and the Conservatives, and the lunatic fringe of the vast right wing conspiracy of lugnuts, and everything, man.

Spell chek much?

HarryO

January 7th, 2010
12:48 pm

Puleeasse… Bush got crap for everything he did from the asinine socialists. 0bammy has done nothing good for this country in his entire life, just look at Chicago to see the future of this country. Failure after failure is 0bammy’s legacy regardless of his puppetmasters attempts to pump him up.
Give him a break??? Give us a break, the only transparency this admin has is the obvious and total low class corruption and the massive inexperience. My dog would be a better affirmative action president than this one.

Steve

January 7th, 2010
12:48 pm

I agree that the back-biting and bitterness is hurting progress in this country (although contrary to conventional wisdom, this has been going on since the founding of this country – see McCullough’s book, John Adams). The correct point that the people on the right are making (and should be addressed) was the assertion that the system worked by Gibbs and Napolitano. This messaging had to come from somewhere and certainly would have been vetted through the President.

James Cecil

January 7th, 2010
12:49 pm

Dear Bob, your criticism, and that of your party. of Bush, the war on terror (whereever it is fought), and the refusal to recognize Islamic Radical war that extends beyond borders and governments is the bed you made. Those of us who have recognized the facts since 9/11 reach beyond parties and believe what the democrats and Obama said for the last five years which is why we don’t believe you now when he and the party say you take it seriously. I hope and pray that it will not come to another 9/11 for you, the democrats, and Obama for you to realize that this is war with all of the immorality and injustice that comes with war.

Bill

January 7th, 2010
12:49 pm

Obama’s head of TSA wouldn’t leave the ski slopes while this was happening. Pathetic amateurs way over their heads.

deathportal

January 7th, 2010
12:49 pm

Hank Richards, you’re lame. Way to slam someone and then include a shameless plug for your own web site. I won’t bother to waste my time there.

Ted

January 7th, 2010
12:50 pm

Mr. Barr: Remember when Obama right off the bat, without many facts, proclaimed it was an isolated act? I do. He was reflecting his natural but wrong instincts to dismiss these things as criminal acts instead of organized acts of war. He was dead wrong. This guy had help acquiring those chemicals, getting on the plane, etc. and he came within a hair’s breadth of pulling it off. Obama is wrong and his thinking is wrong and hence his strategy to defend us is wrong. And we need to say so!

Joe

January 7th, 2010
12:51 pm

Bob, the size of those nuts you must be dragging around, to say something like that after all of the outrageous stuff that was said about W. The truth is that Obama and his administration ARE making this country less safe through their demure posturing when it comes to international relations. What the Dickster said, needed saying for all of millions of head-in-the-sand Americans who might hear it and learn. And I heard that goofy Randi Rhodes saying how Cheney was making us more vulnerable by announcing that Obama is weak. Child please. The terrorists know this better than our own citizenry!

PC Bullbuster

January 7th, 2010
12:52 pm

For everyone who keeps blaming Bush or thinks the Republicans did not offer any alternatives to Health Care needs to read the article at http://www.pcbullbuster.com and click on its links for the sources.

http://www.cafepress.com/solrac

Terry Penn

January 7th, 2010
12:53 pm

You forget, he blamed it on Bush once again before Cheney even piped up. That is what is wrong with your analysis.

mickey

January 7th, 2010
12:53 pm

Looks like Obama is having the first fo his “you’re doing a great job Brownie” moments with comments such as Neopolitano’s. Sorry Bob, you’re wrong on this one. We can be critical, this man is the president of the United States, the buck does stop at his desk. Although you’ll never hear those woeds pass his lips…

Paul K.

January 7th, 2010
12:55 pm

Mr. Barr what about his campaign promise to hold the health care debate on C-Span ?
Is that a LIE or was he misquoted? Remember we heard everyday that Bush LIED!

Morton Doodslag

January 7th, 2010
12:58 pm

Bob Barr – A big reason why Obama is in power is because of Republicans like YOU. Islamic terrorists are now Mirandized, this war of Islamic Jihad is now to be ineffectually fought in the arena of our courts, the Obama administration has turned its weapons against Navy Seals and CIA field operatives, and Bob Barr calls critics of these Obama catastrophes “assinine”(sic), and “irresistible”? THAT is irresponsible and idiodic.

Spock

January 7th, 2010
12:58 pm

His Policies Failed, he does deserve Criticism, He met with his advisor’s 10 days later, his Homeland Secratary when on the news saying things worked as they should of. So Please!!!

His state Department failed.

The only thing that saved the plane was GOD!!

greyfox

January 7th, 2010
12:59 pm

You can carry Obamas water all yo like, the truth is that he is coming apart. He is not what he represented himself to be. The office of President is more than a coveted prize, the incumbent must ebdure much and rely heavily on his davisors. In Barrys case his advisors all all of the same mind and they are all headed in the same narrow direction. They really don’t seem to know what they are doing nor do they seem to care. They are not interested in what the American people want, they only care in whatthey want and what they think is best for Americans. It’s as though the only people
who know what’s going on is Barry and his crowd, at least that’s what they seem to think. Think what they will, elections have a way of correcting arrogance and the present administration is about as arrogant as you can possibly imagine. Obama is turning prematurely grey in his first year in office, apparently the job is not quite as easy as Community organizing. The poor are easily lead.

JimJChgo

January 7th, 2010
12:59 pm

Obama-the-Great has proven abilities in schmoozing his own party and a few others but, about Terrorism, he has been WRONG WRONG WRONG. GWB was a poor communicator but he was marvelously RIGHT about Terrorism. Obama-the-Great has wiseguy Biden. Bush had professional, Cheney. Obama has ding-a-ling Napolitano. Bush had professional Chertoff. — So Obama is dashing and articulate and WRONG. Bush was bumbling and clumsy and RIGHT. Bumbling and clumsy look better when you’re RIGHT!

Peggy Micsky

January 7th, 2010
12:59 pm

Where was your big mouth when they attacked President Bush for everything he did, you two-face traitor? This idiot in the WH is in so far over his head he’s going to get us all killed AND WE DON’T NEED ANY HELP FROM YOU. Can’t you get any attention any other way, Mr. Has Been?

calpolyjeff

January 7th, 2010
1:00 pm

That’s all you got, Bob? I’ll give the President a pass on his response, no problem. SO I guess we’re cool, right? But what about his policies, closing Guatanamo, harrassing the CIA, Janet Napolitano his clueless appointee… what about those things, Bob?

Matt

January 7th, 2010
1:00 pm

As a right-leaning person, I do believe that Obama has been given undue attention on this matter. The CIA, TSA, and FBI have passenger lists of every incoming international flight. Why didn’t they stop him?

However, we can see the results of Obama’s tolerance towards terrorism. Get a clue, Mr. Obama: You may be a nice guy, but these terrorists don’t share your sympathy.

PC Bullbuster

January 7th, 2010
1:00 pm

So in response to Haggis OKeafe where Dumbama was not awoken for 3 hours after the incident supports that he cannot handle a 3:00 am phone call or let alone a 3:00 pm phone call.

http://www.cafepress.com/solrac

Free

January 7th, 2010
1:00 pm

Wow, sort of like the rational speech on the Gates arrest. The “cops acted stupidly”, that’s not so long ago like those piss-ants would like us to believe.

nolie

January 7th, 2010
1:01 pm

Please allow me to offer two observations. First, is anybody surprised that an old leftist from the MSM is defending obama? Leftist MSM folks defend democrats, that’s what they do, regardless of the situtaion. Second, Chaney’s main point was that obama still wouldn’t admit that we were at war with the terrorist. He still wants to pretend that this is simply a criminal situation, not a war. Consequently, he will treat the criminal with kid gloves. Chaney is right as any serious grownup knows..

Islam is obviously at war with the civilized world. Until we accept this and go to war with them, we have no hope of protecting ourselves.

Rob wilson

January 7th, 2010
1:01 pm

Wrong again Barr, I need to send you a case of ICYHOT your back has to be killing you from all the water you carry for Obama.
What the Republicans (and many other Americans) are concerned about is the whole package of how obumble has dealt with “the war on terror” and make no mistake we are at war. From his apology tour; his ‘re-defining’ it as a made made overseas contingency; having KSM tried in New York…NOW THAT’S ASININE.
When you start with a false premise this is the result.

Richard of JAX

January 7th, 2010
1:01 pm

So the people that question Obama on this is off base, well at least they can find the base. Obama can’t find the park much less the base unless someone tell him what to look for and what to say after he gets there!

Wake up America!!

NYCMarineVet

January 7th, 2010
1:02 pm

How about the president calling this “underwear” bomber an “isolated extremist” when days later the Yemeni foreign minister asks for help/aid from the U.S. in combating “hundreds of more extremists” just like the underwear bomber?!? Or how about the administration’s “the system worked” comments?!? Or Gen. Jones (the head of the NSA, for God’s sake) stating the new bomber report will “shock Americans”?!? Or the fact that the U.S. government/intelligence agencies knew this jerk was going to get on a U.S.-bound plane…and still allowed it?!?
You calling my concerns and complaints partisan is right up there with calling me a racist because I didn’t vote for B.O. If Colin Powell had run, I’d vote for him a heartbeat…so put that in your hand-out loving crack pipe and smoke it!

SucksBeanU

January 7th, 2010
1:03 pm

Bob, is this the type of crap you have to write in order to keep your job at the AJC? You and the rest of the “useful idiots” there, Bookman, Tucker et al,, are so far out of touch, that most Georgians just laugh at you. Sorry, Bob, but you are just a washed up political hack. And, not a very good one at that! Now please go back in your hole.

OmahaJohn

January 7th, 2010
1:04 pm

I too am tired of the blame game. I am; and I believe most Americans are interested in holding our elected officials and the hired hands within the government responsible for doing their jobs. That said, I tend to be suspect of a administration who places a higher emphasis on words and their useage than actions and their results. We see verbage like “man caused disasters” and actions like diverting CIA funding for terror survelance to verifying global warming. It is actions like these that frankly make no sense to me and most Americans. We may not have your lofty experience in the ways of government Mr. Barr, but what we do have that most in Washington are lacking is a strong dose of common sense. Call a terrorist a terrorist and use our money to defeat them or get the hell out of the way and make room for someone who will.

AmericanBelle

January 7th, 2010
1:04 pm

What is wrong with everyone? Obama is no commander in chief. He has no military background, experience, or training. He has absollutely no respect for our Constitution, history, culture or value system. The Constitution specifically states that the duty of the President of the United States is national security. Obama wants no part of it. He’d rather go abroad and apologize to everyone for actions the US never committed…there is no reason for apology. There is also no reason for Obama to be stripping every American of their rights or acting above the law, dissing the Constitution. His #1 priority as US President is to protect us, and this he cannot and won’t do. He should be impeached for his malfeasance. This goes beyond high crimes and misdemeanors. As c-i-c, he has failed miserably. Two attacks in one year with no recourse. Obama is a joke! Bob Barr’s not much better!

jconservative

January 7th, 2010
1:04 pm

Bob is correct on this one. What is accomplished by hollering in a partisan tone? Cheney blasted Obama over the underwear bomber for being late to issue a statement. It took Bush & Cheney 6 days to issue a statement over the shoe bomber incident. So what? They had to get their facts together first. It took six days, so what.

This hollering back and forth between the fringes of both parties appears to be little more than masturbation.

NYCMarineVet

January 7th, 2010
1:06 pm

How about the president calling this “underwear” bomber an “isolated extremist” when days later the Yemeni foreign minister asks for help/aid from the U.S. in combating “hundreds of more extremists” just like the underwear bomber?!? Or how about the administration’s “the system worked” comments?!? Or Gen. Jones (the head of the NSA, for God’s sake) stating the new bomber report will “shock Americans”?!? Or the fact that the U.S. government/intelligence agencies knew this jerk was going to get on a U.S.-bound plane…and still allowed it?!?
You calling my concerns and complaints partisan is right up there with calling me a racist because I didn’t vote for B.O. If Colin Powell had run, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat…so put that in your hand-out loving crack pipe and smoke it!

DrBob

January 7th, 2010
1:06 pm

Sorry. I disagree.

During the 8 years of the Bush Administration, the democrats, aided by their sympathizers in the main stream media, criticized President Bush for everything. He was effectively expected to know the whereabouts of every government employee at all times and was held responsible for their every action. He was criticized endlessly when he vacationed at his Crawford, TX home, which was fully equipped with permanent cabinet-level meeting and communications facilities.

0bama goes to a rented house outside the continental US and is totally given a pass. His primary communication device is a blackberry.

So yes, 0bama is responsible and his performance to-date has been F minus.

Wayne

January 7th, 2010
1:08 pm

Bob,

The extraordinary thing about your enthusiasm to defend the president on this matter is the fact that you were there, in congress, when the feeding frenzy started over W’s reaction the 9/11. You know well that civil discourse is worthless when you are dealing with stateist idealogues. How long have we had to endure the effectiveness of “Tax breaks for the rich” whenever some non socialist plan was put into effect……. or even suggested, to stimulate the economy. Remember how we were trying to starve our grandparents? No Bob, the critics of the president do not have it wrong; they have simply stepped onto the field with a new strategy. Civil discourse be damned. The hypocricy and ineptness of this administration must be boldy pointed out at all turns.

emo

January 7th, 2010
1:08 pm

Boring. The posts here boil down to:
Hate Obama
Adore Bush
Worship Reagan
No substance, just nmindless hatred.

C Miller

January 7th, 2010
1:08 pm

Bob, you seem to forget that this administration has taken every opportunity to blame their failures on the previous administration. Cheney did not choose to speak out until after this empty suit continually blamed Bush/Cheney over the first 9 months in office. I didn’t hear Cheney blaming Clinton/Gore everytime something went wrong. If he gets defensive after hearing himself being blamed for everything that this administration has failed to accomplish, and seeks to set the record straight, I think he’s earned that right.

Bob McMullan

January 7th, 2010
1:09 pm

I’m a Republican that agrees with your point, Bob. Taking potshots at the President does nothing to improve the situation. Instead, we should identify the intelligence and procedural lapses, and prevent them from happening again.

Just this morning it came out that the would-be bomber was flagged as a threat before the flight and was going to get a thorough search following his landing in Detroit. That at least lets me know that homeland security was already involved. The obvious improvement will be to work with other nations to prevent high-risk passengers from getting on in-bound flights in the first place.

Jake

January 7th, 2010
1:09 pm

Ok… these postings, for the most part, have got to be the most ignorant, self-indulgent pieces of crap I have ever read. If any of you think that the Dems or the Reps are here to help you then you are sorely mistaken. They are all out for themselves and the lobbyists who fill their pockets will all those shiny coins that allow for their extravagant and, a lot of the the times, degenerate lifestyles. Now, you want to really fix this country? How about we line up everybody in office in front of a jury of OUR peers, so that our TRUE representatives can decide if the politician in question deserves his/her position. Some will retain, but the vast majority would be put out to pasture, which is what needs to happen because the people in charge have lost all sight of what it means to be an average citizen.

FIN