CROWLEY: So, just to finish up on the question-- I do want to talk to you about security measures -- but do you think -- has there been any evidence of the Al Qaida ties that this suspect has been claiming?It's mindboggling, especially live. Napolitano looks almost like a travel industry booster. She refuses to "speculate" on the suspect's ties to Islamist militants. She has no clue as to how close the U.S. came to another catastrophic terror nightmare:
NAPOLITANO: Right now, that is part of the criminal justice investigation that is ongoing, and I think it would be inappropriate to speculate as to whether or not he has such ties.
What we are focused on is making sure that the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel. And 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.
I think Candy Crowley had Napolitano pinned down there for a second, on this comment about how the atttacker "was one individual literally of thousands that fly and thousands of flights every year." Crowley rightly follows up with " you are right, this was one individual, but that’s really all it takes," but then goes into her own long soliloquy that blows the moment. But check Napolitano's interview with Jake Tapper on ABC's "This Week":
Again we get this line that "the traveling public is safe." But what's most troubling is how the secretary keeps suggesting not only that "the system worked," but that "the passengers did their job." Hello! It's not the passengers' job to interdict terrorists! Whoa! The transcript is here. When Tapper asks about an investigation into the TSA's delays in deploying the latest screening technology, Napolitano replies:
Well, without going into the accuracy or inaccuracy of that particular report, new technology has been deployed, but there is a more important point to be made, which is that, A, technology is evolving all the time, it's not a static situation.In any case, there's lots of disbelief and outrage on the right. Jonah Goldberg says Napolitano should be fired (via Memeorandum). Michelle Malkin adds that Napolitano's "hapless first-responder mentality is simply a reflection of the man who hired her." And from Darleen Click, "Janet Napolitano — open bets on
And B, even with the most sophisticated technology, everybody needs to play a part in their security. That's why I think the actions of the passengers and the crew on this flight deserve praise. That's why the men and women who have been working really overtime Christmas Day, yesterday, whatever, to make sure that all other flights remain safe, why that system is so important.