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Pressure mounts for Napolitano's resignation over bombing plot


  AP-HSS Janet Napolitano

Embattled Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano continued to defend her department’s actions in the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit bound passenger jet despite growing calls for her resignation.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate a bomb sewn into his underwear during a Detroit bound flight on December 25th. Fortunately, the bomb had a faulty detonator and instead his pants caught on fire allowing passengers to subdue the seared terrorist.

Napolitano initially claimed that the fact the bomb didn’t explode proved that, “the system worked.” However, in light of growing evidence that the government had significant advance warning of the potential threat from Abdulmutallab, she later backed away from the initial assessment ultimately admitting that, “Our system did not work in this instance."

Despite spending billions on upgrades to airline security and intelligence gathering, disturbing questions have been raised regarding the ease in which Abdulmutallab was able to evade detection as a probable threat and pass airport security without incident.

In fact, it is now known that US officials were contacted by Abdulmutallab’s father relating to his suspicion that his son was in contact with Muslim terrorists. As a result, Abdulmutallab was added to a national terrorist data base in November. Perhaps more damaging, was the lack of communication between interdepartmental groups and the failure of the U.S to share intelligence with the Yemini government where Abdulmutallab resided.

In the most recent revelations, it is reported by that the CIA's Africa division had prepared a report on Abdulmutallab some time before he allegedly attempted to blow up the plane, but release of the report was delayed as a CIA analyst waited for pictures of the man.

This inability to assemble, interpret and share vital information concerning terrorists and possible catastrophic plots is unacceptable in a post 9/11 world. In fact, this is the identical kind of breakdown that facilitated the September 11th attacks, and is all the more troubling considering how much time and resources have been spent to thwart this exact type of scheme.

As awareness of the prior knowledge of Abdulmutallab grows, calls for Napolitano’s resignation are gaining momentum. In a written statement, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said that, "The fact that this security breach occurred in such a brazen way means that there was a level of significant incompetence involved, and I believe that rests solely on the shoulders of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Her bizarre remarks on Sunday were the final straw in a series of embarrassing and incompetent comments this year.”

Acting New Jersey Governor (and Senate President) Richard Codey, D-Essex, has also sent a letter to Napolitano in which he wrote, "Based on the handling of this entire affair, I think it's time for you to consider stepping down and making room for an individual with more law enforcement and counterterrorism experience to take the reins at the Office of Homeland Security ... The entire episode was handled poorly, from start to finish."

This is the second time doubts about Napolitano’s competency have been raised. In an earlier incident in April, her department released a report to law enforcement agencies warning that the sagging economy "could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past."

Whatever the outcome with Homeland Security and the employment of Secretary Napolitano, it is obvious that Americans were extremely fortunate in the Abdulmutallab incident. Clearly, significant changes must still be made in information exchange between intelligence agencies and in airport screening methods that are largely inconvenient and obviously ineffective.


  • Carl McGinnis 5 years ago

    Everyone makes mistakes but what is just wrong is that I dont see her fix the mistakes she makes. I have a friend that has been in detention for going on 6 months for something he did not do.But her ICE officers wont listen. I wrote to Janet Napolitano, Sen Bill Nelson and Pres. Obama. I got nothing from anyone of them. I say shame on America. I wish I could get someone to listen. We have the proof. Janets ICE officers are directed by there EGO. They dont care what is right. And the abuse they get away with is very wrong.

  • Julie B 5 years ago

    She just has more important things on her plate.
    Like being an pro-illegal immigration activist and making sure our southern borders remain wide open.

  • Robert H. McDonald Jr 5 years ago

    I have read a few things written by those on the right and I must ask, are you guys just paranoid and looney? Where do you guys make up this crap? To those of us who see things clearly no wonder the Republican party is going they way of the Whigs into extinction. The GOP has no new ideas just the same old misguided criticsms, and when did the GOP start giving a damn about the American public? It was when their asses where handed to them in 06 and 08 but they showed no concern with the BACPA passage in 05 which benefited the banks and irresponsible tax cuts that cause a surplus to be a deficit. You guys just suck.

  • Jollie 5 years ago

    She does not seem to understand what is going on or what to do about it. She deserves the G.W. Bush award for stupidity. Her departments reaction showed even less understanding of how to "fix" the problem. Now you can't go to the bathroom on a plane for 1 1/2 hours before landing? So terrorists can blow up the plane anytime before that?

  • SirBrass 5 years ago

    As long as she doesn't come back here expecting to pick up her state political career where she left off, I'm all for her getting sacked. Otherwise, let her stay in Washington. If she gets fired, then Obama will only appoint someone more radical to take her place. At least in D.C., she's out of Arizonans' hair (since she's essentially done nothing in D.C. also), and has no veto power to laws. With Janet gone, we were actually able to get good legislation passed into law without the gubernatorial office blockading the way.