A U.S. government that has barred the phrase "war on terror" has nonetheless acknowledged that a failed Christmas day bomb attack on an airliner was a terrorist attempt. Can we all now drop the pretense that we stopped fighting a war once Dick Cheney and George W. Bush left the White House?As the Journal points out,
The attempt by 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab follows the alleged murders in Ft. Hood, Texas by Islamist-inspired Major Nidal Hasan in November. Brian Jenkins, who studies terrorism for the Rand Corporation, says there were more terror incidents (12), including thwarted plots, on U.S. soil in 2009 than in any year since 2001. The jihadists don't seem to like Americans any better because we're closing down Guantanamo.
Yet the terrorist screening system seems to have failed in at least two crucial ways: first, in failing to revoke a visa to the U.S. that Mr. Abdulmutallab had obtained last June despite a later warning to U.S. consular officials from his own father that he was becoming radicalized and might have terror network ties; and second, in not adding him to a no-fly list from a lower-level watch list.Much to the Obama Administration's embarrassment, there still seems to be a "war on terror." The just cannot admit it.
Earlier today, Monday, December 28, 2009, the Obama Administration began singing a different song.
The secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, said Monday that the thwarted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner represented a failure of the nation’s aviation security system, not the success she and other administration officials had portrayed in comments over the weekend.
Read the full Wall Street Journal editorial and The New York Times report.