Contemptible foppishness from our nation’s supposed defenders

The Director of National Intelligence admits he’s helpless, not in the face of Muslim terrorists, but in the face of the administration’s refusal to defend America from Muslim terrorists. Fox reports:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, in a candid assessment of what went wrong before and after the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas, said he had wrongly caved to external “pressure” to trim the no-fly list and even admitted the intelligence community would probably drop the ball in the future.

The visibly frustrated director spoke Wednesday alongside other top officials in a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The intelligence director as well as Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, both said at the outset that the system failed and they are making changes to correct it.

In one specific criticism, Blair said suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should have been questioned by the recently created High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG. As he explained the need to use the interrogation unit for such cases in the future, he made an offhand remark that carried a touch of defeatism.

“We’ll make a new mistake. We won’t make that one,” he said.

What happened, as told in other news reports, is that the Justice Department leaped in and gave Abdul Mutallab a reading of his Miranda rights and access to a lawyer before the Department of Homeland Security could interrogate him.

If the administration, with their refusal to keep jihadists off planes and their insistence on treating enemies waging war on the U.S. as ordinary criminal defendants, will not let the “visibly frustrated” Blair do his job, then he SHOULD RESIGN.

But no. No one resigns from high government positions over policy or principle any more. The perks, the emoluments, the ego strokings, are far too satisfying for anyone even to consider that. So, despite telling the Senate that the administration prevented him from doing his job, and indicating that he’s frustrated at this, he stays on the job. Pathetic.

This is in keeping with the style of leadership that first emerged in the Clinton administration—leaders who publicly admit their helplessness, who publicly undercut their own authority, like President Clinton declaring that he would go after terrorists but saying it in a mock stentorian tone that made it clear he didn’t mean a word of it; like FBI agent James Kalstrom, in charge of the TWA 800 investigation, visibly expressing his helplessness in his daily reports on the investigation’s progress; like Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, choking up in public about his immigrant father.

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Rick Darby writes:

The next time I mess up something at home, my response to my wife will be right from Dennis Blair’s playbook.

“I’ll make a new mistake. I won’t make that one.”

I’ll let you know how it works out.

LA replies:

Since the Clinton era, a way of talking that parents wouldn’t accept from teenage children, is routinely accepted when it comes from high level government officials.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Send

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