Friday, January 8, 2010

President Obama gives Intelligence 101 speech

"As President, I have solemn responsibility to protect our nation and our people and when the system fails, it is my responsibility," said President Obama yesterday in his speech about the lapse in security of the "Underwear" Bomber. About time that President Obama takes responsibility and stops blaming the Bush Administration for all this challenges. I agree with President Obama that there was not one piece of data missed; rather the system as a whole failed to analyze the data properly. Perhaps the scolding President Obama gave the C.I.A earlier this year is having repercussions that he did not anticipate. The more troubling aspect of this incident is that Americans will see their freedoms reduced further under the guise of "National Security". I do not foresee another Patriot Act but the application of intrusive scanning may be moving us down that road.

President Obama said, "Ultimately, the buck stops with me." Did Hoover just walk into the White House? It is refreshing to hear President Obama to take responsibility and that he may finally understand the tough job it is to keep freedoms safe from those that seek to destroy it. "Because great and proud nations don't hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust. That is exactly what our adversaries want," stated President Obama. Correct, and our adversaries want to disrupt our economy and encourage further erosion of our freedoms. The plan going forward appears to be out of Intelligence Analysis 101 class.

Some of the actions President Obama laid out were timely distribution of intelligence reports; improve watch list databases, enhanced intelligence analysis, and aggressive and thorough pursuit of terrorism threat threads. See a more comprehensive list at: All of these should already be in place. Perhaps if President Obama hadn't blasted the intelligence community earlier this year, they would be more apt to aggressively pursue terror suspects. Granted no system is fool proof and someone will always find a way to beat the system. As the old saying goes, "We need to be vigilant every day; the terrorists only need to be lucky once." What is the cost to Americans? After 9/11 we saw the Bush administration use that attack to pass the Patriot Act and now we see the Obama administration using the Christmas Day attack to deploy 300 advanced imaging scanners in the United States airport this year.

Here is what we can expect the TSA agents to see from the use of the scanners to be used:

Now is this something we as a Free Society need to subject ourselves to in order to "feel safer"? The TSA and government officials are saying that the TSA agent viewing these scans will not be in the same room as the person being scanned and that is to make us feel better? I was watching C-SPAN yesterday over the lunch hour, instead of having health care discussions on, the English House of Commons was on. The members of the House of Commons were grilling the Secretary of the Defense Ministry over various topics including the use of full-body scanners. The debate centered on the amount of personal freedom the members were willing to give up. The discussion did bring up the point about what would happen to the images. To which the honorable Secretary did not have an immediate answer.

Now the Obama administration contends that these images will not see the light of day and in fact will be destroyed. Really! If they are destroyed then what evidence one will have to go back to when determining how someone got another diaper bomb on the plane? Plus as one can tell from the images above, a woman with large breasts or a man with a large gut could easily hid bomb material. Also, my guess is that children will not be subject to these intrusive scanners which will give the terrorist their mule to getting explosives on the plane. The question comes down to this: How much personal freedom do we want to give up for safety from terror attacks? I do applaud President Obama for taking the potential terror attacks are still a real threat.