There are a few ways to look at the case of the thwarted holiday crotch-bomber. On the one hand, we have a deluded fellow who, allegedly assured of eternal glory by jihadists who bade him sew explosive chemicals into his underwear, set his lap on fire during a Delta flight and, instead of the cooling ministrations of 72 virgins for which he had probably hoped, got arrested for terrorism.
On the other, we are told that the chemicals Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was wearing could have, if all went as planned, effected an explosion that might have at least disabled or even downed the plane.
This is, to put it mildly, a serious concern, and we’re getting the expected investigations as well as new airline security guidelines, which are being rolled out in a rather confusing manner.
This is the bailiwick of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whom rightbloggers want fired, for reasons that are also rather confusing.
Napolitano has not been too sharp in her response to the incident, but her statements that the TSA performed well in the aftermath of the incident (“once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have”), and that there is at present “no indication” of a wider plot behind the crotch-bombing, seem like unremarkable bureaucratic attempts to calm fears after a widely-publicized attempted terrorist attack.
Rightbloggers, for obvious reasons, are less interested in calming fears than in exacerbating them, and proclaim, as is their wont, that the Obama Presidency has failed and that America will only be safe when it has come to an end.
Some merely blocked out Napolitano’s repeated distinction that the system worked well after the incident, and read it to mean that letting Abdulmutallab on board with his crotch-bomb was part of the plan.
“WTF?” cried Be John Galt. “The system is SUPPOSED to seat terrorists wearing explosive clothing right next to the fuel tanks???” “What system worked?” said Weasel Zippers. “The only thing that stopped him was the fuse on the bomb malfunctioned…” “If the ‘system’ had ‘worked,'” said Michelle Malkin, “Abdulmutallab would have been barred from the U.S…” “Maybe she’s not talking about OUR system at all,” said deadenders. Etc.
Debbie Schlussel claimed that Napolitano was “already declaring that Abdulmutallab wasn’t involved in any larger terrorist plot,” which is a great stretch from Napolitano’s “Right now we have no indication that it is part of anything larger, but obviously the investigation continues” — to which Schlussel actually linked her charge — but Schlussel isn’t running Homeland Security, thank God, and thus had no need to be careful about her wording.
Robert Stacy McCain went further, claiming that Napolitano’s cautious statements meant the Administration was planning to play a “Lone Nut Card” to absolve its friends in Al Qaeda. “So far, I’ve seen no evidence of the ‘victim card’ being played on behalf of Abdulmutallab,” he admitted, “but this Associated Press biographical profile of the suspect portrays him as having had a ‘saintly aura’ as a student in England. Give the media time, though. Their best spinmeisters are still on holiday.”
We guess this alleged media plot to exonerate Abdulmutallab is of a piece with the alleged media plot to exonerate the Fort Hood shooter, who despite the awesome power of the traitor-press remains in custody.
“If the election were being held today in the light of the terrorism on the Delta flight from Amsterdam,” said Pajamas Media’s Roger L. Simon, “I have little doubt that John McCain — whatever his deficiencies as a candidate — would have been elected president, possibly in a landslide.” Ah, what might have been, in an alternate universe!
Simon also claimed that “There’s no such thing as terrorism in [Napolitano’s] parlance” — that is, she does not say the word “terror” often enough to suit Simon — and as to the “Radical Islamic Terrorists” we are “surrounded” by, he stated that Napolitano does not “even think they exist.” No citation for this charge is offered, though if it is provable, Simon buried the hell out of the lede.
Simon demanded that Napolitano be fired. Others took up the call. A Very Heavy Stone claimed that Napolitano “has proven time and again to be grossly incompetent and unable to fulfill her duties as head of Homeland Security” — without citations, alas, though others stepped into this breach; Rabid Republican Blog, for example: “Janet ‘I’m really not a Lesbian’ Napolitano – Queen of DHS – focused on civil rights for border crossers, and not on stopping them… she figures it’s ‘no my yob.”
AVHS recommended that Obama “replace [Napolitano] with someone who can say ‘Islamic terrorism’ in a sentence,” which would presumably increase preparedness, and “focus on the real threat instead of loyal, patriotic Americans who are unhappy with the lack of accountability and growing incompetence in the Federal Government” — possibly a reference to Napolitano’s investigation of potential right-wing terrorist threats, a favored bugbear of rightbloggers, who do not take such threats seriously for some reason.
Instapundit proclaimed, “OUTCRY: ‘Napolitano should quit,'” which sounded interesting, but he turned out to be talking about other rightbloggers, such as Jonah Goldberg, who said Napolitano should be fired “if the White House wants to assure people that it takes the war on terror seriously,” and Ann Althouse, who said she was now sorry she’d voted for Obama (leading longtime students of her work to ask, what took her so long?)
During all this the President remained on his Hawaii vacation, and even played golf, which predictably enraged rightbloggers who, despite their contempt for him, decided that Obama intervention was desperately needed.
“When Muslim terrorists attack, Muslim Presidents play golf,” said Bare Naked Islam. “NEROBAMA HAS GOLFED MORE HIS FIRST YEAR THAN BUSH IN 8 YEARS,” claimed Reliapundit. “AND HE’S IN HAWAII PLAYING GOLF – WITH NO TIME FOR CHURCH ON CHRISTMAS EVE.” “In retrospect,” said National Review‘s Jim Geraghty, looking for a pattern of Democratic malfeasance, “it’s rather amazing that President Clinton never visited the Twin Towers after the 1993 bombing…”
Some returned to the “My Pet Goat” gag they used after the Fort Hood incident. “No mention as to whether or not he was reading ‘My Pet Goat’ between holes,” said Say Anything. “Who knows, maybe he was reading My Pet Goat,” said For His Glory.
“Actually,” said Cassy Fiano, “this is far worse than ‘My Pet Goat,'” because Bush “immediately gave a press conference addressing the attack at the school” after his children’s-book reading, while Obama was “sitting around in a mansion with his family… Instead of addressing the scared country, he went to the gym and then played golf,” which led to the widespread national panic we are now experiencing.
Beyond firing people and saying “terror” more often, rightbloggers had few other prescriptions, though they clearly didn’t like the new security regulations. “Let’s overreact and make stupid new rules,” sniffed QandO. “Passengers required to stay in their seats the last hour of the flight — this rule is just an invitation to do your violence early,” said Greta Van Susteren.
“I have a stainless steel rod in my leg,” announced William Teach at Right Wing News. “Sometimes the detectors go off, and I have to tell the security folks to wand my right leg. Sometimes, not. I walked through once with a lighter in my pocket. Another, metal sunglasses hanging from sweater failed to set the machine off. Makes one wonder what good they do.”
So who needs ’em? Teach’s alternative: profiling. “Liberals and morons in government want to be nice and make sure Muslims do not get mad at us,” he said. Let people of Anglo name and appearances like Richard Reid alone, and concentrate on the real problem: Nigerians, at the moment.
“It sounds trite but it’s worth repeating,” said National Review‘s Andy McCarthy. “The object of terrorism is to terrorize, and obviously the mission has been accomplished even if the plane was not brought down.” Well, he has the right to hope. Maybe he and his comrades can find a new opportunity in Ivana Trump’s Delta flight tantrum. It’s been more than 24 hours — and still Obama has done nothing!