Monday, December 28, 2009

Picture Bush's reaction to Detroit incident

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 2:04 PM

The way the Obama White House reacted to the failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up an airliner in Detroit shows a marked contrast to how the Cheney administration — sorry, the Bush administration — handled such things. Umar Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian man charged over the weekend with trying to destroy an airplane, claims to have received training and orders from al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen. The man's father, who warned U.S. officials a month ago of his son's religious fanaticism, agrees that the young man had traveled to Yemen.

Straightaway after the incident in Detroit, the Obama administration issued a new regulation preventing passengers from leaving their seats beginning an hour before landing, and launched an extensive review of how terror watch lists are used, with the objective of making the lists more accurate and practical. Abdulmutallab was read the charges against him in an actual, for-real U.S. court by a U.S. District Court judge, as per American law. Attorney General Holder said the suspect will be tried in an American court, and announced immediate investigations, here and in the UK and Yemen, to check out Abdulmutallab's claims and determine who else was involved and bring them to justice. Holder's emphasis was on the use of intelligence gathering and police investigative work, as he reassured Americans that the administration is taking care of business.

In an interesting sidelight, Sen. Joe Lieberman demanded that the White House get more involved in fighting terrorism in Yemen, apparently unaware, in his role as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, that the U.S. has been doing exactly that for more than a year. And to think that New York Times columnist Gail Collins was criticized for repeating the obvious, that Lieberman “isn’t actually all that smart.”

So what would have happened if Bush/Cheney were still in power? First, the suspect would have been whisked off to some "secret" location, and probably held in isolation until he went as crazy as terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. The laughable, color-coded terror alert circus would have gone flame-red, and Bush officials would have been on TV 24/7, squawking like parrots on meth about gloom and doom and scaring hell out of the public — something conservatives seem to think is the same as being patriotic. And, of course, to top it off, Bush would have gone to war — not against Yemen, but some country that had nothing to do with Abdulmutallab. Maybe Dubya would've attacked the country next to Yemen — Saudi Arabia — which in a way would be the ultimate ironic twist, considering that nearly all the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis. Thank God there are sane people in the White House this time around.

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