Terror attacks raise tension between Obama and GOP

Byron York
Washington Examiner

While the White House celebrates the capture of accused Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, some of the people most involved in fighting terrorism in the United States are very, very worried.

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs rejected the suggestion that Shahzad’s ability to travel to and from Pakistan, train with the Taliban, and place a car bomb in the heart of New York City represented a “systemic failure” of the nation’s security agencies. (That’s what President Obama said happened in the case of Detroit Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.)

Far from seeing failure, Gibbs saw reason for celebration. Shahzad was found quickly, he pointed out, with federal, state and local authorities working together. “So in many ways, we want to celebrate the success of, rightly so, of what law enforcement was able to do,” Gibbs said.

Tell that to Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. “These guys continue to be in denial,” Hoekstra says of the White House. “We’re just a couple of smart people away from having 300, 400, 500 Americans killed. We have to express our appreciation to the FBI and the New York Police Department for capturing this guy, but our focus should be on how he got to Times Square and almost blew up an SUV loaded with explosives. That’s not success in my book. Success would have been identifying this guy and making sure he didn’t get to Times Square.”…

…While the White House suggests that Americans “celebrate” his capture, Hoekstra and fellow Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are growing increasingly frustrated about what they see as the administration’s refusal to tell Congress what’s going on. On Wednesday, all nine Republican members sent a letter to Obama protesting what they called the White House’s deliberate withholding of critical national security information.

“A clear pattern has emerged,” the GOP lawmakers wrote, “of the administration refusing to provide requested briefings or information or to engage with us despite repeated requests on issues such as Guantanamo, the Fort Hood attack, the Christmas Day attack, Yemen, critical issues involving the [foreign intelligence surveillance court], and now the Times Square attack.”…

The article continues at the Washington Examiner.

Comments are closed.