Hoekstra Deserves an Apology

Prof. William A. Jacobson
Legal Insurrection
December 30, 2009

Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) commented soon after the attempted bombing of an airplane over Detroit that the Obama administration needed to do a better job at connecting the dots regarding terror threats from Yemen:

“People have got to start connecting the dots here and maybe this is the thing that will connect the dots for the Obama administration.”

Think Progress immediately went into attack mode. Not against al-Qaeda or the officials who failed to prevent this near-disaster, but against Hoekstra for “politicizing” the issue. And the left-wing blogosphere responded to the Think Progress whistle, attacking Hoekstra and dismissing the incident as a “joke’ and nothing to “fear.”

With each passing day, as more information about the threats from Yemen comes out, the wisdom of Hoekstra’s statement becomes more clear.

Here is what Maureen Dowd, no fan of Republicans herself, says today about the failure to connect the dots:

If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

Dowd left off the list of disconnected dots that the CIA had received warnings about a Nigerian bomber meeting with al-Qaeda in Yemen, but failed to … connect the dots to this bomber who was Nigerian. Even Obama himself has been forced to acknowledge that there was a systemic breakdown and failure to piece the information together — just as Boehner had said.

Only because people like Hoekstra, the press, and now even columnists like Dowd, have pushed forward for the truth is the truth coming out.

The threat to national security arises not only from officials who fail to connect the dots, but from the people who do not want the dots connected if it will be damaging to this administration.

Pete Hoekstra deserves an apology from the people who politicized his statement. Somehow, I doubt we’ll be seeing that soon.

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