Washington Babylon — January 4, 2010, 4:25 pm

Obama Administration Blushing: Shades of Bush

OK, maybe this isn’t quite as bad (yet) as “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US”, but it doesn’t look good. This from a Washington Post story on yesterday’s talk show circuit by John Brennan, the Obama administration’s chief counterterrorism adviser:

Brennan revealed that at least part of the suspect’s name had appeared in intelligence reports indicating that a Nigerian was being prepared for a terrorist attack by the al-Qaeda group in Yemen. “We did have the information throughout the course of the summer and fall about . . . plans to carry out attacks,” he said. “We had snippets of information, we had information about Umar Farouk, but we didn’t have any type of information that really allowed us to identify Mr. Abdulmutallab.”

Brennan added: “We may have had a partial name. We might have had an indication of a Nigerian. But there was nothing that brought it all together.”

Huh? Isn’t bringing “it all together” the job of intelligence agencies? How much more information did they need?

I asked a former CIA officer about Brennan’s remarks. He replied: “Brennan’s performance was disgraceful. A hapless effort to put a happy face on a disaster. They had the Nigerian’s full name, and a photo (provided by this father). He was traveling in true name, on his Nigerian passport, with a recently renewed US visa. There is no acceptable explanation or excuse. The finger pointing is in full swing, but you can bet how it will turn out. Brennan is in charge of the review. There is no chance he is going to accept any responsibility for this, but he will affix blame and responsibility on the target of his choice.”

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us if You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us if You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today