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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.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for “furtive movements”:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature