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.”