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January 6, 2010

The Problem with Underwear

Kevin E. Dayhoff

The tranquility of the holidays was rudely interrupted by reality Christmas morning as the news spread quickly that a terrorist with an explosive device concealed in his underwear attempted to bomb Northwest Airlines flight 253 as it approached Detroit.


The event appears to have ushered President Barack Obama and our nation into a long-cold winter in more ways than the weather.


Watching President Obama frolic over the holidays on the golf course and enjoying snow cones in Hawaii as the country malingers aimlessly in three wars, Afghanistan, Iraq and the global war on terror, was surreal.


That’s right, excuse me, it is not the global war on terror, it’s the “overseas contingency operations.” Apparently the enemy did not get that memo…


This is exemplified by “operations” such as those engaged in by a group called al-Qaida in Yemen when it sent a 23-year-old Nigerian named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with a bomb in his pants to kill nearly 300 airplane passengers on Christmas Day.


Perhaps there is no better time for us to understand that even The New York Times, citing ABC News, notes that “unnamed American officials and Department of Defense documents, reported that two of the four leaders allegedly behind the (Christmas Day underwear bomb) plot were released by the United States from the Guantanamo prison.


“It said Guantanamo prisoner No. 333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, and prisoner No. 372, Said Ali Shari, were sent to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 9, 2007. Al-Harbi has since changed his name to Muhamad al-Awfi.”


Nevertheless, the Obama administration has vowed to continue to send more of the prisoners of war, currently detained in Guantanamo, back into the fray by sending them to the Yemeni graduate school of terrorism so that they may be trained to kill more Americans by air, land, and sea.


Just last Wednesday seven Central Intelligence Agency agents were killed by a homicide bomber at a remote mountain outpost in Afghanistan’s Khost Province near the Pakistan border. Those killed included the base chief, the mother of three children.


In an article in the British paper, The Daily Mail, last Saturday, it was reported that the day after the president “blasted ‘systemic failures’ in the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to prevent the Christmas Day syringe bomb attack,” he praised the CIA victims of the recent deadly Afghanistan attack.


To which, “one agency official” was quoted in the article: “One day the President is pointing the finger and blaming the intelligence services, saying there is a systemic failure…  Now we are heroes.…”


CIA officials have pushed back at the administration and have said that the information about the erstwhile Nigerian “was sent to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Centre in Washington, which was set up after the 9/11 attacks as a clearing house where raw data should be analyzed,” according to J. P. Friere, writing in The Washington Examiner.


After not allowing the terrorism in the sky incident to interrupt his golf game, President Obama, finally attempted to assure the nation that even though he was out-of-sight for three days, he was on top of it. He made sure the nation knew “that a worse incident had occurred during the Bush administration,” noted David Limbaugh on, and that the terrorist incident was the fault of the CIA.


In other words, the “administration is focused on its own image more than it is on our national security,” wrote Mr. Limbaugh.


To which, Mr. Limbaugh noted: “Even Politico's Ben Smith and Carol Lee recognize the ineptness of this administration's reaction to the incident. The White House's response, they wrote, ‘could rank as one of the low points of the new president's first year.... The episode was a baffling, unforced error in presidential symbolism.’”


Let’s be clear!!! The enemy is determined to kill us and stuff is going to happen no matter who is in the White House. The fact of the matter is that this president has not conducted himself in manner that reassures us that he recognizes that we are nation at war and that our safety is at stake.


Mr. Limbaugh explained: “Obama is a liberal and he has deliberately surrounded himself with like-minded, weak-willed leftists who are congenitally incapable of grasping the presence of evil in the world. They are blind to the reality that the terrorists hate us because of their ideology and theology…”


We are certainly not reassured to learn that while you and I are harassed to no end when we want to board a plane by procedures that – for example – confiscate your bottle of water, which may or not be the ingredients of a bomb. And then discard the “potential bottle of water bomb” in a trashcan sitting in the middle of the security checkpoint.


Nor are we reassured to learn that the administration cannot even keep uninvited guests from attending White House parties.


Just last Monday, The Washington Post reported yet another security breach in which a third uninvited guest recently attended a state dinner:


“A congressional source, who was granted anonymity to speak about the ongoing investigation into porous security at the White House, identified the man as Carlos Allen, a D.C. party promoter who runs an event space in Mount Pleasant. Allen came to the state dinner, made famous by gate-crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi, with the Indian delegation.”


Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration took a break from its efforts to unionize to address our security concerns.


It decided: “Passengers must remain seated for the final hour before landing. During that time, they may not have access to their carry-on baggage or hold personal items on their laps,” such as a magazine, for example, or go to the bathroom.


This, of course, may lead to more problems with passengers’ underwear…


But, darn, I feel safer already.


Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at


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