Intelligence Chief: ‘We Got It’
Notwithstanding my own analysis of President Obama’s statement today on the failed underpants bombing, Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, just emailed this statement to reporters:
The Intelligence Community received the President’s message today – we got it, and we are moving forward to meet the new challenges. The system did not catch Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and prevent him from boarding an airliner and entering the United States. We must be able to stop such attempts.
The Intelligence Community has made considerable progress in developing collection and analysis capabilities and improving collaboration, but we need to strengthen our ability to stop new tactics such as the efforts of individual suicide terrorists. The threat has evolved, and we need to anticipate new kinds of attacks and improve our ability to stay ahead of them and protect America.
We can and we must outthink, outwork and defeat the enemy’s new ideas. The Intelligence Community will do that as directed by the President, working closely with our nation’s entire national security team.
Uh, “new challenges”? What’s new about terrorism? One hopes that was just a throwaway line. Because the only thing that’s going to be new here is the diminished standard for putting someone on the no-fly list. Or perhaps the increased volume of information intelligence analysts will have to synthesize. Or the acrimony and disillusionment from innocent Muslims treated by U.S. security services as potential threats — in the age of Obama, not Bush.