Jeffrey Goldberg: In Defense of Janet Napolitano – Atlantic

Jacob Laksin is a senior writer for Front Page Magazine. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of The New Leviathan (Crown Forum, 2012), and One-Party Classroom (Crown Forum, 2009). Email him at jlaksin@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @jlaksin.


Yes, I know Napolitano said something exceedingly stupid yesterday (and has now retracted it) but here’s the problem with criticism of Napolitano — she’s been on the job for less than a year. The attacks of 9/11 took place more than eight years ago. For most of that period, it was the Bush Administration in charge. And what did the Bush Administration do about air security between 9/11 and the beginning of 2009, when they left office? Well, they managed to spend those years not installing the sort of body-imaging machines in our airports that might actually stop some terrorists from smuggling explosives onto airplanes:

via In Defense of Janet Napolitano – Jeffrey Goldberg.

  • jonnyvon

    And you're saying something stupid now. Everybody who flies knows what an abortion Bush's TSA is. Obama has done nothing to improve it. And for Napolitano to come out and make such an obviously incorrect comment indicates she is nothing more than an unqualified political hack interested in trying to put a smiley face on a near disaster rather than making us safer.

    Napolitano needs to be fired… immediately. We have needed and we need now El Al style airline security. That's right – we need to scrutinize male Muslim travelers because they are the people responsible for 100% of the attacks.

  • qpro4inc

    The machines have been available for at least a year and not used because of PC “sensitivities.” Your comment is totally BS and you know it!

  • Jody

    This article is garbage! His claim that this is Bush's fault shows just how much this left wingnut liberal will spin a story to save Dear Leader & Janet's bacon.
    When reading this idiot Goldberg's piece of crap it came to me his own story shows just how stupid his argument is. He kills his own “hypothesis” with his last paragraph:
    “That's right, the Bush Administration managed to equip 40 screening lanes — 40, across the 50 states — with body-imaging machines. In other words, there are better scapegoats out there than Janet Napolitano.”
    So how the heck is this all Bush's fault when a “lack” of body imaging machines in the US is what let a man through security in Nigeria & Amsterdam?
    Also, this terrorist's own father reported him to American authorities and Janet still dropped the ball! So blame Bush all you want, we all know the truth. Obama & Napolitano are not qualified to run this country, let alone work the cash register at a McDonalds.

  • Vonschtead

    Sorry Jeff,

    Maybe, just maybe, if you took the time to look to look at those inconvenient things called FACTS, your article might have had a different tone.

    1) The reason for the lack of scanners in the US is due to the ACLU complaining about privacy infringements.

    2) The fact that we are only allowed to profile objects (shoes, small bottles of liquid) and not people (muslims)

    3) The FACT that we have had attacks (Fort Hood and the Detroit flight) occurred on OBAMA's watch, not Bush. The fact that the Fort Hood killings were done by an islamist (radical or not) shows that slacking off (as is being done by this current administration) only leads to American deaths on American soil.

    4) Bowing down and kissing up to islamists has not made us respected or safe, only vulnerable and a laughing stock.

    5) Napolitano showed her ineffectiveness as Govener by not enforcing immigration laws in her home state.

  • dickG

    So perhaps we should all remember that Bush Jr. OPPOSED THE CONCEPT OF THE HOMELAND SECURITY AGENCY FROM THE GET-GO! CONGRESS PASSED THE LAW THAT CREATED IT AND FORCED COMBINING SEVERAL AGENCIES INTO ONE SUPER INEFECTIVE DINA-SOUR.

    In otherwords the committee of 500 (Congress) created the camel.
    Place the blame where it belongs!

  • call me Roy

    Ja-No's (Janet Napolitano).fantasy world
    It has been, in the words of Queen Elizabeth II, an “annus horribilis” for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. Beginning with her embrace of the impotent euphemism “man-caused disasters” to the hit job on conservatives and veterans that she was forced to apologize for, to her assertion that crossing the border illegally “isn’t a crime per se”, to her boneheaded claim that 9/11 terrorists came in through the Canadian border, Ja-No has confirmed time and again that she’s not ready for prime time. Today, she caps off her horrible year by playing Big Pollyanna in the wake of the Flight 253. The botched bombing — foiled by a faulty detonator and bravepassengers, not by homeland security bureaucrats or any preemptive measures by intel officials — shows that the in Ja-No's fantasy world. If it weren’t for the “Flying Dutchman,” who I don’t believe works for TSA or Homeland Security, we’d have had a disaster. And Janet would be warming a spot under the bus. Let's face it, she’s as effective as HS Sect as she was as Gov at stopping the invasion in her home state. Perhaps another 6 month study by a blue ribbon panel is what’s needed here. If these dopes were in charge in 1941 we’d all be speaking german and japanese. To be fair, does the White House know we are at war yet? Come to think about it, maybe they don't? Why would I say that? Because the first thing the Administration did was get this psyco a lawyer! Then there was the news that the terrorist may need plastic surgury! I'll tell you what! Send this guy to any small town in America and we will give him some plastic surgery.
    Arizona’s gain was the U.S.A.’s loss! What a clueless clown. So let me see if I got this rght. You don’t know what happened, or how it happened but you are sure that we are all safe until we point out you don’t know but you say the system worked but the system had nothing to do with a failed explosion (other than security measures make it tough to get a working bomb on board). When we point out the system did not work, then you agree to that. So we are left with a failed system run by you but you tell us we are safe but you don’t really know anything?
    I guess her next comment will be “It depends on your definition of “the”.