Republicans have often accused the Obama administration (and Democrats in general) of being soft on terrorism. Former VP Cheney even claimed that Obama’s policies were increasing the probability of a catastrophic nuclear or biological terrorist attack.
Indeed, in the wake of the recent attempted airline bombing over Detroit, Republicans have tried to blame the unsuccessful attack on Obama. A Republican candidate for governor of Michigan even tried to use the incident to raise money:
If you agree that we need a Governor who will stand up the Obama/Pelosi efforts to weaken our security please make a most generous contribution of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 to my campaign.
But this blame game is put to the lie by two facts. It turns out that two of the al Qaeda leaders who are responsible for the attempted attack were released from Guantanamo prison by the Bush administration in 2007. In a particularly ironic twist, the two terrorist leaders were sent to Saudi Arabia where they were entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and then set free.
Second, and even more telling is that the very same Republicans who are blaming terrorist acts on the Obama administration are responsible for the Transportation and Security Administration being leaderless. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) is blocking Obama’s nomination of Erroll Southers to head the TSA, despite bipartisan approval of Southers, who is a former FBI special agent and counterterrorism expert, assistant chief for homeland security and intelligence for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department, the associate director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, and served as deputy director of homeland security for Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why is DeMint endangering US security? He wants Southers to promise that he will prohibit TSA workers from joining a union.
Once again, the Republicans are playing politics with your security.
UPDATE: Unbelievably, the Republicans continue to ratchet up the hypocrisy. Now Cheney and the Republicans are attacking Obama for waiting so long to make a statement about the attempted airline bombing and for treating the terrorist as a common criminal. However, Politico points out that Bush waited twice as long to make a statement after the shoe bomber attack in December 2001 and treated that terrorist as a common criminal, with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refusing to talk about the incident, saying “That’s a matter that’s in the hands of the law enforcement people.”
UPDATES: Good reads: Dick Cheney is a coward and a disgrace. And Obama gets heat for treating Americans like adults in terror incident. And Change you can defeat Al Qaeda with. And On Drama Queens and Cool Cats. And President Obama takes the heat President Bush did not. All well written and worth reading.