Hizzoner Rudy says Obama lags Bush on security
Has President Barack Obama been softer on security than his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush? Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani makes the answer sound simple.
“We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America.
Giuliani’s remark glosses over important details, including reports that Guantanamo detainees released by Bush renewed ties with al Qaeda in Yemen where U.S. officials believe the Christmas Day bomb plot was hatched.
But his comment does illustrate the political criticism Obama faces as Republicans try to use the incident to make Democrats look soft on security in this year’s congressional election campaign.
Have Republican claims affected Democrats? Some pundits suggest Obama may have been responding to criticism about his avoidance of the term “war on terrorism” on Thursday when he declared: “We are at war.” Others say they detected a Bush-like ring to the Obama rhetoric.
Meanwhile, the administration does not appear to have worked out all the kinks in its public response to the incident.
ABC reported that the White House review of security lapses contained two factual errors: the flight number of the Detroit-bound airliner and the date when Nigerian suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father approached U.S. authorities with concerns about his son. A summary appears on the White House Web site.
Obama’s finding of “a systemic failure across organizations and agencies” also may have been contradicted by White House counterterrorism and homeland security adviser John Brennan, who suggested the lapses were a one-time thing.
“In every instance over the past year the intelligence community, the homeland security community, the law enforcement community has done an absolutely outstanding and stellar job in protecting this homeland and disrupting plots that have been directed against us. It was in this one instance that we did not rise to that same level of competence and success,” Brennan told a White House briefing.
Photo Credits: Reuters/Damir Sagolj (Giuliani); Reuters/Jo Yong hak (Obama-Bush composite)