Tales from the Trail

Obama admits security “screw up,” but some wonder who’ll pay

President Barack Obama may have hoped to limit the political fallout from last month’s attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner by admitting there was a “screw up.” Will firings follow? Some think Obama’s unusually sharp rhetoric raises the odds that heads will roll.

One such observer is U.S. Rep. Peter King, an influential New York Republican.
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“If the situation is as bad as the president says it was, as far as so many dots not being connected, so many obvious mistakes being made … I would think once the president set that stage, that to show that he’s serious, someone will have to go now,” King told ABC’s Good Morning America.

But the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee says he can’t tell which official should pay because the Obama administration hasn’t let Congress know who did (or didn’t) do what, when.

“There are so many moving parts here,” King said. “The president has not disclosed anything.”

According to King, that means the ax could fall on anybody at the top of the U.S. national security leadership: the secretary of homeland security; the directors of national intelligence, CIA, NSA, NCTC; or various White House advisers.

How much power should the CIA have?

In the alphabet soup of government national security agencies, the letters CIA seem to be sinking.

The latest blow to the spy agency was the attorney general launching an investigation into interrogation abuses and President Barack Obama has decided that the interrogation of terrorism suspects will be taken out of the hands of the CIA and put into the control of a newly-created group that will be housed at the FBI and report to the White House.

Some intelligence experts say the CIA didn’t want to do the high-value detainee interrogations anyway.

Spy turf fight being umpired by White House

The daggers are out in the U.S. spy world — for each other.

And the job of breaking up the fight in the ring of shadows has gone to the White House, which is expected to rule soon.

In one corner is the CIA, established by President Truman, when he signed the National Security Act of 1947, to coordinate the country’s intelligence activities. BUSH

In the other corner is the DNI, which began operating in 2005 as a coordinator of all intelligence agencies after being created in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.