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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 3, 2010 / 19 Shevat 5770

Before and After: A Security Failure All Around

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It wasn't just that the whole national security system — you know, the one the secretary of Homeland Security said had worked — didn't.

As it turned out, the whole elaborate apparatus was unable to keep a clear and ticking danger off an American airliner Christmas Day — despite an abundance of warning signs.

That wasn't just the conclusion of the opposition, but of the president.

It took him days to say so, but he did admit it, finally speaking of a "systemic" failure, as if it were the system's fault rather than that of those he had placed in charge of it.

It was hard to avoid the impression at the time that not only was the commander-in-chief on vacation but his whole security team.

It was what happened afterward that troubles now. After being interviewed by the FBI, the suspect wasn't turned over to the military or even the special intelligence unit supposed to handle such cases — the HIG, or High-Value Interrogation Group.

After being subdued by the passengers on the flight, the suspect wasn't treated as an unlawful enemy combatant and promptly dispatched to a secure military post, where experts adept at this sort of thing could interrogate him at length under conditions designed to garner every bit of useful intelligence from him.

Instead, our unwelcome guest was turned over to the criminal justice system — with all rights, privileges and delays appertaining thereto.

Naturally, once given his Miranda warning and benefit of counsel, he clammed shut.

Dennis Blair, our national intelligence director, admitted this additional failure of the system when he testified before the Senate's committee on homeland security. The HIG, he told the committee, "was created explicitly for this purpose," but "we did not invoke the HIG in this case. We should have. Frankly, we were thinking more of overseas people and, duh, you know, we didn't (use) it here."

Well, duh, yes. Memo to the admiral: This is a global war on terror even if the administration now refuses to use that term. Which may be a large part of the problem. Language matters. Vague language leads to vague policies, with enough holes in it for a terrorist trained by al-Qaida to slip into the criminal justice system instead of being treated as the enemy combatant he is.

Letter from JWR publisher


It took Admiral Blair's office several hours to post a notice on its Web site saying the suspect had been interviewed by FBI agents, and had revealed "important intelligence at that time...."

Imagine how much other important intelligence might have been obtained if the suspect had been interrogated for days instead of minutes. And in nice, quiet surroundings that invite a guest to talk. Much like those at lovely Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where there exists a facility specifically designed, built and operated to hold and question such suspects.

But this administration still proposes to shutter Gitmo, or at least move it to the American mainland. For no reason except to please our enemies and critics abroad. As if anything we could do, short of disappearing, would please them. Our very existence offends them.

"The over-all intelligence system did not do its job," Admiral Blair told the committee, acknowledging the obvious. That special group he mentioned (HIG) not only wasn't called in; it now turns out that it barely exists. A year into this administration, it still hasn't been organized, or at least sufficiently trained, to be of much use in cases like this.

The military interrogators who would have been of use, who know what questions to ask and possibilities to probe, were never called in.

Who was in charge here? "It's in large part my responsibility," Admiral Blair admitted. But he hasn't resigned. Nor has any other higher-up in the administration, including the secretary of homeland "security" who was testifying at his side.

As it turns out, Janet Napolitano wasn't even consulted before the Justice Department (Eric Holder, attorney general) decided to turn Mr. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab over to the criminal justice system. Nor was Michael Leiter, who heads the National Counterterrorism Center.

This is no way to fight a war. But of course to fight a war you have to recognize you're in one, instead of in criminal court.

It seems the old walls between American intelligence agencies that set the stage for 9/11, and that were supposed to have been eliminated, are still in place. And the big problem still remains: Too many intelligence agencies, not enough responsibility. Or strong leadership. (Would you seriously entrust the security of this country to the likes of the Hon. Eric Holder?)

How fix the problem? A few good, well-earned resignations would do for starters. There's an old rule in the military: a commander is responsible for whatever his unit does or does not do. What a pity it doesn't seem to apply to some of the country's civilian leaders.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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