These simple facts beg the question: do Americans really understand that we are in what George W. Bush called a “forever war”? President Obama at least acknowledged as much in his remarks on January 7 as he called for improvements in the intelligence realm. However, his perturbed voice and demeanor in making those remarks, and his behavior in Hawaii after learning of Umar the Underwear Bomber's failed terror assault, raise questions about whether he merely sees Islamic terror as an annoying distraction from his primary desire to overhaul health care. And in the weeks since Ft. Hood, he still fails to reveal any information or insight gained from the investigation he so adamantly requested we review before “jumping to conclusions” regarding the Islamic terror massacre that occurred on our own military base.
Nevertheless, in hopes of aiding our young president in taking a strong stance to vanquish Islamic terror, I offer President Obama a seven step plan for security sanity. Only the federal government can handle national security. And America needs the president to give that security his primary attention.
With that in mind, here are seven steps for security sanity:
Step 1: Get your nose out of health care
Major in the majors. You are the Commander-in-Chief. This IS your job, not merely a part of it. Like a wide receiver who takes his eye off the ball to look at defenders rapidly approaching him, you are dropping the ball.
Step 2: Fire Janet Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security
There is no one in America who still believes she has any idea what she is doing. She is clearly under-equipped for the scope and gravity of the role. It is time to move on.
Step 3: Privatize airport security. Close TSA
Cameras that do not work and guards not at their posts in Newark. Failures pile up across the country. Simple question: if you had to get a package somewhere tomorrow, in whom would you choose to trust: UPS or the USPO? If your job and your mortgage depended on it, whom would you choose? You would choose a private firm, UPS, of course. Case closed.
Step 4: Fire Michael Leiter and John Brennan from our Counter-Terror leadership
Leiter does not return to the counter-terror command center for days after Umar's failed attack. Leiter instead chooses to continue skiing. Skiing. John Brennan goes on national television and actually claims that, even though we are trying Umar as a criminal, we can still get valuable information from him by offering a plea deal. We are offering plea deals to terrorists now? Are we at war or not? You have said we are. Ditch these two, and hire leaders with seriousness of purpose and clarity of mission.
Step 5: Give it up on closing Gitmo.
You have never made your case that Gitmo is a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. You state it as if your saying it means that it is fact. Al Qaeda has an encyclopedia of reasons it hates America. Gitmo makes no difference. Releasing detainees to Yemen does. We released six to Yemen in the week before Christmas alone. Gitmo should not be a personnel supply line for terror. The more we release detainees around the world, the more it becomes just that. Stop the absurd theater, leave Gitmo alone, and fight the war.
Step 6: Meet with Dick Cheney
Jonathan Alter has suggested this, and he is right. In your petty back-and-forthing, Mr.. President, you both are diminishing the country and yourself, not to mention your leadership capacities. Air it out in private. You are willing to meet with Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and nearly everyone else. Meet with Cheney and reach an armistice of public criticism. It really is unbecoming.