This capital gang voluntarily sat down with a national television news anchor for a group interview. What would be more sensible than for someone who claims to be up on, well, intelligence, to have an aide quickly review the top stories in the world from the war on terror? We used to call a lot of our newpapers intelligencers. Isn’t there an intelligencer somewhere in the bowels of the bureaucracy whose job it is not to let the Director go on TV and look like a fool?
We have created a huge bureaucracy to handle homeland security. The idea in establishing the post of Director of National Intelligence was to gather all the loose strands of intelligence, to weigh and sift them, and to let the relevant agencies know what everyone needs to know when they need to know it.
Is there anything in the world more embarrassing than a prime time demonstration that the Director of National Intelligence doesn’t have a clue? And no, Mr. Brennan, we don’t expect our Director of National Intelligence to sit in front of the tube 24/7. But is it asking to much that national intelligence czar be well-briefed on the latest—intelligence?
It’s a short five hours from London to Washington . As we learned from Abdulmutallab’s attempt, it wasn’t that hard for a young man bearing a passport from an Islamist-afflicted country to get on a one-way flight to the U.S. —with no luggage. Those arrested suspects in London might well have had cohorts who were headed here.
It is completely unacceptable for our Director of National Intelligence to be so woefully unprepared, so evidently not up to speed. And to allow the world to see this unpreparedness is not just an appalling lapse; it is itself a major danger to our country.
Let’s hope Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will hold hearings to determine how it was possible for the DNI to be so out of the loop. Doubtless Mr. King’s committee will find out many other useful things about this unprofessional administration.
It’s clear that on matters of homeland security, this administration is not ready for prime time. We were spared this time. Next time, we may not be so fortunate. And, like you,I’d rather spend next Saturday night, alive.