With President Obama admitting that "systemic failure" allowed a Nigerian national on a terror watch list and allegedly attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight last week, the knives are out. Former Vice President Dick Cheney told Politico, "[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society.”
And then there are the editorial boards: The Daily News puts him on its cover to accompany an editorial, "President Obama's initial response Monday was too long in coming, too cool in delivery and too removed from the extreme gravity of the plot. Tuesday, he spoke more assertively, acknowledging what everyone else had long ago concluded: that unacceptable security failures had enabled 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to smuggle high explosives onto a Detroit-bound jet," but slams Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's "ineptitude...What the public was left with was a never-to-be-repeated case study in crisis mismanagement. It's time to get a grip, Mr. President."
The Post's editorial board thinks that Rudy Giuliani could offer a lesson: "Giuliani and his colleagues, through resolution and determination, broke the reign of terror that New York City suffered in the '80s. Yes, the analogy is imperfect -- on several levels. But it remains that the Obama administration can learn a great deal from the way Giuliani confronted the challenge he was handed. America is at war. America must win."
And the NY Times's editorial board has a broader view of spreading the blame: "Everybody bears responsibility: the Bush administration for not connecting the dots before Sept. 11 and not doing enough in the seven years after to rationalize and improve homeland security; the Congress, under both parties, for blocking necessary changes and failing to demand others; the Obama administration, which has shown little interest until now in reforming what is clearly an inadequate security system."