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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, December 28, 2009

Obama Reacts to Attempted Christmas day Attack, Violence in Iran

This morning, I published LV Congressman Charlie Dent's reaction to a Christmas Day attempt to bomb a passenger jet carrying 250 innocent civilians. President Obama has now spoken out about that, as well as the recent violence in Iran.

Hey, guys. Good morning, everybody. I just want to take a few minutes to update the American people on the attempted terrorist attack that occurred on Christmas Day and the steps we're taking to ensure the safety and security of the country.

The investigation is ongoing and I spoke again this morning with Attorney General Eric Holder, the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and my Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan. I asked them to keep -- continue monitoring the situation, to keep the American people and members of Congress informed.

Here's what we know so far. On Christmas Day, Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Detroit. As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, setting off a fire.

Thanks to the quick and heroic actions of passengers and crew, the suspect was immediately subdued, the fire was put out, and the plane landed safely. The suspect is now in custody and had been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft. And a full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism and we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.

This was a serious reminder of the dangers that we face and the nature of those who threaten our homeland. Had the suspect succeeded in bringing down that plane it could have killed nearly 300 passengers and crew, innocent civilians preparing to celebrate the holidays with their families and friends.

The American people should be assured that we are doing everything in our power to keep you and your families safe and secure during this busy holiday season. Since I was first notified of this incident I've ordered the following actions to be taken to protect the American people and to secure air travel.

First, I directed that we take immediate steps to ensure the safety of the traveling public. We made sure that all flights still in the air were secure and could land safely. We immediately enhanced screening and security procedures for all flights, domestic and international. We added federal air marshals to flights entering and leaving the United States. And we're working closely in this country -- federal, state and local law enforcement -- with our international partners.

Second, I've ordered two important reviews because it's absolutely critical that we learn from this incident and take the necessary measures to prevent future acts of terrorism. The first review involves our watch list system, which our government has had in place for many years to identify known and suspected terrorists so that we can prevent their entry into the United States.

Apparently the suspect in the Christmas incident was in the system, but not on a watch list such as the so-called no-fly list. So I've ordered a thorough review not only of how information related to the subject was handled, but of the overall watch list system and how it can be strengthened.

The second review will examine all screening policies, technologies and procedures related to air travel. We need to determine just how the suspect was able to bring dangerous explosives aboard an aircraft and what additional steps we can take to thwart future attacks.

Third, I've directed my national security team to keep up the pressure on those who would attack our country. We do not yet have all the answers about this latest attempt, but those who would slaughter innocent men, women and children must know that the United States will do more than simply strengthen our defenses -- we will continue to use every element of our national power to disrupt, to dismantle, and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us -- whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland.

Finally, the American people should remain vigilant, but also be confident. Those plotting against us seek not only to undermine our security, but also the open society and the values that we cherish as Americans. This incident, like several that have preceded it demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist. As a nation we will do everything in our power to protect our country, as Americans we will never give in to fear or division, we will be guided by our hopes, our unity, and our deeply held values. That's who we are as Americans. And that's what our brave men and women in uniform are standing up for as they spend the holidays in harm's way, and we will continue to do everything that we can to keep America safe in the New Year and beyond.

Before I leave let also briefly address the events that have taken place over the last few days in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The United States joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens, which has apparently resulted in detensions, injuries and even death.

For months the Iranian people have sought nothing more than to exercise their universal rights. Each time they have done so they have been met with the iron fist of brutality, even on solemn occasions and holy days. And each time that has happened the world has watched with deep admiration for the courage and the conviction of the Iranian people, who are a part of Iran's great and enduring civilization.

What's taking place within Iran is not about the United States or any other country -- it's about the Iranian people and their aspirations for justice and a better life for themselves. And the decision of Iran's leaders to govern through fear and tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away. As I said in Oslo, it's telling when governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation.

Along with all free nations the United States stands with those who seek their universal rights. We call upon the Iranian government to abide by the international obligations that it has to respect the rights of its own people. We call for the immediate release of all who have been unjustly detained within Iran. We will continue to bear witness to the extraordinary events that are taking place there. And I'm confident that history will be on the side of those who seek justice.

Thank you very much, everybody, and Happy New Year.

Seems to me that Dent and Obama are pretty much on the same page. If they can do it, can't we?


Anonymous said...

:et me tell you what I've done...

Does this stupid fucker know how to say anything but "I" and "My"?

Paraphrasing Charles Krauthammer tonight something to the effect of: "Obama may say there is no such thing as 'the war on terror', but the terrorists sure think there is one".

Where are all the liberal whiners who villified Bush for not reacting immediately when he got the news? Crickets...

Maybe Hussein just didn't apologize sincerely enough on his mea culpa tour. Because, you know, reaching out to the ROPERS, and admitting how fucked up we are will show them we're good really good folks.

I'd carry Jimmy Carter on my back, all the way to DC, to get rid of this incompetent, arrogant, asshole. Worst president, EVAH!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't mind some profanity, and do it myself. But referring to someone as you have is inappropriate. Some high school classes read this blog so I would appreciate it if you could tone it down a little.

Anonymous said...

My bad. Lose my way every once in a while. Edit if you can, if not, delete it.

I've got nothing on high school kids today, though.

Anonymous said...

Our president is either a moron in denial or a co-conspirator with the Islamic murderers who want all of us infidels dead.

We are in serious trouble with this ego-maniacal poser in office.

I long for the naivete' of the ridiculous Jimmy Carter. It's funny to watch him kvell to the Jews he deeply hates in order to get one of his kin elected in a heavy Jewish district. He's like an old queen prostitute with yellow teeth and chapping lips.

Yet Obama is even worse.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, there was an incident at Obama's vacation "compound" in his supposed home state. A child of one of his friends was injured and taken by ambulence. Obama was seen cutting short his golf game.

I guess we're too hard on the guy. He really is selfless. He even cut short a golf game for a personal matter. Too bad that when there is an attempted attack on the citizens, on the NATION, he is supposed to lead, he takes three days to prepare some measured remarks, and then makes it all about him.

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Barack Hussein Obama.

Anonymous said...

Let's maintain decorum and dignity in our dissent of the current administration. Rants don't further the cause of limited government. The bar needs to be raised by all who seek good government.
Disagreement is a basic ingredient of democratic government, this disagreement can be vigorous yet still respectful. Let's meet this goal.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

The terrorist in question was led past airport security by a gentleman in a suit and did not have a passport. Throughout the flight he was videotaped openly by another passenger. Upon capture, he acknowledges immediately he is an Al Queda agent and that many others will try to blow up airlines, despite the fact that AQ operationally is extremely compartmentalized.

Oh, and by the way, I have a bridge to sell you.

Anonymous said...

This was an inside job just like 9/11 was.

Sanctifying Grace said...


An F.Y.I., wearing my clergyman doesn't help circumvent security procedures. Actually, I feel when I wear my Roman collar, I am subjected to be searched more frequently than if I didn't wear my collar. And with a name like mine, especially when traveling between countries, security cannot tell if my ethnic nature. They just associate my name with being of Semetic origin.

I am ashamed to tell you that I have been in town since Christmas. I have to stop by and see you. I will be in town through the new year. I am going to the ceremonial swearing in for our new judges on the ninth. So hopefully, I will get some time between now and then to stop by to see you. If you need anything, please email me. I am at your disposal.

I had to go to A-town and Northampton today. I missed the cheese-steaks from J's in Northampton so much. Too bad Taylor Coffee House was closed today. I was looking forward to stop in there.

Thank God they don't perform security checks to get into J's. They would have caught me smuggling out a jumbo cheese-steak with the works. It looks like an assault rifle. It would have been hard to explain that the entire sandwich was for me.

Peace, ~~Alex

Anonymous said...

Consider the substance of the above remarks. I don't think the high school-ers are getting their money's worth.

Sanctifying Grace said...

What did I say that was so bad and to deserve a response such as the one from anonymous of 6:49 AM?

Peace, ~~Alex

Sanctifying Grace said...

Going to eat at Seward's today. Anyone want me to bring them back a cheese-steak?

Peace, ~~Alex

ironpigpen said...

Sewards kicks butt, unlike Obama.

Only three more years, sigh...

Anonymous said...

The real problem is we, the USA, has not apologized enough for its evils.

The Muslims are not to blame, it is we infidels.

Thank God we finally have an intelligent, thoughtful and smart President in Obama to save the world!

Yes he can!!!

Anonymous said...

I forgot HANDSOME and COOL.

Obama is then.

Much better than that retarded cowboy.

I am so glad I voted for Obama!

He is the greatest President ever.

So many haters here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pig Pen, aka aNON 10:33 & 10:36, I am really tired of your nonsense. Your comments add exactly NOTHING tro this exchange. Please start your "I hate Obama" and "I hate Muslims" blog somewhere else.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Alex, Anon 6:49 was obviously referring to PigPen, who posts his hate anonymously bc he gets tagged when he does so under his own name.

ironpigpen said...

Whatever, Captain.

Just because your hero's hope and change is not working out the way you wanted it to...

Obama's record speaks for itself as much as you and others try to provide cover.


ironpigpen said...

Admit it O'Hare :

You got hustled by Obama

Anonymous said...

Hey what about a rectal bomb? Pack that orifice with C-4 and pull the rip cord in the can.

I'm staying home for the rest of my life.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

I would just like to point out two quick things about the common rhetoric regarding this situation:

(1) Obama gave a press-release on the Christmas day attack two days afterwards, which he is apparently getting a lot of heat from the right for. Conservatives are obviously still able to politicize this and be upset with him, but I would just like to point out that after Richard Reid's attempt to blow up a Miami-bound plane approximately around this time of year in 2001, then-President Bush took six days to respond, and that was only in passing.

So, be angry if you'd like, but at least make an attempt at staying consistent. There was no Republican outcry about Bush's six-day lapse after the shoe-bomber incident. Why now?

(2) I freaking wish I could find the NPR article that scored all of the previous presidents speeches with regards to the use of "I" and "my" and whatever first-person pronouns you want to use, but the report simply found that Obama actually uses first-person pronouns less than past presidents.

The right simply did a very good job at painting Obama as arrogant, so that's why people are paying attention to the pronouns in his speeches now.

Just wanted to point those two things out!

Carry on.

Anonymous said...

I see all the bipartisan respect from the Repub's on this blog. Yeah, they want to work together sure they do.

From day one they have done nothing but call the President names, they are singing the RNC song.

Better they win at the polls than keep our Nation safe and prosperous.

Anonymous said...

After the treatment of Bush, Obama deserves nothing less. His supporters should stop whining and take their criticism like the big girls they are.

With Obama in office, we are demonstrably less safe. It's what you get when you opt for the amateur.

Anonymous said...

Isn't if funny how an attempted terrorist attack distracted people from the health care debacle...I am sure Obama was hoping it would have taken the plane down...so he could get the bill passed. Smells of another inside job to me.

Anonymous said...

Which congressman yelled,"You Lie", to Bush? No one baby! Go away and try again!

Ryan O'Donnell said...

From Ben Smith:

Gerstein compares Bush's and Obama's reaction to attempted terror attacks, and Congress's reaction to them:

Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber’s attempt to blow up a transatlantic airliner was thwarted by a group of passengers, an incident that revealed some gaping holes in airline security just a few months after the attacks of September 11. But it was six days before President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made any public remarks about the so-called “shoe bomber,” Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the press or any opposition Democrats that his response was sluggish or inadequate.

That stands in sharp contrast to the withering criticism President Barack Obama has received from Republicans and some in the press for his reaction to Friday’s incident on a Northwest Airlines flight heading for Detroit.

The cycles of media and politics have accelerated since 2002; but that doesn't really explain the critics' double standard.

Anonymous said...

They both had knowledge of the attacks before they happened. So why rush to comment on them.