Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Will Somebody Please Tell the National Intelligence Office to Turn on the TV?

During an afternoon interview on ABC by Diane Sawyer, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was unaware that 12 Muslim men had been arrested as terror-bombing threats in three different cities in the UK that morning. You knew about it. I knew about. Europe certainly knew about it, and so did the Middle East, but the U.S. Director of National Intelligence--the guy who briefs the president of the United States about intelligence--didn't know about it:
"I was a little surprised you didn't know about London," Sawyer told Clapper.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't," he replied.  
That's a pretty clear statement. This is what his office had to say about that lapse:
"Director Clapper had not yet been briefed on the arrests in the United Kingdom at the time of this interview taping," said ODNI spokeswoman Jamie Smith in a statement to ABC's Jake Tapper.
Smith explained that Clapper had been working on other matters during the day, following developments on the Korean Peninsula and issues surrounding the ratification of the START nuclear pact. He was not briefed on the London arrests, she said, because it was not centered in the homeland and required no action on his part.
Got it. Clapper was "too busy" working on national security to learn about the capture of terrorists planning imminent bombings in the UK, but he had plenty of time to be interviewed by Diane Sawyer.  Anyway, it was just another story about a bunch of Muslim wack-jobs attempting to blow up innocent people who are minding their own business. Ho hum. Though I must admit it is a daily occurrence.

I find it interesting that Clapper's staff decides what Clapper gets to know about. I sure hope they are not the same people filtering the information that reaches Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder, who have an astonishingly laissez-faire attitude toward Islamic terrorism, because whoever is filtering the information Clapper gets are the same people who filter the information that reaches the president.

Not to worry, though. Obama could have learned about the arrests on his famous BlackBerry.


  1. what tools they all are! but hey my friend.. TIS THE SEASON!..SO LET'S try to be jolly eh! :) (hugs)

  2. This is really amazing. Did no one on his staff think to mention it before he went on TV? That is what is so distrubing that not one person thought about it at all. Not very reassuring.

  3. @Angel/Woman - I can't be anything but jolly in my outrageous Christmas sweater! Hugs back to you!

    @Conservative Girl - I keep thinking that if Clapper had just watched the TV in the Green Room before his interview, he would have seen the UK arrests before his interview (but maybe it was taped beforehand, so no Green Room). His lack of knowledge about the arrests is demoralizing to Americans, but worse might be the emboldening message it sends to those who wish us harm. Obamatons notwithstanding, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. We'll see what we can do in the New Year!