Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Napolitano Slips Up, Uses the 'T-Word'

From the woman who nearly a year ago blessed us with the absurdity known as man-caused disasters, a clear sign back then the administration's approach to Islamic extremism would be meek and timorous, at best. Now whether this admission today represents a sea-change or if she simply folded under questioning remains to be seen.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has become the first Obama Administration official to publicly describe last year's deadly shootings at Ft. Hood, Tex., as a terrorist act, according to a search of news clips and transcripts.

"Violent Islamic terrorism ... was part and parcel of the Ft. Hood killings," Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday morning. "There is violent Islamic terrorism, be it Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen or anywhere else, [and] that is indeed a major focus of this department and its efforts."

In the months since an Army psychiatrist -- who had been in contact with a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen -- opened fired inside the Army base, many on Capitol Hill have urged administration officials to publicly identify the attack as terrorism.

Those calls have been used by Republicans and others to paint administration officials as weak on terrorism and subsequently unwilling to use the word "terrorism."

During the Senate hearing on Wednesday morning, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the Homeland Security Committee's chairman, called the administration's "reluctance" to use terms such as "Islamist extremism" or "Muslim terrorist" a "pet peeve of mine."

He said his "concern" about the issue was "aroused again" when an internal Pentagon review of the events leading up to the attack by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan on Nov. 5, 2009, never used such terms.

Lieberman asked Napolitano: "Has the administration made a decision to avoid any public reference to 'violent Islamist extremism' or 'Muslim terrorists'?"

Napolitano denied any such move.

"There has been no such decision," she said. "The [phrase] that you refer to, 'violent Islamic terrorism,' is something that we fight and deal with every day at the Department of Homeland Security. There is no doubt about that. It was the motivation [for the failed Christmas Day bombing], it was part and parcel of the Ft. Hood killings and other incidents we have seen this year within the United States."
It's obvious there was a decision to not use the word. Otherwise why the idiotic man-caused disaster?
This comes a month after a senior Obama Administration official characterized the Ft. Hood attack, which killed 13 people and wounded dozens more, as "an act of terrorism." But that official did not want to be identified publicly, speaking to reporters only on the condition of anonymity.
These people have no compunction running around calling tea party folks teabaggers at the drop of the hat, yet for months were reticent to label a terrorist a terrorist. I guess the teabaggers pose a greater threat in their minds.

No comments: