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Napolitano Makes National Security into a Steven Wright Joke

John on January 4, 2010 at 9:12 am

Saturday, Maureen Dowd devoted her column to refurbishing Janet Napolitano’s image. This effort led to some amusing lines and some not so amusing admissions:

she was pilloried for saying “the system worked” on CNN — even though Robert Gibbs said the same…

She said she…was misconstrued, and that in other interviews she did on Sunday, she made it clear that she meant the system worked “after the incident.”

“No excuses, but I was a little focused on what we were doing operationally,” she said. “We were working to deal with the airports and the airliners, so perhaps I was a little distracted.

Wait, didn’t she say her statement was taken out of context? Now she’s also saying she was distracted. Is this an admission of sorts?

As for whether she was talking about “the system” after the incident, I pointed out a week ago, this excuse doesn’t really fly. Her initial statement identified passengers and crew as part of what worked:

One thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked, everybody played an important role here, the passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action.

But Perhaps Napolitano has taken a close look at her own statements and decided to close the obvious CYA security gap she found. She now tells Dowd:

I think we tell people that they are also part of the system. I mean, the passengers on this plane were a line of defense, the flight crew were a line of defense. So everybody has a shared responsibility here.

So now it appears that passengers are in fact part of “the system.” Funny, I don’t remember that appearing in print before Napolitano’s “the system worked” comment. Has she ever said anything like that before now, when it is entirely convenient? I don’t think so. She continues:

You can’t just say, well, this government department or that government department’s got the whole shebang.

Shebang? Is this supposed to be cutesy?

The fact is, all the government departments failed abysmally and very nearly catastrophically. Not only did they not get the “whole shebang” they didn’t get any of the shebang. In fact the only reason we didn’t have a big she-BANG Christmas day is because the detonator failed.

But I suppose if passengers are now part of “the system” then the system worked. They’re the only part that worked in fact and, coincidentally, the only part not directly controlled by Janet Napolitano and the federal government. Perhaps there is a clue there.

Before we leave this train wreck of an interview, we have to appreciate these lasting words of wisdom from the woman charged with protecting America from terrorism. No doubt these will be carved in marble at some future date:

We have a determined enemy and you can’t put the United States in a big Tupperware container. That’s not our nation. Those are not our values.

Did Steven Wright join the administration along with Kal Penn? He couldn’t be any worse at this job than Janet Napolitano.

You can imagine the hue and cry from the literati at the NY Times if Sarah Palin had said this. As it is, they are still gaga over lines uttered by a Palin impersonator on a TV show. But this is no impersonator. This is Janet Napolitano, the woman responsible for our security:

…you can’t put the United States in a big Tupperware container.

If her party affiliation were R instead of D, Maureen Down would have devoted an entire column to mocking her stupidity. But of course no one at the Times will offer so much as a chuckle about this. Napolitano is one of their own after all.

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Category: Politics |

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