8 Jan 2010

Obama: "We Are at War"

President Obama Thursday afternoon publicly called for the intelligence community to do better in the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt. In the process, he offered a response to critics on the right who have complained that he has not used rhetoric indicating the seriousness of the situation. "While passions and politics can often obscure the hard work before us, let's be clear about what this moment demands," the president said. "We are at war."

The president went on to say that while America will strengthen its defenses, "we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans, because great and proud nations don't hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust."
"That is exactly what our adversaries want," he said. "And so long as I am president, we will never hand them that victory." CBS News

Nice speech, but:

Meanwhile, Janet Napolitano, Obama's secretary for homeland security, said on Thursday that she would travel to Spain this month to meet her foreign counterparts to seek tougher international aviation security measures.

She also told reporters that the US was scheduled to deploy 300 additional advanced imaging scanners at US airports this year and may deploy even more machines.

US authorities have already imposed stricter screening regulations for US-bound airline passengers from Yemen, Nigeria and 12 other countries, including possible full-body pat-downs, searches of carry-on bags, and full-body scanning. Al Jazeera