Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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President Obama's Call for new reforms within his Intelligence Agencies

Saturday, January 9, 2010

After returning from his Hawaiian vacation over the holidays, President Obama is still answering questions regarding the botched December 25 terror bombing of a U.S. bound jetliner. In a deliberate move, President Obama is calling on major reforms because of the attack.  He is now stipulating the need for more accountability within his staff and the agencies that should be taking measures to protect U.S. citizens.  But again, President Obama believes that he holds the ultimate responsibility.
So who is responsible for the near tragic fate of the people aboard the airliner? A Nigerian national by the name of Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab at age 23 was responsible. He was carrying explosives in his underwear and tried to detonate the explosives when his plan that originated from Amsterdam, Netherlands was making its final approach to Detroit, Michigan on Christmas day. Instead of detonating, a fire started in his seat.
Obama sighted problems that contributed to the government's failure to prevent the attack. Intelligence officials knew that there was an al Qaeda organization in Yemen that had intentions to strike the United States, and that they were preparing people to carry out attacks. The  U.S. government was aware of this.  But there was no deliberate follow up with the information that was known. Obama also sights that in the analysis phase, there was no connection with the intelligence to indicate that there was an issue.  This seemed to all contribute to irregularities in the U.S. watch-listing system which resulted in the bomber not added to the no-fly list.
What is sad about the intelligence community, was that they had all the major pieces on the table, but failed in order to put it together and realize the seriousness of the situation. A six-page summary reported that the U.S. has enough information on what was about to happen, but did not respond. This seems to be dreadfully similar to what President Bush experienced with his Central Intelligence agency in the days and hours before the bombings on 911.
So how is President Bush addressing the issue? Through immediate reforms such as the following:
First, he ordered the intelligence community to assign specific responsibility to individuals to pursue all leads on specific high-priority threats. "We must follow the leads that we get, and we must pursue them until plots are disrupted. And that means assigning clear lines of responsibility," he said.
Second, intelligence reports will be distributed more widely and quickly, he added.
Third, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair will overhaul current intelligence analysis efforts.
Fourth, the government will strengthen the criteria used to add people to its terrorist watch lists, particularly the no-fly list.
Watch President Obama explain what happened and the steps he has already implemented to correct the problem.


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