Pistole the latest official to send mixed messages
Obama administration officials spent the weekend sharing different comments on airport security, the latest example of the president and Cabinet secretaries sending mixed messages on policy or politics to the American public.
John S. Pistole, head of Transportation Security Administration acknowledged Sunday that his agency's new screening procedures are "invasive" and "uncomfortable" but told CNN that the agency would not change its policy.
Hours later, he back-pedaled, saying in a statement that screening should be as minimally invasive as possible and that TSA is constantly evaluating and adapting security measures.
Why the change? Well, souring public opinion had something to do with it (did you see the devastating "Saturday Night Live" sketch about TSA?).
And Pistole must have missed President Obama saying Saturday that he wasn't happy with the intrusive nature of the pat-downs. He regularly asks advisers whether there are "less intrusive" ways to screen for potential threats, Obama said. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
And on the same morning Pistole was vowing to keep the policy in place on CNN, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was providing a lukewarm defense on other Sunday shows.
"If there is a way to limit the number of people who are going to be put through surveillance, that's something that I'm sure could be considered," she told CBS's "Face the Nation." "Everybody is trying to do the right thing, and I understand how difficult it is and how offensive it must be for the people going through it."
Then, when asked if she would endure a pat-down, Clinton answered with a laugh: "Not if I could avoid it. I mean, who would?"
And the White House wonders why it's in trouble? This is only the latest example of Obama administration failing to sing from the same song sheet and paying for it later. Let's review:
-- Hours after the failed Christmas Day bombing attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano insisted "the system worked" in stopping a Nigerian man from blowing up his underwear on a Detroit-bound plane. Within hours, the administration recanted, admitting it could have done a better job. Weeks of criticism ensued.
-- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar vowed to "keep the boot on the neck" of BP after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Within days, the president and other officials scaled back the rhetoric, Salazar slinked into the background and public confidence in the government's response sank.
-- White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs earned the ire of House Democrats when he said their House majority was in doubt and that it would take "strong campaigns by Democrats" to avert dramatic losses. Gibbs proved correct, but not after he went out of his way to express confidence in the party's electoral chances.
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
• Clues to stubborn secret in CIA's backyard: "Kryptos," the sculpture nestled in a courtyard of the agency's Virginia headquarters since 1990, is a work of art with a secret code embedded in the letters that are punched into its four panels of curving copper.
• Pentagon: New facility speeds NKorean nuke ability: Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he doesn't believe the facility is part of a peaceful nuclear energy program.
• Air Force mixes up bidding data sent to tanker rivals: It mistakenly gave rival companies sensitive information that contained each other's confidential bids in a long-standing, multibillion dollar competition to build a new refueling tanker.
• The few. The proud. The problem. Can the Corps' warrior ethos accept openly gay Marines?: A Sunday Outlook essayist thinks yes, they can.
• Unspent stimulus tough to retrieve: GOP candidates talked about cutting spending by canceling as much as $300 billion of unspent stimulus funds. But Republicans preparing to take control of the House in January are already finding that far less can be clawed back.
• FBI visit exposes trade-probe tactics: The agency's attempt to pressure an independent analyst to record his calls with a client offers a window into how the government is trying to build what could become one of the most far-reaching insider-trading cases ever.
• IRS looks for people owed refund checks: It's looking for taxpayers who are due to receive a combined $164.6 million in the form of 111,893 refund checks that were returned to the IRS by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE:
• A park ranger is shot in Utah: Officers swarmed a rugged canyon west of Moab on Saturday searching for a man who shot and critically wounded a park ranger.
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT:
• OPM refuses to say how long it takes to hire someone: Ask us again in January, the agency said, once again blowing off reporter questions.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE:
• Postal Service fails to reach agreements with unions: It failed to reach new agreements with two of its largest labor unions Saturday, agreeing to continue negotiations with one while reaching an impasse with the other.
| November 22, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Administration, Eye Opener
Save & Share: Previous: 'Don't ask, don't tell' to be released earlier than planned
Next: Chaffetz to stay with Oversight Committee
Posted by: jimcraib | November 22, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Toshadow | November 22, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sjcsando | November 22, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dadofkmm | November 22, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dadofkmm | November 22, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: brnfream2 | November 22, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: hebe1 | November 22, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Misty630 | November 22, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: brnfream2 | November 22, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 22, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: cybernaut | November 22, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: happyid | November 22, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: saintpeterii | November 23, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse