George Pataki's Times Square bomb plot nonsense
I have grown weary of folks trying to claw political advantage out of (near) tragedy. Of course, I'm talking about the Times Square scare and the jockeying by Democrats and Republicans. We had House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) inappropriately crowing that Democrats were "more successful" than Republicans in fighting terror. And the Republicans have made a sport out of trying to show that President Obama and his administration are willingly sacrificing the U.S. of A. Case in point: former New York Gov. George Pataki (R).
There he was seated across from me on "Morning Joe" yesterday when he rightly praised the good work of the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies, but then he blamed the Obama administration's policies for pretty much everything, from Faisal Shahzad's parking illegally on 45th Street to his booking an escape flight to Pakistan.
"We should never have gotten to this point," Pataki said. "Now, I understand you can't stop everything in its tracks, but we have to do far better. And I think a number of the policies of this administration just weaken our efforts to protect ourselves from terror." When host Joe Scarborough push backed saying, "We live in an open and free society. I don't understand what you're saying," I said, "Yeah." So, the man who was presiding over the Empire State on 9/11 set out to explain.
"Well, let me tell you one thing," Pataki began,
we were lucky in Times Square. We were lucky with the Christmas Day bomber on the airplane. We were very unlucky with the Fort Hood shooter. The guy on the Christmas Day plane should never have been given Miranda warnings. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad shouldn't be tried in a civilian court. They should not have ended the policy of the prior administration that allowed monitoring of overseas phone calls when one of the individuals is suspected of terrorism. These are all policies that didn't hurt us as a free society but that made us safer than the policies the Obama administration has in place today.
You couldn't see it on television, but my eyes were rolling faster than a hot dog cart down Broadway. Pataki threw in everything but the kitchen sink. And none of it fit together.
Anyway, we're always lucky when a plot is discovered or foiled. And Pataki's broadside ignores all the plots and conspiracies that are monitored and thwarted out of public view on (perhaps) a daily basis. Those phone calls that Pataki thinks would have cracked the conspiracy before it got off the ground would have required Shahzad to already have been deemed a suspected terrorist. No one knew who this cat was until his myriad Inspector Clousseau-like mistakes allowed authorities to snatch him a mere 53 hours after he left his Nissan Pathfinder smoldering on 45th Street. I suppose Pataki would like an all-seeing government where "criminals are caught before the crimes they commit" as depicted in Tom Cruise's 2002 movie "Minority Report." This is where GOP lectures about reducing the size of government and its intrusion in our lives hit a wall.
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