Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) commented soon after the attempted bombing of an airplane over Detroit that the Obama administration needed to do a better job at connecting the dots regarding terror threats from Yemen:
“People have got to start connecting the dots here and maybe this is the thing that will connect the dots for the Obama administration.”
Think Progress immediately went into attack mode. Not against al-Qaeda or the officials who failed to prevent this near-disaster, but against Hoekstra for “politicizing” the issue. And the left-wing blogosphere responded to the Think Progress whistle, attacking Hoekstra and dismissing the incident as a “joke’ and nothing to “fear.”
With each passing day, as more information about the threats from Yemen comes out, the wisdom of Hoekstra’s statement becomes more clear.
Here is what Maureen Dowd, no fan of Republicans herself, says today about the failure to connect the dots:
If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
Dowd left off the list of disconnected dots that the CIA had received warnings about a Nigerian bomber meeting with al-Qaeda in Yemen, but failed to … connect the dots to this bomber who was Nigerian. Even Obama himself has been forced to acknowledge that there was a systemic breakdown and failure to piece the information together — just as Hoekstra had said.
Only because people like Hoekstra, the press, and now even columnists like Dowd, have pushed forward for the truth is the truth coming out.
The threat to national security arises not only from officials who fail to connect the dots, but from the people who do not want the dots connected if it will be damaging to this administration.
Pete Hoekstra deserves an apology from the people who politicized his statement. Somehow, I doubt we’ll be seeing that soon.
Update: Despite knowing all that we now do about the failures of this administration to connect the dots (by its own admission), we’re still getting commentary like this:
When you are dealing with the current GOP, you simply have to think of the most shamelessly cynical thing they could do or say, and realize that they will in fact do just that. They are completely unhindered by reality and show no allegiance to facts or recent history. They will say or do anything, they know they will not be held accountable by the media or their own party, and that the Democrats don’t have the balls to hit them head on. And when folks like Grayson do, our beltway betters get the vapors.
And it looks like Hoekstra is not waiting for an apology:
And I wonder what Nino must be thinking: Scalia Was Right About Releasing Gitmo Detainees
About That “Firecracker”
Not So Scary Terror?
Terrorist Attacks Plane, Think Progress Attacks Pete Hoekstra