Giuliani Isn't So Good At Seeing "Red Flags."

There's been a sort of weird phenomenon that's developed in the wake of Dick Cheney and the torture wing of the Republican Party emerging as the preeminent national security faction of the GOP: Any Republican criticism of President Obama on national security grounds, regardless of background on the subject, is news. Newt Gingrich criticized Obama? Scoop!

But it's truly weird that somehow, Rudy Giuliani remains credible on the issue of terrorism:

President Obama first addressed the issue from his vacation spot in Hawaii three days after the attempted attack, calling for a complete review of the incident and the country's airline security policies. He then gave a public assessment of those reviews in a statement Tuesday, saying they had uncovered that "U.S. intelligence had uncovered numerous "red flags" prior to the attack."

I just feel like maybe, given Giuliani's recommendation of a corrupt felon for secretary of homeland security who also happened to be one of his close friends, the man shouldn't be lecturing anyone on "missing red flags."

The crux of Giuliani's recommendation seems to be typically without substance:

"All this is ten days too late," Giuliani said. "This something you react to immediately. Not after your vacation. The president of the United States, when there is a potential massive attack on the country, should have been on top of it immediately."

Leaving aside the fact that Bush took a week to respond to the shoe bomber, this man set himself on fire while allegedly trying to blow up a plane and was neutralized by a group of unarmed civilians. The point of terrorism is to terrorize; having the president rush to give a dramatic public response to every wannabe terrorist who fails to actually carry out their mission would carry out al-Qaeda's objectives in the absence of actual success.

-- A. Serwer

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