Because no understatement is understated enough for the White House, Power Line points out that the Obama administration refers to the Times Square terrorist attack as “the Times Square Incident”:
that attempted bombing is properly referred to on the White House Web site as “the Times Square incident.” (Is anyone in the White House familiar with The Ox-Bow Incident? You might want to change that to “the Times Square happening” or “the Times Square event.”)
Still, the Obama administration celebrated the “Times Square incident,” as it is delicately called on the White House’s website. It is, the administration believes, a counterterrorism success. After praising the “ordinary citizens” who “were vigilant and reported suspicious activity to the authorities,” President Obama claimed that the attack “failed because these authorities—local, state and federal—acted quickly and did what they’re trained to do.” The Washington Post followed up with an account saying that Shahzad’s swift capture was a “rare moment to celebrate” for beleaguered Attorney General Eric Holder. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs echoed this sentiment, saying, “We want to celebrate the success of, rightly so, of what law enforcement was able to do.”
But success in the war on terror is not apprehending terrorists after their attacks fail. Success is preventing them from attempting the attack in the first place.
The Times Square attack was the third time in the past six months that an individual terrorist with ties to high-level Islamic radicals overseas has launched an attack on the American homeland. In each instance, America’s vast, multibillion dollar intelligence and law enforcement establishment failed to detect the terrorists’ plans beforehand. And in each instance Obama administration officials moved quickly to minimize the significance of the attack and downplay the connections that the attackers had with international terrorists.
Not that the terrorists have been shy about claiming credit:
It wasn’t just the Jaish-e-Mohammed. Leaders of the Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or “Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan”) claimed responsibility for “the recent attack in the USA” in a series of videos. Such claims are hard to prove, of course, and terrorist groups often claim responsibility for attacks in which they had no role to project an aura of power and boost recruitment. But these claims were interesting not only because of their contents but because of the timing of their posting. The first video was posted a day before the attack on an Internet video channel created that same day.
The other two terrorist attacks in the last six months?
- Major Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas
- The second attack came on December 25, 2009, when a Nigerian al Qaeda recruit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, boarded a Detroit-bound plane wearing an underwear bomb
In all three instances, the administration refuses to recognize that we are at war, no matter that even Bill Roggio is receiving emails from
a representative of the Pakistani Taliban, who was notifying me that one of their top leaders had released a tape claiming responsibility for the attempt to murder U.S. citizens in Times Square
It is worth asking why. One gets the impression that somehow the administration thinks it’s a problem to engage in a multi-pronged outreach to the “Muslim World” (We can question the utility of that, but they imagine it’s helpful.) and to identify the actual enemy — which is a segment of that world, namely radical jihadists who just so happen to terrorize and kill a great many other Muslims. It is perhaps out of condescension that the Obama brain trust thinks the distinction will be lost on the worldwide Muslim audience. Therefore, we can’t use the “I” word or the “M” word except in praise.
Identifying the enemy by name also makes it difficult to adhere to the criminal-justice model that the Obama team and its lefty lawyers plainly adore. If there is a network of ideologically motivated, non-state terrorists, then are public trials and dispensing Miranda rights really the way to go?
So let’s keep referring to “incidents”. We wouldn’t want to go against the narrative, would we?