While she was making the rounds of the talk shows yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that "our system worked" since, "everybody reacted the way they should.". Our Homeland Security Department secretary was clearly on the defensive, evading or otherwise side-stepping question after question.
On "Meet the Press" she failed to say whether whether the terrorists' ability to sneak an explosive on board represented a failure to the system and she failed to say whether the failure to put those who are on the TIDE list onto the "no fly" list represented a lapse in the security system.
Her response? "Well, this is the way it works," she said. The Secretary didn't have her priorities straight. At this point in time she wanted us to believe that in her estimation, those involved in defending our homeland following the established protocols. Time will, it is hoped, tell whether the department and those under it responded appropriately but her main priority and her focus should be directed to the establishment and implementation of procedures that would deprive would-be terrorists from the chance to bring airplanes filled with passengers down.
Some conservatives, most notably Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic and Jonah Goldberg at The National Review, have called for her resignation. At this point I don't see what she has done that warrants her removal. Napolitano is at worst, guilty for being politically obtuse and behaving as a defensive bureaucrat. She was not responsible for the lapses in failure that preceded this incident. That lies with the officials who were screening passengers who boarded the plane in Lagos and Amsterdam.