Thursday, January 7, 2010

Obama takes responsibility for Intelligence failures - "We are at War"

(NYT).“We are at war,” Mr. Obama said in remarks from the White House State Dining Room. While he promised not to “succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices” America’s civil liberties for security, he called for the immediate strengthening of the nation’s terrorism watch lists by expanding the criteria for adding people to those lists.

“In the never-ending race to protect our country, we have to stay one step ahead of a nimble adversary,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s what these steps are designed to do.”

The president said intelligence reports involving threats to the United States would be distributed more widely among agencies.

“We must follow the leads that we get and we must pursue them until plots are disrupted,” Mr. Obama said. “We can’t sit on information to protect the American people.”

The president said the missteps were not the fault of one individual or one agency. He took responsibility for the failures, saying: “The buck stops with me.”