In a mere week and a half, the Obama administration's line on the Christmas Day terror attempt has undergone a remarkable evolution.
The weekend before last, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asserted that Nigerian-born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was acting alone. President Obama described him as "an isolated extremist."
How did they know? They didn't. A few days later, Obama said that al-Qaida "trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America."
On Tuesday came something far more disturbing. Obama said explicitly that U.S. intelligence had reports of Abdulmutallab's ties to al-Qaida prior to the attack, "but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots, which would have placed the suspect on the no-fly list."
If that's true, it's shocking news eight years after 9/11.
Meanwhile, the administration is moving to expand the use of body scanners at U.S. airports, mandate strict scrutiny of air travelers from 14 countries linked with past terrorism and inconvenience ordinary passengers a little more.
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