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Oliver North
Oliver North
2 May 2013
Being Presidential

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The Problem With the NFL


WASHINGTON — NFL. Not the National Football League — the "no-fly list." Here's what you need to know about it: It doesn't work. No matter what the Obama administration claims, putting a name on the "NFL roster" doesn't mean an Islamic terrorist can't buy an airline ticket and get on a commercial airline flight.

The NFL didn't work on Christmas Day to stop Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underpants bomber, from getting aboard a flight to Detroit while wearing his defective homemade bomb. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially said the attempt to bring down a commercial airliner had been "foiled" and described the Nigerian terrorist as a "lone wolf" who "slipped through" the security net. None of that was true. President Barack Obama refused to call the botched bombing an act of Islamic terror but eventually acknowledged a "systemic failure" in airline security procedures and pledged immediate "repairs." They haven't worked.

Four months on, the "fixes" to the NFL didn't stop Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square May Day bomber, from paying cash for a one-way ticket to Pakistan, getting a boarding pass and taking a seat on an Emirates airlines flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport two days after his car bomb failed to detonate. In Iraq and Afghanistan, our troops call these kinds of merciless weapons VBIEDs — vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. They call the people who make them terrorists.

The morning after the Times Square VBIED was hauled away by the New York Police Department's bomb squad, Napolitano called the then unnamed suspect a "one-off." Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., described him as a "lone wolf." Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., postulated that the Pakistani-born naturalized American bomb builder was motivated by a cartoon show on television. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested the bomber was "a mentally deranged person" who "doesn't like the health care bill or something." They were all wrong.

The O-Team, distracted by accusations that it was slow in responding to the Gulf Coast oil spill and flooding in Tennessee that killed scores and cost billions in property damage, was caught flat-footed. On May 3, while NYPD officers and FBI agents were racing to find the Times Square bomber, Obama promised, "We're going to do what's necessary to protect the American people, to determine who is behind this potentially deadly act and to see that justice is done." As we have come to expect from this president, there was no mention of the attempted bombing's being Islamist terror.

The first administration official to describe Faisal Shahzad as a terrorist was Attorney General Eric Holder.

He used the terms "act of terrorism," "terrorist," "terrorist attack" and "terrorist plot" eight times in the May 4 news conference announcing that Shahzad had been arrested. In keeping with O-Team policy, he made no mention of an Islamist connection, only a reference to "a constant threat from those who wish to do us harm simply because of our way of life."

Holder did credit the NYPD, FBI and Customs and Border Protection for "doggedly" tracking the evidence that led to Shahzad's arrest. He and Obama also commended the street vendor who first reported the bomb-laden SUV smoldering in Times Square. But we now know that Shahzad's name had been placed on the NFL more than 14 hours before he boarded his escape flight and that he managed to give FBI agents who were tailing him "the slip" between his home in Connecticut and Kennedy Airport. He was caught minutes before takeoff only because an alert CBP agent "double-checked" the passenger manifest just minutes before Emirates Flight 202 took off.

The O-Team officials who initially dismissed Abdulmutallab and Shahzad as isolated threats are the same ones who refuse to acknowledge their links to radical Islam. These same officials are no doubt grateful that Islamist tutors failed to teach either terror student how to make an effective detonator for a bomb. But these are also the very bureaucrats who assured us that "passenger screening problems" would be solved after the attempted Christmas Day bombing. Now they tell us that "new procedures" requiring airlines to check their manifests against the NFL within two hours of takeoff will fix things. Don't believe it.

Holding airlines accountable for keeping terrorists from flying into, out of or around the U.S. is dangerous. U.S. intelligence services aren't about to share sensitive information about suspects like Abdulmutallab or Shahzad with airline ticket agents, nor will airlines run the risk of being sued for "profiling" their customers to keep potential terrorists out of the air. The Transportation Security Administration was created to fulfill this mission — not just to run metal detectors and X-ray machines and to hassle passengers at airport "security checkpoints."

TSA must be made fully responsible for determining who gets aboard a flight originating in or landing in the U.S. That's a tall order for an administration unable to figure out who our enemies really are, while it prosecutes Navy SEALs such as Matthew McCabe for "roughing up" an Islamic terrorist who murdered Americans. We can only hope the O-Team gets it right before radical Islamists start making detonators that work.

Oliver North is the host of "War Stories" on Fox News Channel, the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance, and the author of "American Heroes." To find out more about Oliver North and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



3 Comments | Post Comment
This was such well written piece Lt.Col.Oliver North I did my first big case for a military officer all I did was sort the facts and curse the media and say your evil minds will not succeed God will not allow them to prevail. Unless the Government does not stop toying with the High Ranking Marines, army, Airmen and guard they are going to be fair game we do have the best and most intelligent military in the Country that's why Regan was so prosperous he had you Military Officers in there protecting us. So why does the O-Team have so many amateurs on his cabinet I call them flippy floppies. They go either way makes them look like they have done the right maneuver. I love the respect Reagan gave our boys and girls in the service and armed forces. I am ready to leave the country because of the insecure feeling I get with this President.. My God an Underpants Bomber what next the boy lit his testicles up and now he's in prison. Security threats need to be checked. Leatherneck Mommy loves you. Guardian Angel protect Oliver with your power wings. I'd like to work for you. I think America couldn't stand to see and feel the real man come alive and zap in the Underpants
Sonnie Crawford
Bluemont, Virginia
Comment: #1
Posted by: Sonnie Crawford
Thu May 6, 2010 10:33 PM
Dear Col North,
My wife Gail Eldridge is in Jail because of Proacutional Miss-conduct. You and Gail worked together on a CIA project moving money to South America. I have wrote several newspapers and nobody with print it. It seams that everybody is afraid of the justice department. Are you afraid of the Justice Department? Can you help Gail? She would help you.
Letters to the Editor
In the state of Georgia like many other states we are furloughing school staff, teachers, School Bus Technicians & school bus drivers. In Washington, DC it is reported that 17 employee's alleged offenders of porn sites were senior SEC officers whose salaries range from $100,000.00 to $222.000.00 per year. And another SEC accountant attempted to access porn Sites 16,000 times in a month. All this wasted money could help Georgia and other states keep the schools open.
What other departments are failing to do their jobs?
The Attorney General Eric Holder Delivered a speech on February 18th 2010 to Indigent Defense Attorneys telling them how he has instructed his staff to ensure a fair trial. He said, “Although they stand on different sides of an argument the prosecution and defense can and must share the same objectives. Not a Victory but Justice”.
While he speaks “fair trial” his US Attorney's are doing the opposite. One of them sent a letter to the defense with, “Dear Numb Nuts” In the same case the US Attorney used government money to bring a well know Native America Chief to NY, found out he was going to speak in behalf of the defendant, sent him back with out letting him testify. The Judge was allegedly involved in this deception.
With Government Departments operating like this no wonder Obama is in trouble. I understand EPA is now having problems as well.
Capt Bob
Robert R. Eldridge
1123 Washington Ave
Woodstock, GA 30188
Comment: #2
Posted by: Bob Eldridge
Fri May 7, 2010 7:26 AM
In the movie South Pacific there was a song with the lyrics "if you don't have dream,how you gonna have a dream come true?" obama has dreams from his father about repaying the english for percieved insults.Done on the world stage. establish a socialist state, half way there.spread islam can't do that by obstucting homocidal maniacs with muslim teaching and training.
Comment: #3
Posted by: CLYDE
Sat May 8, 2010 3:51 PM
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