Homeland Security, intelligence ‘vigilant’ on al Qaeda, James Clapper (video)
During a news press conference held yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs introduced John Brennan to speak on Homeland Security and intelligence regarding the threat of terrorism during the holiday season. John Brennan serves as President Obama’s Chief Counterterror and Homeland Security Advisor. He spoke during the press conference and stated, “ We remain vigilant to attempts by al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to carry out cowardly attacks against innocent men, women and children. And we are working very closely with other governments to share all threat information immediately and to coordinate closely our counterterrorism and security activities. These international partnerships are critically important to our ability to identify would-be terrorists and to thwart their plans before they are able to act.”
There is no doubt that fears of terrorism are at a peak, especially in light of last Christmas’ underwear bomber. The statement by John Brennan, however, lost some of its assurance as news regarding a discrepancy between Britain and the National Director of Intelligence James Clapper has come to light.
James Clapper spoke during a televised interview that he was unaware of a terrorist arrest that had taken place just 12 hours prior to his interview in Britain. James Clapper’s team is stating that it was a simple glitch but more questions are asked as to how the man who leads 16 intelligence agencies was unaware of the arrests.
During yesterday’s press conference, John Brennan was asked to speak on the issue, specifically how the Director of National Intelligence was unaware of the 12 British arrests. John Brennan answered, “We are in constant contact with the British — we were since the beginning of this takedown of the individuals in Britain — to work with them closely to find out whether or not there’s any nexus here to the homeland, find out what we can about their motivations, intentions and where their operational planning was going. So that is ongoing.
Jim Clapper is, I think, the consummate DNI. He was working on developments in the Korean Peninsula in terms of political and military developments. He was focused on trying to provide support to the Congress as far as the START treaty deliberations were concerned. He was engaged in a variety of classified matters.
Should he have been briefed by his staff on those arrests? Yes. And I know there was breathless attention by the media about these arrests and it was constantly on the news networks. I’m glad that Jim Clapper is not sitting in front of the TV 24 hours a day and monitoring what’s coming out of the media. What he is doing is focusing on those intelligence issues that the President expects him to focus on, and to make sure that we don’t have conflict in different parts of the world. He continues to focus on those.
And his not being briefed yesterday afternoon — this is something that they’ve acknowledged that he should have been briefed on. They’ve taken steps to correct that now, and if that happens again I’m sure that he is going to be au courant as far as a takedown overseas.”
You may see the video where ABC’s Diane Sawyer stumps Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in the video player to the left.
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