President Obama has stated that he was less interested in passing out blame than in correcting mistakes, and he has made it clear that senior intelligence officials would be overseeing the reforms rather than looking for new jobs. However, it is clear that without accountability there is no impetus to prevent failures from recurring as is evidenced by this latest debacle.
Therefore, in spite of measures taken over the years reacting to whatever the latest threat (i.e. taking off shoes, allowing no liquids then allowing only four ounces of liquid), nothing has truly changed regarding air travel safety. Most importantly, nothing has changed in the way our multi-billion dollar intelligence apparatus works to protect the public. Washington continues to respond the way it always does, wasting tax dollars, this time proposing potential health-threatening, full body scanners in reaction to this last attack.
Post 9/11, billions of tax dollars have been thrown at programs and additional bureaucratic layers, such as the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), DHS and the NCTC. This wasteful spending only pretends to protect us. It does not fix what is really broken, which is the bloated bureaucracy that prevents people from properly doing their jobs and fails to fire those who are inept.
President Obama said, "The buck stops with me. I am responsible."
Real accountability, from the top down is imperative. Unless people are fired for their incompetence, this statement is meaningless. Individuals who failed in their jobs need to be held accountable and fired, that's what "the buck stops here" means.
Lorie Van Auken
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