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Assessment Obama: 'Systemic Failure' Aided Attack Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Obama: 'Systemic Failure' Aided Attack

Speaking for the second day from his Hawaiian holiday, President Obama said the near-bombing of a plane on Christmas represents "a systemic failure, and I consider that totally unacceptable," and emphasized the importance of learning from the fiasco. The president said the reviews he ordered "began on Sunday and are now under way," emphasizing the urgency of examining Homeland Security flaws—though he did vocalize his continued support of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has come under fire for her response to the attack. Obama chastised intelligence agencies for failing to share information; if compiled, a fuller "picture of the subject would have emerged" that perhaps would have helped prevent the fiasco. He ended by thanking security workers for their "extraordinary" efforts and promising to "insist on accountability on every level."

December 29, 2009 11:54 AM