Saturday, January 02, 2010

Napolitano, in context

After the would-be Christmas bomber story broke, Janet Napolitano took to the airwaves to declare that "the system worked." Some Democrats are claiming, falsely, that this statement was taken "out of context." Here is the original statement, made during an interview on CNN with Candy Crowley, in full context:

Her statement is:
What we're focused on is making sure that the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel. One thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight. We instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas, both here in the United States and in Europe where this flight originated. So, the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly. [Emph. added.]
She said that the system worked in the context of telling passengers that they should be "confident" that air travel "remains safe" and then explaining all the ways that, in her opinion, the system worked. (In saying this, it doesn't occur to her that the intelligence gathering failed, the maintainers of the no-fly list failed, and the airport screening failed.)

Some on the left are in denial. Rachel Maddow claims that "that Republicans are attacking [Napolitano] for saying something she never actually said" when, of course, she did say it.

Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent uses a creative approach. To defend his claim that Napolitano's was quoted "out of context," he provides a quote but not from the CNN interview above. He quotes her from a different interview on a different network (ABC). Ackerman's scam is repeated at Beliefnet, DemocraticUnderground, and NonSequitur.

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