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President Obama told his Cabinet and national security team today that the failed Christmas Day bombing aboard a U.S. jetliner shows "the system has failed."
"The bottom line is this: The U.S. government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot and potentially disrupt the Christmas Day attack, but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots, which would have placed the suspect on the no-fly list," the president told the press gathered at the White House after today's meeting.
"In other words, this was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had. The information was there, agencies and analysts who needed it had access to it, and our professionals were trained to look for it and to bring it all together."
"That's not acceptable, and I will not tolerate it," he added.
So, who's responsible for the intelligence failures? Tonight on 360°, we're looking at where the system failed and naming names.
There's another troubling reality for the White House. It revealed yesterday that there was a third crasher at the State Dinner last year. We've discovered that title goes to Carlos Allen, a DC party prompter. Allen got in by mingling with the delegation of the Indian Prime Minister.
Sally Quinn of the Washington Post wrote an article about it in today's Washington Post. She says it's time for accountability at the White House.
"One of the first lessons any administration need to learn is that somebody has to take the hit for whatever goes wrong. If another culprit is not identified , the president gets the blame. One incident after another in the past few months has shown that members of this administration would rather lay low and let Barack Obama be the target. This has to stop, " Quinn wrote.
Do you agree? Share your thoughts below.
Anderson will talk with Sally Quinn tonight and CNN National Security Contributor Fran Townsend, former national security adviser to Pres. George W. Bush.
Tonight we also kick off a special series we're calling "What's Next." With the new year upon us we're getting out our crystal ball and talking with some of the leaders in science, technology, health and the arts to see what they think will be the things to look for in the coming decade.
We'll talk with Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway scooter. Get ready for some fun, our floor crew will be riding around in Segways. Let's hope no one gets hurt.
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then!
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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