January 5th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 01/05/10

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

We have breaking news on the security failure at Newark Liberty International Airport over the weekend. It's new evidence the system set up to keep us all safe when we fly simply does not work. Plus, Pres. Obama blasts the intelligence community for failures linked the attempted Christmas Day bombing on a U.S. airliner.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. Nancy in Oregon

    I agree, dbrown. It's a lot easier to grandstand and threaten and fire people publicly so you can look 'strong'. I think that's a huge part of what gets the world into so much trouble.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  2. Ann-Virginia

    Why should anybody suddenly not trust the security at airports??Apparently,it's been this bad ever since the 911 commission made recomendations to Bush & he failed to act.This is not President Obama's fault,but yet another mess left for him to clean up.This is not a political situation & those like Palin,Cheney & the rest of the right raising hell about Obama,need to put their country 1st,not their politics.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  3. A. Smith, Oregon

    Good point, there are many entry ways into America. Borders, Harbors also.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  4. Liz

    A large portion of the population returned from holiday this week and I think it was wise to deliver his message now after time to be educated and make a deliberate and informed speach. Refreshing!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  5. Lori

    We need closer monitoring of system success so we can get feedback to catch/fix the system sooner.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Kathy

    It is frightening to think that the president would not cut his vacation short and come back to work to preform his duties as Commander in Chief. As the leader of this nation he should never consider himself on a undistubable vacation

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  7. vic nashville, tn

    Good job Paul Begala

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  8. starr formerly known as vincent

    I also agee with David Gergen, the whole uproar about putting terrorists through our court systems is over blown.

    We are a country that stands for Human Rights! Our system works! To inimate that accused criminals and terrorists can't go through our court system is an insult to the American courts.

    And, if there are concerns that the terrortists may "gandstand", i'm certain that the udge can control the the courtroom and what goes on!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  9. SebastianRothhammer

    More blaim for the airline who sells a cash ticket to a man with no bags on the watch list!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Cessy, Chicago IL

    Democrats vs. Republicans... does it really matter? Just tell me how I can be safe in my country

    maybe there's too many "security committees", no one really knows who's responsible for what!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  11. Nancy in Oregon

    I agree with David Gergen....in human-based systems, you are going to have failures. Learn from them, get better....but never expect perfection. (I would add-Esp. from those you dislike but meanwhile tend to rationalize those of people you do like! We as humans are SO quick to jump on the errors of those we already dislike! and so slow to be equally hard on those we support!)

    January 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  12. Kristi - Chicago, Illinois

    Not the time to point fingers? It is EXACTLY the time to point fingers! If we never point a finger – we will never be able to protect ourselves and our country! This is not a "stumble" on the part of everyone involved....it is a cliff-jump without the parachute! We are not much safer today than we were 8+ years ago. I would say "God help us" if I believed it would help – if I believed there was one.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  13. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    YES! I agree!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  14. Stephanie

    Britain, Spain, Canada, Pakistan and other countries have successfully used their justice system to try terrorists. Why do so many Americans not trust the American justice system? The criticisms are all coming from the Republicans and not from the experts.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  15. Renee

    Like Gergen said we had a favor here. IE: Passengers paying attention to what the heck is going on. Thank goodness a passenger got on this guy.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  16. Patrick

    Haven't we been here before....this is getting so old. I can't believe that this type of thing is still going on and were still failing. This seems like a simple problem of communication breakdown and lack of responsibility from TSA and the government. This should of been a urgent matter since 911. Where is the competency with all these high payid and respected people????

    January 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  17. Kula May Ellison

    Good evening Mr. A.Cooper
    Air lines are getting scary.
    They have no choice ever
    Why take any chances with
    any countries,coming to & from U.S.A. Have it like "Conair" it is going in that
    direction anyways. 😀

    January 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  18. Tanay

    For the first time in 8 years, i am worried about getting on a plane. First we have the attempted Christmas bombing, and now Newark's security cameras were not recording for a week?! Three days after a plane was almost taken down, there is an airport that didn't think security cameras were a priority? It is incredibly naive to think that Newark is the only one in the country that had this little *snafu*. How many more airports aren't keeping up with simple security techniques?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  19. Cassius

    Timely response but Pres. Obama has yet to state the consequences for people entrusted with the safty or so many lives, who perform inadequately, doesn't matter what safty measures are in place if procedures are not followed.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  20. Katia

    Who? Anyway I do admire president Obama, and wish him luck!!!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  21. dbrown

    An immediate balanced response was warranted. Finger-pointing and firings within days of the event is not. As with any failure there has to be adequate time given for investigation. Otherwise, you start blaming only to find later that you were wrong and now look stupid.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  22. Shanny

    A change in figurehead should not motivate or demotivate people who should have been doing their job all along. Bush, Obama and whoever comes next. Doesn't matter. Security is ongoing always. How is this Obama's responsibility?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  23. Dee, Midlothian, Virginia

    Having a airport, and especially Newark, without working security cameras is like arming police with guns with no ammunition. Who oversees the TSA. Looks like there needs to be a major effort to audit them and see what's not being done before some idiot tries to blow up another plane.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  24. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I disagree with Gergen. These people are enemy combatants and they will grandstand when they get their constitutionally protected trials.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  25. Bernie


    It is sad that this African boy tried to kill innocent people. However, what bothers me is that everyone seems to blame the president. What can the president do that his officials do not do.? They did have the info to make it not happen and they failed. I pity those grand standing opponents of the president and he is a single trying to handle many complex situations. So please be kind and just imagine yourself in his place and see what you could have done?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Jerry Weinberg

    He had information! He had too!
    I think it is wrong to cover things up!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  27. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    I think what we are seeing is an Administration full of idealists who think that by being nice guys we will get the same in return. They are naive to a dangerous real world.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  28. Char

    I know that the buck stops at the top but also if the President is supposed to take responsibility for everything that happens then why does he need a staff.? Why are not the people in charge not doing there jobs? It seems to me that everything that happens is blamed on President Obama even when it is not his fault. I never saw so much disrespect for any President ever as the disrespect for President Obama, can you explain that Anderson?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  29. Caroline, Los Angeles

    Do we really have to hear anything from Palin? She's not in office and she's not running for office. She has nothing to do with the decision making process regarding national security.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  30. Emily

    @Jo Ann,

    "I think the elevators are checked more often than these cameras!"

    The elevators and the restrooms no doubts!

    What a sad thought that it....they should all be checked often!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  31. Valerie NYC

    I totally think people should be held accountable. Tough talk sounds fine, Mr. President, however, at the end of the day, I would like to know who screwed up. And if heads have to roll, then be it. How many mistakes and security breaches have we heard of lately yet we know nothing about the consequences fallen on US home security, that is, if there have been any.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  32. David, Indiana

    Good evening Anderson, Erica? Randi Kaye, Isabel, everyone. What was the malfunction in the cameras at Newark airport that could not be repaired as soon as it was discovered?

    How does the info that Mr. AbdulMutallab's father furnished the embassy (an intelligence attache at the embassy?) come to be pieced together with the intercepted al Queda conversation phone? about Umar Farouk? What path would it travel?

    True, a strong response and backing of intelligence officers, as Paul Begala notes is needed, but over the holidays not sending the public into a frenzy is also is a priority.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  33. Penny Coulton

    IMV yes the x-mas bomber was a close call but all the media attention only feeds Al Quaida. Otherwise, it's really only a garden variety cult gone very mean. The leadership gains its identity from the power of being made a world power on a small screen. We should step back, ignore or belittle them an focus on bigger issues like ending world hunger, bringing world peace and curing diseases.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  34. A. Smith, Oregon

    The only ones that didn't fail was the flight crew and the Dutch Hero that helped prevent the deaths of 300 on the plane and a untold number on the ground, remember the plane was over metro-Detroit city.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  35. charlie

    So America can collect intelligence (including intelligence) but not use it. Pretty much what Churchill said and what much of hte world believes

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  36. Doug

    Why should we be surprised that a President who takes months to make any decision should expect, let alone inspire, the goverment bureaucracy below him to have any sense of urgency. We voted for change and calm and that is what we have.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  37. Jane

    I don't want to hear what Sarah Palin has to say.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  38. Shanny

    I would rather train someone up than fire them and start over. No one got bombed. The plane landed safely. Learn from the mess and move on. Why start anew?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  39. Paul

    I agree with Paul Begala. The president should have taken responsibility, being commander-in-chief. He should then move to fix the system and address the problem by firing those who were amiss in their responsibilities. Otherwise, this situation may happen again, and that's not very good for the United States. Lives are at stake here.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  40. Amanda

    Hi Anderson,
    Thanks for always keeping it real. It's absolutely time for some officials to get fired. I'm all for it!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  41. Dee, Midlothian, Virginia

    Why is the TSA person who did not stop the Newark guy from circumventing the secuity check not fired? I heard that person was "reassigned". There's only one duty at that post... it's to keep people from going through that exit corridor. What's the scoop?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  42. Emily

    @Jo Ann,

    "Wasn't that one of the issues addressed in the 911 hearings? Who was in charge of making sure that was happening?"

    It was set up by the HLS Director Tom D. when he was still there was it not?
    It's run by the HLS dept is it not?

    It sounds like it was Never set up!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  43. A. Smith, Oregon

    President Obama should ask a large number of CIA supervisors to Resign immediately or be removed.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  44. Lori

    Is there a maintenance and operation plan that should be carried out on a regular basis to insure that security facilities are functioning properly?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  45. charlie

    I would rather see the President make statement after enough time has passed and reviews taken place that one could reasonably believe he is properly informed. Same goes for firing people, presumably soem careers have been damaged and soem may be fired but to do that reactively is just immature.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  46. Shubha Kumar

    Why has'nt Janet Napolitani been sacked yet? She needs to go..

    January 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  47. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)


    I agree with you that the vacation should have been interrupted with an issue so serious!

    January 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  48. Sharon Hastings

    What does Sarah Palin have to do with any of this? She didn't even finish her commitment to her own state.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  49. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Brennan is on record when he was part of Obama's campaign as saying we needed to 'dial back' the intrusive intelligence operations due to civil liberty concerns. The Administration has also cut the budget of some of the intel groups who's job it is to 'connect the dots'.

    January 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  50. A. Smith, Oregon

    Where is the video of the Amsterdam security cameras on the Nigerian bomber going thru their security gates? What's the official spin on why that hasn't YET been released?

    January 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
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