Blaming the Victim

America now seems to be a nation who wants to accept blame when she is attacked.  When a terrorist recently attempted to blow up a commercial airliner over U.S. airspace the immediate journalistic response was to question U.S. intelligence agencies.  Some news headlines read: “The System Failed,” and “Why Didn’t National Security See It?”  World News with Diane Sawyer[1] focused not on the attack or American security but on Israeli airport detection measures.  Sawyer totally ignored the attempted terrorist attack on America to cast aspersions on Israel’s counter-terrorism measures.  The New York Times reasoned that the CIA’s data collection could be compared to search results on Google.[2] “If Google can find information, the CIA should be able to find information!” was the suggestion.  The Times’ comparison of an internet search engine to classified national security protocols is foolish.

Richard Bolton, former U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, stated that America’s first line of defense is her intelligence community.  Bolton described the bureaus such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency as operating on trust.  However, the White House immediately suggested that U.S. intelligence was suspect.  “The attempt to bomb an airliner could have been prevented,” the President said, adding, “This . . . was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”[3] So now internal accountability reviews monitored by The White House have been instituted.  Micro-management from the administration causes the CIA and NSA to look over their shoulder instead of looking at the intelligence.

These and other responses have helped to drive morale in the intelligence community to new lows.  The present climate in Washington punishes risk-taking.  CIA Director Leon Panetta warned, “If they start to use these issues as political clubs to beat each other up . . . , that’s when . . . this country pays a price.”  Panetta continued, “We now have intelligence agencies whose unofficial motto is . . . ‘cover your rear.’”[4]

Obviously if failures in gathering intelligence occurred, these need to be rectified.  Discovering gaps in terrorist coverage is crucial to stop those intending to harm us.  However, we should not focus on failure.  We should focus on outside forces seeking America’s destruction.  Adversaries of our nation will not stop their attempts at killing us.  So attacking the very agencies that seek to protect us does not serve our national interests.  “Be sure our covert operatives will stop you” should be a public statement to our world.

If a nation or terrorist faction attacks a country, the operative name for such a group would be “enemy.”  There are a number of reasons why Americans may be reticent to speak in such combative terms.  But America is at war.  It is beyond the scope of common sense to suggest we turn the spotlight away from America’s enemies to blame the victim: America.  Of this I am certain: I say “thank you” to all those working for American intelligence agencies who have and continue to keep us safe since 9-11.   For Prime Time America, this is Dr. Mark Eckel, personally seeking truth wherever it’s found.

Blaming the Victim, Moody Radio Commentary, February 2010

Dr. Mark Eckel, Professor of Old Testament, Crossroads Bible College


[1] http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=3&x_outlet=1&x_article=1782

[2] www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/opinion/02sat1.html?hp

[3] Karen DeYoung and Michael A. Fletcher, The Washington Post 6 January 2010, A01.

[4] www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jan/11/obamas-havoc-to-the-intel-system

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