Even as the Obama administration faces continuing fallout from its mishandling of the underwear bomber, it is taking a new hit today on the national security front. The bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, co-chaired by former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and former Republican Sen. Jim Talent, had previously reported: “Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013.”
Now, the commission has issued a report card on how the U.S. government is dealing with this looming threat. Its findings are not reassuring: “Of 17 grades, the report card includes three failing ‘F’ grades on rapid and effective response to bioterrorism; Congressional oversight of homeland security and intelligence; and national security workforce recruitment.”
Granted, this is not all Obama’s fault. Congress shares the blame. To some extent, so does the Bush administration. But Obama can’t continue passing the buck after a year in office. And he has certainly not given these urgent issues the attention they deserve, no doubt because he has preferred to concentrate his first year on addressing health care and climate change — issues that, even the worst-case scenario, will not reach crisis levels for decades to come. Meanwhile, the U.S. remains unnecessarily vulnerable to the most devastating kind of terrorist attack imaginable.