"This was a screw-up that could have been disastrous," the commander in chief said.
The White House took the uncommon step of releasing that this-will-not-stand quote from a room where the secrecy usually is fiercely protected. Obama went on to say, according to the distributed account: "We dodged a bullet, but just barely. ... While there will be a tendency for finger-pointing, I will not tolerate it."Tough language, but where will it lead?
Words are not enough. What people want is action.
Five times now since a man linked to al-Qaida allegedly tried to blow up the Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day, Obama has updated the nation. His message is one of a president determined for people to see he is in charge, demanding results and willing to call out his own government's flaws.
All this comes after some grumbles about a slow initial response on the part of Obama, who was in Hawaii on vacation and first spoke about the incident three days after it happened.