There was a “systemic failure” declared the president yesterday (implying the system set up under George W. Bush). That declaration gets Obama off the hook. It also shows the White House doesn’t understand the problem and doesn’t know how to address it.

When these things happen the “system” will always be the problem. That’s because enemies are dynamic…they adopt, innovate, and improvise. If the system just chugs along eventually they will find a way to beat it. As the crotch bomber did a Christmas Day Detroit bound flight.

Still, politicians like to blame ”systems” because then nobody can be held accountable. Also, then they have something to do—“fix” the system. That’s a politically convenient cop-out. Blame the last guy! Blame the system! Spend more money to “fix” the system and hope the next attack doesn’t happen on your watch. Frankly, that’s what the White House strategy sounds like.

The right answer is stopping the terrorists well before take-off. That means getting as far before the “boom” as possible. The difference between the crotch bomber and the 2006 London-based plot to dispatch teams of “liquid” bombers on international flights to the US could not be more stark. In 2006, intelligence uncovered the plot, Homeland security devised countermeasures, and the bad guys were stopped long before the bomb. In 2009, we just got lucky. This is moving backwards. That’s not the fault of the system. That’s the fault of our leaders.