• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama Tells Woodward: "We Can Absorb Another Terrorist Attack"

    Washington is reveling this week in one of its oldest traditions – dissecting a Bob Woodward book that analyzes the sitting president. While much focus will be given to what one senior official said about another senior official, there is real news that deserves the bulk of the attention. Specifically, President Barack Obama’s shocking statement to Woodward that “we [America] can absorb another terrorist attack.

    He goes on to say: “We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever…we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

    This statement demonstrates our Commander-in-Chief’s cavalier and frightening approach to national security, which apparently is based in the notion our country will ultimately “absorb” terrorist attacks, rather than prevent them.

    Of course, America is a strong and vibrant nation that has proven it can recover from our darkest hours and valiantly defend our freedom. But there is no excuse to accept a situation where we put the lives of innocent Americans at risk. What city or state is the president willing to let “absorb” another attack? Los Angeles? New York? Washington?

    President Obama contention that we have already “absorbed” the attacks of 9/11, and they only made us stronger is also short-sighted. This conclusion is highly insensitive to the countless victims still mourning and the ongoing war still being waged; and sends a signal to terrorists that we may be willing to live with a state of constant threats.

    This notion also naively ignores that the next attack on our nation could be far more destructive than 9/11 and further illustrates Obama has a very shallow and dangerous understanding of the 9/11 attacks, their motive, their impact and the likelihood another devastating attack is on the horizon.

    Early on in his term, President Obama ordered his administration to stop using the term “Global War on Terrorism.” This was alarming. However, this week’s insight should serve as a powerful confirmation that the president does not view national security as his top priority.

    Certain actions of the White House and the Department of Homeland Security over the past two years have led many to question this administration’s commitment to preventing another Islamist terrorist attack on our soil.

    This perception that we can “absorb” another attack must also factor into his decision-making in Afghanistan where he has ignored military advice to increase troop levels and created an artificial date for withdrawal that has emboldened our enemy. He did so because in his own words: “I don’t want to lose the entire Democratic Party.

    President Obama has chosen to dismiss his role as a war-time president instead to focus on a broad-based liberal domestic agenda. Stimulus spending and massive government growth should not get in the way of our government’s ultimate priority of keeping us safe.

    We must not accept that another attack could be “absorbed.” The outcome of our national security policies lay completely on President Obama’s shoulders. It’s time for him to prioritize our domestic security.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Obama Tells Woodward: "We Can Absorb Another Terrorist Attack"

    1. Brad, Chicago says:

      I think you're taking his full statement a little harshly. The first thing the President says in that quote is, "We'll do everything we can to prevent it." That said, whether or not we can "absorb" an attack is irrelevant. We're talking about lives. There should be no such thing as an acceptable loss for the President. Actual military commanders may need to make those hard decisions, but the President should be the staunchest defender of the country, and its people, anywhere. He should have confidence that we can recover from an attack (as he does), but the term "absorb" implies that there will be no pushback against one, no resistance and I disagree with that stance being taken a leader.

      I agree with Glenn Beck that, on 9/12, we came together, as a nation, with a solidarity that is rarely seen. That is the "silver lining" on such a tragedy and to have faith in the American people to come together in that way is commendable in a leader. However, it seems to me that it doesn't take the deaths of thousands of Americans to generate that reaction. It happens anytime we see a disaster. How much money did the people of this country contribute to Haiti after the earthquake, in addition to the $100 million (or was it billion) the government promised? We will come together for any good cause. The President, with all his campaign promises of bringing everyone together, obviously, hasn't offered us any such cause. That is, ultimately, my biggest disappointment in him.

    2. Karen says:

      Obama is a traitor and should be impeached!!!!!

    3. Cynthia Stout, Phoen says:

      I hope he can "absorb" his impeachment proceedings, he needs to be tried as a traitor to the Constitution and the American people.

    4. James says:

      Is he out of his mind? Apparently…

    5. Billie says:

      America cannot be led by such weakness! "we can absorb another terrorist attack?" Only a coward or a threat to human life would say something like that. How low can this man go! We need a leader that respects mankind enough to do his job to protect the lives of mankind especially from enemies mankind is innocent of. We need a leader who would innately make great effort to AVOID another terrorist attack! How dare you put lives in danger. You are intentionally denying us your expected paid duty. Where's the money?? Remove this man. He is an admitted threat to the free lives of humanity.

    6. j, nyc says:

      "We must not accept that another attack could be “absorbed.”" Then who's gonna pick your jaw up off the ground when it does happen. We will be hit again, no security is 100%.

    7. CannuckCol Previousl says:

      While I agree that the atrocity that happened on the 11th of September 2001 was devastating, it IS time to get over it. All this pomp about remembering year after year those who were killed will NOT help you to put it behind you. Growing up in Ulster (aka NORTHERN Ireland) we had over 30 YEARS of such attacks If we were to remember each and every one of them there would more than likely be a memorial day 365 days a year, and remember, there were quite a few Americans who were sending money AND weapons over to my country to help kill and maim my people.

    8. Randy White Emporia says:

      How could we absorb such an attitude in our government. I am deeply offended that any politician would think that it's ok for any American to be injured or killed in a terrorist attack and simply write it off as being absorbed by America. I DON'T THINK SO !

      Thank God that we will have the opporyunity to start the process of cleaning house November 2, 2010.

    9. Detroit19 says:

      Jack***…!!! Why is this narcisist POTUS?? Thanks for protecting us, you idiot!

    10. woody Virginia says:

      He's cavalier because he knows that if we are attacked again it will give him the perfect opportunity to really make change like repeal the 2nd amendment total governmental take over of the economy. And why shouldn't he feel this way look what happened after 911 the country almost fell apart. It caused Bush to Spend and Spend. As I recall everyone had their hand out. Bush had to have the tax cuts or the country would have taken a lot more time to recover (not that it has) I still think about it alot. He is obviously not interested in history. The only way you defeat an enemy is to pound them into submission. Don't let up. Keep on them. Bush understood that some what with Iraq. We couldn't let 911 go unanswered, so we went into Iraq. and almost on Q the crazies came too. and we did them serious damage. And we haven't been hit since. They know blood and we gave them blood. To much of our own but that is what they know. They laugh at passiveness They laugh at sheep.

    11. Savage - MI says:

      He is the worst of the worst. I can hardly believe this man made president. It just behooves me as to why any true American patriot still would want him in office. This administration must have quite some pull with the 'other powers that be' when they don't even acknowledge the petitions to impeach him.

    12. Melissa Valdosta says:

      I don't want to 'absorb another attack. I want to wipe the floor with these bozos. if someone broke into my house i'd shoot them. i would protect me and mine. A man who does not provide for his own family is worse than an infidel. This is our house. it's time to act like it by defending it.

    13. clifford groff, omah says:

      I don't know what the President is smoking, but I don't think it is cigarettes!!!!!!

    14. Bob says:

      What a stupid and insensitive thing to say…..while he makes an issue against someone burning the Koran for fear of reprisal against our soldiers in Afganistan….He is willing to appear as a leader of our nation, puffed up with self-pride, exactly the kind of pride militants are willing to target….and I wonder if all the unemployed would be willing to agree we are a vibrant nation right now….my, my ,my!

    15. Pingback: Save His Presidency? Obama Tells Woodward: “We Can Absorb Another Terrorist Attack” | Iron Mill News Service

    16. Mike Alaska says:

      When it happens, he'll be conviently on vacation.

    17. Richard, USA says:

      Yeah, "“We’ll do everything we can to prevent it" – what a cavalier attitude. Can't he do MORE than everything? You know, like George W Bush did!

      I suppose its useless to point out that Obama wouldn't have to talk about absorbing ANOTHER attack if the previous President hadn't let one happen under his watch. But at least W then went on to squander the world's good will by acting unilaterally. Not antagonizing other countries is not the same as "bowing" to them. That is 2nd grade sandbox thinking.

      Really badly written article; just about every other paragraph in this article contradicts the others.

      "Of course, America is a strong and vibrant nation that has proven it can recover from our darkest hours and valiantly defend our freedom."

      Followed in the NEXT paragraph by: "This conclusion is highly insensitive to the countless victims still mourning and the ongoing war still being waged; and sends a signal to terrorists that we may be willing to live with a state of constant threats." Which is it? As usual with BS "reporting" pieces like this, its whichever is convenient at the moment regardless of logic or the whole picture.

    18. Sheree says:

      No …. he's not out of his mind… on the contrary he is extremely smart…

      He is a muslim – dictator & hates America …. did you expect anything

      different????

    19. Pingback: Obama: “We Can Absorb Another Terrorist Attack” | Renovo Media

    20. Gerri Harkin Tyler H says:

      How could so many people be fooled. Was no one listening? He did not hide what he was during his campaign. Liberals are a weird bunch. You cannot talk to them It's like talking to a cement block. You get no where. So here we are some 20 months later. On our way to becoming no more than any of the European Countries we read and hear about and like to visit. Where is our greatness?. Where is our strength? Who is at the helm? We are adrift in rough seas. And there is no Captain. Just some

      fool, running around apologizing for all the bad we have done and taking us on a journey we don't want to go on. I want America back. I want to live in the country I grew up in and work on the problems that need fixing. I want a Nation "For the people and by the people". Not run by this bunch of Chicago Thugs. Downsize the government and create term limits for the House and Senate. Free enterprise and Capitalism create jobs, not government. Liberals are not about anything but Power for government. They enslave others with their welfare programs. They keep poor people in the ghettos without hope of getting out. Those who have risen up, got educated and are conservatives. I hope we can hang on long enough to get this man out of office. I pray for One nation under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.

    21. John Pummell, Alexan says:

      "We can absorb another terrorist attack"? Tell that to the families who lost loved ones in the last attack. Does the President realize what he just said? Perhaps not.

    22. Mike Farmer Col Ga says:

      I am more concerned about the Criminal Element connected with the Federal Bank & the Bilteberg Group of Criminals & the Tri-lateral Commission & what went down at the Chattam house with Barack Obama.. What do you know about any connection of the members of the Foreign Relations Committee & what is this Dirivities Bubble.

      Do you have any knowledge of the Trillion dollor give-a-way to the Federal Bank and whether or not Obama warned Congress that if the Federal Bank didn't get the money that the Federal Bank would push us into a worse recession. Then if the Federal Bank did get that money, what happened to it? And I wonder if this is all true why isn't there a movement to Impeach the President & bring criminal charges against the Federal Bank?

    23. Lukas85tom says:

      hmmm,Great job.I agree with you.(………..)Thanks..(Daily Breaking News)

    24. Cindy, NC says:

      That's easy for you to say Obama, when your family is tucked away very safely at OUR expense. As for those who say we should forget those who were murdered on 9/11/01, we are civilized here in the United States and we protect the memories of our dead forever.

    25. Kevin H, College Par says:

      Interestingly enough, there has not been a terrorist attack under Obama's watch, yet withing 10 months of President Bush taking over the White House and running the Admistration and becomign Commander in Chief, we suffered the worst terrorist attack in the continental US in our history. Seems to me that one of them is doing a good job. Amazing how GW and his administration never get blamed for dropping the ball so badly on terrorism before 9/11. Funny how Republicans are supposed to be the ones tough on terror, yet they were ones unable to stop the worst attack in our history. It would help if you gusy actually opened your eyes to world and turned off the entertainment channel know as FoxNews. I'm thankful Obama has kept us safe. More than I can say for last Repub president.

    26. frank says:

      What a horrible thing for this so-called leader of this once great nation to say. The really sad part is there is absolutely no one on the radar that seems to want to replace him in 2012. only someone like a Michael savage could truly be the one to get america back to where it belongs.

    27. Jim Kress, USA says:

      I wonder if Obama would feel the same way if the terrorist attack was against him, personally. However, since he is propbably the most protected person in the country, he doesn't have to worry about the consequences of his inane comments. Since he feels America can absorb a terrorist attack, why doesn't he get rid of all his personal protection and then see if he feels HE can absorb a terrorist attack?

    28. Carol,AZ says:

      "We can absorb Another Terrorist Attacks"

      I must point out to the rest of America that on all Border States/ the attack by trans-national groups who are financed and backed by terror organizations goes on every day.

      The message heard loud and clear by this admisnistration, has purposely, with full duplicity/ imposed restrictions for the rule of law over this issue/ that should make all of us shamed to call ourselves Americans.

      What country in the history of the world blocks the rule of law to secure it's own borders?

      To date AZ has received 30 N.G. troops of the 3000 we requested.

      This Govt imposed restriction along with more lawsuits because we are enforcing the rule of law/ has resulted putting all law agencies in further danger.

      The danger that has been allowed to continue /is what we have been saying for over two years.

      You are looking at the enemy /it's our own government.

    29. pj says:

      HE can absorb it because he's got a bunker and a full staff. ;(

      The rest of us poor souls will have to fend for ourselves.

      He's NO leader. I can't figure out if he is just inept or delusional. Maybe both.

    30. Diane, So. SF, CA says:

      Thanks to BIll Clinton, we know what the meaning of the word, "is" is.

      We know from the CNN Bernard Shaw/MIchael Dukakis set-to that Dukakis would not defend Kitty against a rapist.

      Will President Obama kindly explain what he means by "absorb"? For instance, if he had his golf game interrupted with the news that Sidwell Friends School, where his daughters attend, was wiped from the face of the earth by terrorist bombs and all the staff and children, including his own, died – - how well would he absorb that?

      Would he just flash that same Community Organizer smile he gave "Velma" who is devastated at the change she voted for and did not get.

      This man has no soul.

    31. AJ says:

      The very sight of the man angers me, when he appears on any TV that I am watching, I mute the sound & turn away. I find BHO and his administration Despicable!!

    32. Susan, Herndon says:

      Would he still say that if his girls and wife are swept away to a safe place, Himself up in the air with jets fully armed ready for anything and not even he can let any one know where he is not even his family, having no choice to say what's up or down till those in charge say it is safe. His family somewhere else, but not with him. Or God for bid his family members are some of those who are casualities of some terrorist attack? I don't think so. Those families that gave the ultimate sacrifice to the 911 terroist attack I'm sure don't feel as if they have just absorbed it. What a unfeeling, out of touch thing to say, and the President of the United States should be ashamed or get a shot of feelings from someone.

    33. Mary, St. Louis, Mis says:

      I wonder what Americans are willing to be martyred for Obama's future anticipated terrorist attacks. I bet no one. National security is important to all Americans as it is to the president who has secret service to protect him.

    34. Bruce says:

      Do doubt that we can and will survive another attack but the question is simply will it be directed by Obama?

      Will Obama schedule an attack before the elections to keep power in DC by then suspending the internet and declaring martial law??

    35. kyle nierling says:

      NO he needs to increase are air defenses and have security of the american people as his top priority what if there is a nuclear attack in the future that would be the most horrible thing that could and probably will happen we need more icbm disarm defenses like icbm settilites.

    36. Bazza says:

      We should have checked his references that's what we get for hiring unproven people. With a little diligence we would not be in this place with this nit. Never never trust George Clooney or feel good politics again. We need a real leader now before it is to late.

    37. dannyroberts Phoenix says:

      the barn door was open and the horse got out a long time ago

      it is a shame that americans went ahead and trusted this Obama guy.

      his whole life is a scam and all the people he put up in different positions

      of power are all a bunch of left wing idiots, his goal is to redistribute

      the wealth, lower our standard of living, kill as many jobs as possible,

      and have us all look to the government for assistance.i know one thing ,

      i never made any money working for a poor guy. he demonizes the very people that made our country great, the rich don't, as a rule sit on their money,they invest it in expanding companies, start up projects, and create jobs for all of us. his wrong headed thinking is really hurting

      our country. i hope americans wake up in time to stop this fool dead in his tracks come the vote in November.

    38. vicki says:

      YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING… He needs to be impeached. You need to post this one on your main page so others can read it.

    39. Larry Mast says:

      What an idiot !!!!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×