- The Washington Times - Friday, April 26, 2013

President Obama must be held accountable for the Boston bombings. Instead, Mr. Obama and his media allies are desperately trying to deflect blame for the horrendous atrocity. Yet the fact remains that the bombings were the most devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Mr. Obama’s job — his No. 1 priority as commander in chief — is to keep Americans safe. He failed — dismally. No amount of spin or dissembling can change this.

The liberal elite is portraying the bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as “lone-wolf” terrorists, whose motives were allegedly unknown. The very same people, such as MSNBC, CNN and David Axelrod, the president’s 2012 campaign adviser, who hinted at a possible tea party connection after the marathon massacre, now claim that the Tsarnaev brothers’ motivations are irrelevant.

The reason is obvious: To admit the truth would damage Mr. Obama’s presidency. Militant Islamism drove the brothers. Their plot was part of the global jihad against America and the West. As the brothers collected government benefits — welfare, food stamps, college aid, unemployment insurance and public housing subsidies — they plotted to kill Americans. They also attended a local Cambridge mosque, which has attracted numerous terrorists over the years. They used America’s generosity to help perpetrate Islamist terror.

U.S. intelligence agencies failed to prevent it. The Russian government tipped off the FBI that Tamerlan was a likely jihadist with ties to terrorist groups in Chechnya. The Tsarnaevs are ethnic Chechens who come from Dagestan, a Russian region in the Caucasus that neighbors Chechnya. It is simmering with Muslim extremists. Tamerlan made several visits. He posted numerous YouTube videos praising Islamic terrorism and violent anti-Americanism. After interviewing him in April 2011, FBI agents concluded he posed no threat. Yet in September 2011, the CIA wanted Tamerlan placed on a high-priority terrorist watch list. The FBI did nothing. In fact, in January 2012, Tamerlan again visited Dagestan, this time for nearly seven months. That is where he likely received his training and skills to launch the Boston attacks.

In short, our government had the potential Boston bomber and let him go. Moreover, Russian officials warned U.S. intelligence agencies multiple times about Tamerlan’s jihadist activities. Again, the FBI did nothing. They didn’t even follow up and track the older brother after he returned from Dagestan. The Obama administration turned a blind eye to the evil in their midst. The result is that four people are dead and more than 260 injured. This is not only grossly incompetent, but scandalous. Senior administration officials should resign. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III must go. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should be made to step down; his Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, dropped the ball badly. It’s time heads rolled.

Most importantly, Mr. Obama must be held responsible for the colossal breakdown in security. His policies of appeasement and multicultural outreach to the Muslim world have been disastrous. He claimed during his re-election campaign that al Qaeda has been smashed. He boasted the “tide of war is receding.” That is blatantly false. The president has misled the American people.

The opposite is true: Radical Islam is on the march, surging across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Terrorist attacks have proliferated across Iraq; the Taliban is entrenched in Afghanistan, slowly spreading across the country; Libya has become a jihadist safe haven; Pakistan is becoming increasingly Islamist; Iran is on the verge of acquiring the nuclear bomb; Egypt is ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood; Syria is facing an Islamist insurgency; and Hezbollah now essentially runs Lebanon. This is why the administration needed to cover up the Benghazi atrocities. It demonstrated that instead of being on the run, al Qaeda was alive and well, capable of mounting serious attacks on U.S. targets.

Boston, however, is not Benghazi. It is not some faraway place in North Africa. It is a great American city, a vital part of the American homeland. It is the cradle of the American Revolution, the city of Paul Revere and known for the famous battles of Lexington and Concord. Despite all the media spin, this scandal cannot be swept under the rug.

Under Mr. Obama’s watch, Islamic terrorists have targeted the United States repeatedly — the underwear bomber, the Fort Hood shooting, the killing of an Army recruiter in Arkansas, the consulate in Benghazi and now Boston. The president has been unable — even unwilling — to keep us safe. The reason is simple: He refuses to acknowledge that we are in a war with radical Islam. The Boston bombings were not the acts of criminals. They were an act of war against Americans. The commander in chief has the duty to not only defend America, but to identity and denounce the enemy. In short, he must fight back.

The Boston massacre was a defining moment. It exposed Mr. Obama’s narcissistic and reckless approach to combating terror. There can be no illusions any longer — we are in a clash of civilizations between radical Islam and the West. Mr. Obama has denied this painful reality long enough. By burying his head in the ideological sands, he has made Americans pay a terrible price. It’s time he is held responsible for his gross negligence. It’s time that he be impeached. Justice demands no less.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.