NW Plot Has GOP Questioning Obama's Leadership

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WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security is delivering a preliminary report to President Barack Obama on last week's failed Christmas day airliner attack.

The results of the investigation come as a chorus of Republicans are criticizing the Obama administration's handling of the plot.

"This was a failure and a breakdown from beginning to end," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., charged.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney also weighed in saying the president is in denial about America's war status.

"As I've watched the events of the last few days, it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war," Cheney told Politico.com.

"He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won't be at war," he said.

A top administration official responding on the White House Web site, accused Cheney of "making political hay".

However, former Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff suggested lawmakers remember the real enemy isn't across the aisle.

"I don't think this ought to be a political issue," Chertoff said. "Unfortunately people made it a political issue. Both sides ought to remember that the enemy is in a cave in Waziristan."

Even so, the issue of terrorism is likely to have political consequences as mid-term elections heat up in 2010 and presidential hopefuls start lining up for 2012.

Meanwhile, Republicans continue pointing to security failures in hopes of heading off a potential attack.

Republican Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana said, "The director of intelligence and the CIA didn't do their job."

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