Spotlight: The Intelligence Breakdown

Samantha Appleton / White House / CNP / Corbis

Obama gave his national security team a stern rebuke.

It's rare for a President to give the entire U.S. intelligence community a public dressing-down. Barack Obama just did it twice in a single week. If he seemed annoyed in his first response to the attempted Christmas Day bombing, he was practically seething in his second. "The U.S. government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot ... but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots," Obama said on Jan. 5, after a 90-minute review with his national-security team.

At the meeting, the heads of the intelligence agencies admitted to a string of mistakes that brought Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab within...

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