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Obama agenda: New screening rules

"All travelers flying to the United States from other countries will face increased random screening, and all passengers from more than a dozen terrorism-prone nations will be patted down and have their carry-on bags searched, under new rules the Obama administration said will take effect Monday morning," the Washington Post says. 

Also from the Washington Post: "President Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser on Sunday defended the administration's decision to try in federal court the man charged with attempting to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day and indicated that he would be offered a plea agreement to persuade him to reveal what he knows about al-Qaeda operations in Yemen." The Post adds that the GOP criticism "centered on the decision to try him in civilian court rather than hold him as a military prisoner. 'If we had treated this Christmas Day bomber as a terrorist, he would have immediately been interrogated military-style, rather than given the rights of an American and lawyers,' Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said on CNN. 'We probably lost valuable information.'" 

For the most part, Republicans were much more cautious yesterday and today (see even Jim DeMint on TODAY) in their criticism of the president. But 9/11 commission co-chair Tom Kean was surprisingly harsh. "Heaven's sake, if you're in this huge health care fight and worried about the economy and global warming and all that sort of thing," said Thomas Kean, a former Republican governor of  New Jersey and former chairman of the Sept. 11 commission. "That's what they were concentrating on. And I think they weren't giving this enough attention. It's understandable, but it's not acceptable." 

Meanwhile, "The United States and British Embassies in the capital of Yemen remained closed for a second day Monday because of continuing threats from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group linked to the attempt to bring down an international flight into Detroit on Christmas." 

This story about Jordan's role as a key U.S. ally in counter-terrorism only goes to highlight the lack of Arab/Muslim countries that actually publicly condemn these attacks.