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"Pulsing the system," "Pulsing it," Obama briefer says on Flight 253 scramble


WASHINGTON--"Pulsing it." "Pulsing the system." That's the language used Tuesday by a senior Obama White House administration official to describe how the administration is scrambling to find out about the intelligence failures that led to a Nigerian suspected terrorist boarding Detroit bound Northwest Flight 253 with explosives in his underwear on Christmas Day.

I did quick Google and Nexis searches and found no "pulsing the system" references prior to Dec. 29. I think I'm on to something. It's a new term that may catch on and be part of the political or government lexicon.

Obama ordered preliminary reviews due by Thursday--tomorrow--on flaws in the airline screening system and the standards for putting individuals on the U.S. terrorist watchlist database. Here are three examples of how the term was used at the Tuesday briefing by the official--the White House would not allow a name to be used---to drive the message. Maybe it's a regional term, after all, the anonymous briefer, when asked about it said, "that's the way we say it in Minnesota."

Q What more can he expect to get in this preliminary look that he wants by Thursday that he doesn't have now? What are the other things that are out there that could possibly be resolved in the next day or so?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think we're pulsing it for all the information and intelligence that's out there about -- that could have been available at the time. Obviously it's a great opportunity to learn more about where we can get information that could be correlated and pushed more effectively into any particular review.

Q Why did he set Thursday as the first deadline?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: For two reasons. One, because he wants to act with urgency, and he indicated that in the statement today. Two, because, frankly, under General Jones and John Brennan we've been pulsing this system very aggressively since Friday. And so a lot of this information is being correlated, being pulled together, being looked at now. And the President wants to make sure that we have a short fuse in terms of looking at it.

Q If I could make sure I understood a word you used -- you said a couple times, you said "pulsing" the system -- is that what you said, "pulsing"?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Pulsing, yes. That's the way we say it in Minnesota.


This from an Admin. without a pulse on the people or the country!!!

Speak for yourself Margaret. You might say that the "Admin." doesn't have a pulse on people such as you. They sure do have a pulse on me, and on the people I know, along with the country.

Your mistake is to think that your feelings against this "Admin." are mainstream.

Right, Margaret. The Obama team won by 9 million votes, but they don't have a clue what people like you think. Or is it that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that your President could say or do that would please you? Short of dressing up in a flight suit and declaring "Mission Accomplished," of course.

Now they are making up their own meaningless management-speak gibberish? Amateur hour continues.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 30, 2009 8:08 AM.

White House background briefing on Flight 253 intelligence failures. Transcript was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama demanding answers Thursday on Flight 253 intelligence failures is the next entry in this blog.

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