If Barack Obama wants to convince America he takes the “protect and defend” portion of his oath of office seriously, it’s well past time for Janet Napolitano to go.

Given the lowlights of Janet Napolitano’s brief — though perhaps too long — career at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), she appears to be a woman-caused disaster in the making for Obama. Recent statements by Napolitano on the Sunday news talk shows are at least the third strike for the secretary. One has to wonder how many strikes she’ll be given before her politics and focus, if not her actual incompetence, result in al-Qaeda successfully striking America at home.

This is a woman with a mindset that suggests Islamic terrorism doesn’t actually exist:

Napolitano tells the German news site Spiegel Online that while she presumes there is always a threat from terrorism: “I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”

Like any good political bureaucrat, Napolitano seems fixated on being prepared after the fact for anything that might happen — so she can get the memos written and filed correctly, perhaps. Unfortunately, her worldview does not lend itself to ferreting out terrorism any better than her Transportation Security Administration seems to do. And the “blame Bush” dig she employs doesn’t measure up this far in. It’s just more political gamesmanship from a woman appointed for the political favors she’s done for Obama and not for expertise:

She said the current system was in place before she took the helm at the Department of Homeland Security, and that she was “familiar” with that system. She said officials will now look “backwards” to determine what went wrong.

For further proof that she’s more politician than security expert, recall the first major report issued under her tenure. It amounted to a hit job on conservatives, taking a decidedly domestic political view as regards potential terror threats within the U.S.:

The “report” (PDF) was one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real.

I spent the day chasing down DHS spokespeople, who have been tied up preparing for a very important homeland security event later today: The First Lady is coming to visit their Washington office. Priorities, you know.

Now, the Sunday following a failed attempt to blow up a Northwest jet, Napolitano made the rounds of the nation’s talk shows. In the aftermath of the recent incident, she claimed “the system worked.”