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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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March 26, 2014 - 9:48 am

When specifically asked at a press conference with his UK counterpart at the Pentagon today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that he’s still not ruling out terrorism in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

“I don’t think at this point we can rule anything in or out. I think we have to continue to search, as we are. And you know the United States continues to stay committed,” Hagel said.

He noted the U.S. has aircraft working out of Malaysia and Perth, Australia, to assist in the search.

“So until we have more information, we don’t know,” he added.

On what it means for how the U.S. can prepare security-wise, Hagel said “I think any country — and I can only speak for the United States — always is evolving and is always recognizing new challenges and threats and trying to anticipate those.”

“That’s the mission of this enterprise, security of this country, working with all our interagency partners, intelligence, homeland security,” he said. “So the world is dangerous. We recognize that. There are new threats coming at us in different ways all the time. So you have to continue to prepare.”

UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond concurred that “we cannot rule out anything at this stage.”

“And until — unless and until we recover the cockpit voice recorder, we will not know for certain, and that search goes on, and we, too, are assisting in the search, and we just have to hope that we will be successful in locating that vital piece of evidence,” Hammond said.

Hammond was asked if they’re concerned that no radar apparently picked up a plane that flew for hours without a transponder operational.

“Well, the United Kingdom by its geography has a rather smaller area of airspace to worry about than the southern Indian Ocean, but I am — I remain completely confident that any aircraft of any type flying without a transponder operational in U.K. airspace would be detected and intercepted immediately,” he said.

Related: 

Homeland Security Chairman: FBI Should be More Involved in MH370 Probe

 

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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Why should I take seriously anything that dumb son-of-a-b**** has to say?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Malaysia is the muslim country that ruled Christians could not use the term allah to describe God.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The whole story stinks... something just isn't adding up. We supposedly live in an age of heightened awareness and terror-inspired general paranoia to where the citizens of a supposedly free country get treated like criminals being processed into maximum security prison- just to do business with the airline industry- yet in an age of heightened global security, not an eyebrow was raised when a Boeing 777 is deliberately turned away from its programmed destination and no one took notice until after it hadn't arrived as scheduled? Really??? And we find out only AFTER the fact that military radar had actually tracked the aircraft hours after contact had been cut off... no alarms were sounded and no one thought to check into these sources when the plane was first taken off course? In this day and age???

It doesn't make any sense...

Speaking of this day and age... what are the chances that not one single passenger on the plane was in possession of a cell phone or other device with GPS built in- offering a way of tracking the aircraft. To much of what has come out does not fit into the era that we're stuck in... I do not believe what's being reported- not necessarily that I doubt that there's a missing plane but the circumstances and sequence of events that have unfolded after the plane's disappearance just are not adding up. Perhaps it'll make more sense when the bureaucratic response to this tragedy comes forth and we'll have a better idea of what our "leaders" knew in the first place- by how they will have exploited the whole mess to take another measure of freedom away... for our security of course.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The US should be engaged here. We had one (a few?) person(s) on the plane and we have lots of resources for searching. We're also a potential target if the aircraft is intact somewhere and the bad guys plan to use it.
But --
Malaysian aircraft, Indian Ocean, most passengers Chinese nationals -- this is not primarily our show.
Jimmytbone makes the crucial point that we don't yet know several of the crucial answers. Did the plane crash? Seems very likely. Was the plane diverted or did it experience a malfunction? Seems even money to me. Whatever caused the tragedy, can we see ways to reduce the risk in the future?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Terrorists? Men who caused inconvenience.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Chuck: You're a moron, but thanks for stating the obvious. You can go back to rubbing Barack's shoulders now.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The glaring elephant in the room is this; NOBODY KNOWS! In spite of our vast resources and equipment; and our "experts" on "national security"; we're running scared now because this plane STILL has not been found, and the world experts have been looking a lot like the Keystone Cops. Then there's the hideous coverage of the entire thing by our MSM, that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they're morons.
Hagel knows that there are terrorists out there still training as pilots, and he must realize that this latest episode has just given them a huge incentive to attempt to carry out even more hideous plans.
The wake-up call for the entire west is here ... Can we name the enemy or not? Do we know about ANYTHING that's going on in Central Asia?
Hagel just gives me the creeps.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about this: no Muslims are allowed in the cockpit?

How would the TSA spin this to do more searches on passengers?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy elkhoong
Not going to sign off on condemning all Muslims. There's too much that scares me in Islam and especially Islamism to be happy about it. But that's as far as I'll go; I won't condemn all Muslims.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did the "T" word actually pass Hagel's lips?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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