Terence P. Jeffrey
January 28, 2010

Top Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee publicly reprimanded Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today for failing to show up at a hearing where the committee examined the attempted Christmas Day suicide bombing of Northwest Flight 253. One Democrat on the committee said he wanted to know “where the hell” Napolitano was.

Napolitano sent Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute to testify in her place.  The Homeland Security Committee is the congressional panel with primary oversight over Napolitano’s department.

Appearing on CNN two days after the attempted Christmas Day suicide bombing, Napolitano had said: “And one thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked.” Republican sources on the committee said they believe Napolitano did not show up today because she did not want to explain why she said those words.

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