Mardell starts his report by framing the topic as America overreacting to one failed terrorist to blow up a plane. Left out, as is BBC reporters usual want, are some very important facts.
Like the failed terrorist's revelation that there were 20 more just like him ready to strike. The Muslim passenger hauled off a flight for yelling he wanted to kill all Jews. The recent terrorist arrest in the US. Let's not forget Richard Reid or the failed attempt to blow up multiple airliners over the US. That last one originated in Britain Mardell.
Mardell then resorts to one of the oldest reporters tricks in the book in order to spin his story - the straw man.
"There is a general assumption in America that al-Qaeda simply wants to kill as many Americans as possible, that murder is their objective."
Hmm, I wonder why they called it the "war on terror" then and not the war on al Qaeda?
Mardell goes on to lament how Obama's opponents jumped on him for being too soft and offers this up:
"President Obama's opponents have long accused him of being soft on terrorism. He does not even use the George Bush phrase "war on terror".
Perhaps not Mark, but are you forgetting that four days after the failed attempt, when Obama finally got around to it, Obama said we are at war. When you are at war, four days is a very long time.
Mark goes on to make a fool of himself.
"This mood of high seriousness has robbed the West of a really effective propaganda weapon. It has made it difficult to exploit the sheer ridiculousness of an underpants bomber.
If the thought of the state of al-Qaeda's undergarments made people snigger instead of quake, that would be a moral victory. "
Would it have been so funny had he succeeded Mark? Let's not forget, he choose his seat carefully - right over the fuel tanks. In addition, thanks to the courage and quick actions of one passenger, he was stopped. Let's also not forget a similar attempt to kill a Saudi prince, almost succeeded. The bomb went off killing the bomber but the prince survived. I doubt his laughing Mark.
Mark then turns his attention to how Britain handles things differently and why.
"But there are historical and political reasons why we seem less phased by the threat of terrorism. Of course part of it goes back to 9/11. We have not suffered an attack like that."
Again, Mark leaves out significant information to the discussion. He fails to mention that a plane was to have been flown into the Parliament building on 911 but the bomber backed out at the last minute.
Just how little of a threat does Mardell think terrorism is?
"But it means we see terrorism as a background threat. It might have your name on it but it is statistically improbable. "
Well Mark, just why are those statistics so low? Could it be that thanks to the security services, both here and in America, taking a more serious view and thereby stopping hundreds of attacks, those stats are low? Two weeks after 7/7 terror attacks on London, the security services stopped the second attack. How many would have been killed then? How would those statistics look had those ten airliners been blown up? If all the terror attacks stopped around the world had not been stopped, how would those stats look then Mardell? On 9/11, terrorism had 3000 peoples name on it. And if it's just "a background threat" Mark, why did Obama say we are at war?
Of course Mardell has noting but praise for Obama.
"He has declared that a proud nation does not hunker down and adopt a siege mentality in the face of such threats. "
Just how stupid is Mardell? How many security reviews did Obama order in the wake of the failed Christmas bomber? How many times did he meet with the leaders of all US security forces? Who ordered all those new x-ray machines for US airports? Who requested foreign governments begin immediate screenings of overseas passengers traveling to the US? Who ordered the dramatic increase in Sky Marshalls? And these are just the things we know about.
Yes, Mardell has turned out to be just another BBC hack like Webb.