A top Democrat senator on Thursday slammed the Republicans for using the recent failed US plane bombing for petty political gains as they stepped up attack on the Obama Administration for security lapses.

“Unfortunately, too many Republicans have treated this episode as a political opportunity,” Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement as he went on to particularly target the former US Vice President, Dick Cheney, who in a statement last week said that Obama is not serious in the war against terrorism.

Led by former Vice President Dick Cheney, they have resorted to partisan denunciations that serve no legitimate purpose and have no place in the nation’s vital debate over how to fight terrorism, Kerry said.

“The hysteria of Cheney and some of his fellow Republicans is sadly reminiscent of the days when the previous administration substituted fear mongering for sound policy and led us into an unnecessary and tragic war in Iraq while starving a necessary conflict in Afghanistan,” he said.

Kerry said the failed attempt to bring down a commercial aircraft on Christmas Day is a sober reminder that combating international terrorism remains an extremely urgent foreign policy priority and a top national security mission for the administration.

“President Obama was right to demand a full and immediate review of the intelligence failures that permitted the would-be bomber to board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit,” he said.

Coming out in support on Obama, he said the President acted quickly and decisively while avoiding the sensationalism Americans too often witnessed over the last eight years.

“He should be applauded for forthrightly pinpointing the failure of our intelligence agencies to connect the dots available to them and demanding reforms that will reduce the chances of this sort of mistake occurring again,” Kerry said.

“Congress has a vital role to play and critical questions to ask in ensuring that the reforms required to protect the American people will be implemented quickly and effectively,” said Kerry as he announced that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would be holding a hearing on Yemen after the Congress returns from recess mid-January.

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