The president held his own people accountable and acknowledged that the government had the information to uncover and disrupt the Christmas Day plot. But instead of placing blame, Obama took sole responsibility: "The buck stops with me," he said.

Republicans didn't have much to criticize in Obama's latest remarks, but there is nothing he can do to satisfy them on the issue of national security as long as he continues to attempt to shut down Guantánamo Bay, and because of the administration's decision to provide due process to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as well as Abdulmutallab. Taking both men through our judicial system, rather than holding them as enemy combatants and trying them in military tribunals, presents enormous political risk for Obama.

But critics and supporters can agree that nearly one year into office, the war against al Qaeda, which is what Obama likes to call it, belongs to him.

Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, January 12th. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to Thank you.