Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homeland Insecurity: Questions

First, why is this terrorist still alive and in some Federal pen in Michigan? Why did the passengers on that flight from Amsterdam to Detroit not beat him to death on the airplane, after he burned his pee-pee trying to kill everyone on board and more on the ground? Why didn’t they give him the martyrdom he wanted?

Second, who is this doofus we have running Homeland Security now? Janet WHO? What kind of idiot says “One thing you have to understand is that the system worked” when it so obviously FAILED on so many levels? Her stupid, unprompted assertion should go down in history right alongside “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job here”. Yesterday, this Napolitano woman tried to back away from her idiotic statement, telling NBC her words were taken out of context. Right.

Third, what kind of idiots do we have running our national cable news networks when they put headlines on the screen like “Terror Attack Thwarted” (CNN) or “Terror Attack Foiled” (MSNBC)? The act of terror was most certainly not thwarted nor foiled. This kid, who was on a terror watch list, got on an airplane bound for America with explosives, and managed to make an attempt to detonate them while on board the plane over the United States. We’re incredibly lucky that his fumbling attempts failed, but it had nothing to do with being thwarted or foiled.

Fourth, what kind of asleep-at-the-switch slackers are running security at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam? Maybe we ought to ruffle a few Netherlandic feathers and send some of our TSA employees over there to check passengers boarding any flight bound for the USA. There are a few TSA employees at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix I have in mind, who could probably straighten things out at Schiphol in about 3 hours. A 23-year-old kid pays CASH for a 28-hundred dollar ticket, and that alone doesn’t “flag” him? Jeez.

Fifth, why are airports in the US now being coerced by the Department of Homeland Insecurity into still more pointlessly invasive “security checks”, when the failure occurred in the Netherlands, not in the US? Will snowbirds headed from Chicago to Orlando for a family vacation or just a few days on the beach now have to be subjected to fully nude inspections and thorough body cavity searches because the Netherlanders don’t know how to run an airport?

Sixth, the kid's father warned authorities he was becomming radicalized against the US. How does he get a visa?

I could go on, but you get the idea.

One ugly sketchy-looking guy tries to make bombs out of his shoes, and now every airline passenger in America is needlessly inconvenienced. We can only carry three ounces of shampoo onto a plane. God forbid you should forget you have a nail-clipper in a pocket of your jeans. We need some far smarter people actually running Homeland Security and coming up with better ways to keep these misguided Islamic jihadists off airplanes.

My wife can keep up with the latest news about the failed terror attack on her iPod Touch - a device only slightly larger than a credit card - while we’re doing 70 miles an hour down the NorthWest Tollway on the way to grandma’s house.
We need minds like the ones that made that scenario possible working on ways to keep terrorists off airplanes.

Taking our shoes off and being allowed only 3-ounce carry-ons isn't making us safer, and it does NOTHING to prevent a competent terrorist from blowing up a plane. Next time we may not be as lucky as we were on Christmas Day.


  1. The scumbag is alive because he flew Northwest, not Southwest. Carlos Mencia has a great routine about why Southwest Airlines will never be targeted by terrorists (because of the violent working class people who fly Southwest, basically). He cites an incident that happened before 9/11/01 in which a mentally ill man on a Southwest flight tried to enter the cockpit; his fellow passengers beat him to death.

  2. The very concept of a "Homeland Security" superagency is freighted with failure. It is too big, too general, too wasteful, too clumsy and hopelessly larded with careerist bureaucrats and political appointees. It's like NASA on steroids, run amok. It is a contraption that would have given Rube Goldberg the cold sweats.

    Start with the name, with its uncomfortable reminiscence of the "Committee for State Security" we were all taught to fear by its Russian initials -- KGB. Our version is more Keystone Kops. The name sounds like the agency should be run by some guy wearing a monocle.

    The name may have been dreamed up by the same crowd who gave us the National Protection and Programs Directorate. It's a Homeland Security agency of course. Why do we have something called a "directorate"?

    The top job seems to attract incompetents or fools. It's hard to tell them apart. Tom Ridge would have had us duct-tape our windows to keep out nuclear radiation. He gave us the color-coded "threat level" designations that kept stand-up comics supplied for years. (Remember the color sequence with this mnemonic phrase: George Bush You're Our Rambo.)

    He was nearly followed by Bernard Kerik, Rudy Giuliani's corrupt police commissioner. Kerik quickly imploded and is currently in jail.

    That brought us the wholly forgettable James M. Loy, who, as "acting secretary of Homeland Security," gave the agency "values-based leadership" and made sure the pencil supply improved (seriously).

    Close behind was Michal Chertoff, a former federal appeals court judge, who chose to go boning up on security at a seminar in Atlanta while Hurricane Katrina was tearing New Orleans to shreds. He was "Heckuva Job" Brownie's boss. BTW ... Brownie's previous experience was as the head of a country-clubby group of Arabian Horse fanciers.

    When Chertoff rode off into the sunset he was replaced by Janet Napolitano, the 21st governor of the Red state of Arizona. She has recently discovered that cheerily saying things are hunky-dory does not make them so.

    The uberagency has a dizzying and disparate array of lesser entities under its unwieldy umbrella: everything from the Secret Service to the Coast Guard to an ill-sited biosafety level 3 animal disease biological lab on a low-lying Island off Long Island's Orient Point that sits directly in the path favored by hurricanes that periodically visit the Northeast. You'd have better luck herding cats than you would getting those utterly different entities to work smoothly together under the Homeland Security bigtop.

    So, when you think about it, perhaps Ms. Napolitano had it right. The agency is working pretty much as you'd expect it to.

  3. THere's a seventh query:

    Why in Hell is Obama saying "alleged" terrorist, and why is the US d of Justice going to prosecute the loser?

    Screw the attorneys. Rifles at dawn.

  4. You are correct on every count. In 2000, I reported a story about what happened on a Greyhound bus from Minneapolis to Akron. A drunken bully was in everybody's face. He was drinking, rifling purses, threatening people with a knife and, to top it off, he urinated in the aisle. Several Amish men on the bus grabbed the man, found a roll of packing tape and taped him to a seat so he couldn't move or make a sound. When the bus got to Madison, he was arrested. Maybe we need more Amish on airplanes. Homeland Security is working just the way it was set up. Unresponsive, money-focused, top-heavy, secret (so we don't know when they screw up, which is often) and ineffective when it counts.