Monday, December 28, 2009

But seriously now

I think Ann Althouse makes a good point here about how we're looking at the Christmas Pants bomber:
But no one - other than the bomber - was seriously hurt, so we can discount it or play with it and be flippant or political in ways that we would avoid if there were specific and numerous victims.
I don't have my copy of "The Looming Tower" at hand (I'm traveling for the holidays) but I'm suddenly reminded of an aspect of the 1993 truck bombing at the World Trade Center: at the time, some government and security officials failed to appreciate the building threat of Islamic terrorists because they became fixated on the fact that one of the truck bombers went back to the Ryder truck company to get his deposit. What a dope! Now I'm getting an unsettling deja vu that we'll be seeing "hot pants" gags on Leno. Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano doesn't help the situation when she claims "the system worked," sending the blogosphere into a feeding frenzy.

By all accounts, the passengers of Flight 253 were a failed detonator away from the Great Hereafter. If that guy had detonated his device from the lavatory, there would have been nobody diving over seats to stop him. That's how close it was.

Yet today and tomorrow we'll be patting down little old ladies from the Midwest and dumping out baby formula and confiscating my nail clippers (that happened.) Meanwhile, the terrorists will be studying this attempt, probing for weaknesses, and planning their next assault. But we'll be serious then, after it's too late.

Extra - Jeffrey Goldberg: "The TSA's security burlesque"


Anonymous said...

We're gonna need to open some more cans of 'smurt power'.

We'll be serious then, after it's too late. said...

Also today and tomorrow, Senator Jim DeMint will continue to have a hold on the appointment of a new TSA chief.

Pat said...

From Napolitano's standpoint, the system did work. There was an attempt to kill about 250 people, it failed and the guy was taken into custody. But even if the bombing had succeeded, the system would still have worked, because the system is based on the law-enforcement model. Wait until a crime has been committed, then solve it. Of course the downside is that hundreds or thousands of people get killed first.

Cake said...

Napolitano was specifically talking about what happened AFTER the attempt: "The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight. We instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas, both here in the United States and in Europe, where this flight originated. So the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly."

Sure, it's the standard, generic, public-calming talk, and may have no merit. But if you're going to bash somebody, you may as well get it right.

Anonymous said...

"Napolitano was specifically talking about what happened AFTER the attempt:..."

Ohhhh,....NOW we understand! Thanks for the clarification, Cake mix!

She be a genius, now!

Muffin said...

Doggone it! Why won't the people we oppose just say their words exactly the way we hear them talking, inside our heads? It would make things so much easier!