Dec 29 2009

Useless & Inane Gestures Of False Security

When faced with a critical challenge I guess some people just need to feel like they are doing something, so they concoct useless and inane gestures to make it seem like they are doing their job. Then there is the whole ‘fool the people’ gambit as well, where you try and simply snooker people into believing you are doing a great job. Of course there is the big pretend, where you are kidding yourself into believing you have a handle on things, when in fact you should be stepping aside and letting someone else give it a go. Preferably someone selected for demonstrable skills and successes.

Whatever the root cause, the new security precautions imposed by panicked and not very inventive bureaucrats in response to the barely foiled Christmas Day Massacre aboard Northwest Flight 253 are going to be classic examples of useless & inane gestures of false security. Whoever thought these up is truly operating above their skill level – as Christopher Hitchens pointedly notes today:

No sooner is the fanatical and homicidal Muslim arrested than it turns out that he (it won’t be long until it is also she) has been known to the authorities for a long time. But somehow the watch list, the tipoff, the many worried reports from colleagues and relatives, the placing of the name on a “central repository of information” don’t prevent the suspect from boarding a plane, changing planes, or bringing whatever he cares to bring onto a plane.

But I’d be wasting my time pointing this out to our majestic and sleepless protectors, who now boldly propose to prevent airline passengers from getting out of their seats for the last hour of any flight. Abdulmutallab made his bid in the last hour of his flight, after all. Yes, that ought to do it. It’s also incredibly, nay, almost diabolically clever of our guardians to let it be known what the precise time limit will be.

For some years after 9/11, passengers were forbidden to get up and use the lavatory on the Washington-New York shuttle. Zero tolerance! I suppose it must eventually have occurred to somebody that this ban would not deter a person who was willing to die, so the rule was scrapped. But now the principle has been revisited for international flights. For many years after the explosion of the TWA plane over Long Island (a disaster that was later found to have nothing at all to do with international religious nihilism), you could not board an aircraft without being asked whether you had packed your own bags and had them under your control at all times. These two questions are the very ones to which a would-be hijacker or bomber would honestly and logically have to answer “yes.” But answering “yes” to both was a condition of being allowed on the plane! Eventually, that heroic piece of stupidity was dropped as well. But now fresh idiocies are in store. Nothing in your lap during final approach.

It truly is mind boggling how utterly stupid these protective measures were and are. Sadly, the brief restriction on pillows and blankets is a warning sign we have some serious incompetents in charge of our collective national security at the moment. Let’s just say that the bomb used on Fight 253 should not have fizzled but exploded, making the pillow or blanket unnecessary. There are plenty of stealthy ways to make a robust detonator from things that will pass security check points.

It is not those dastardly airline pillows which threaten us. It is people who are not maintaining watch lists, taking alerts from concerned parents seriously, or maintaining a vigilance required of those under attack from self proclaimed enemies. If you find yourself replacing the word ‘terrorism’ with ‘man-caused-disasters’ you are not defending, you are in serious denial.

And when it is pointed out that your response is pathetic, confused, incoherent ,and your response is ‘it’s not my fault’, then you really need to step aside. Because it is your responsibility, and that includes realizing you are not up for the job and that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of more qualified people who could better protect us.

So far, this administration’s response to the barely dodged Christmas Day massacre has been horrifying. What we are seeing is the result of electing an inexperienced person surrounded by a naive team whose collective ignorance is only outpaced by their arrogance.

When the next attack comes the Democrats will be held responsible – for decades to come. Unless they start making some serious changes, now.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Useless & Inane Gestures Of False Security”

  1. dhunter says:

    ” What we are seeing is the result of electing an inexperienced person surrounded by a naive team whose collective ignorance is only outpaced by their arrogance.”

    Well said AJ.

    I do believe there is something more at work here also.
    I think this administration is almost asking for a crisis so as to be able to subject the populace to never before seen controls and loss of freedoms. If this occurs it will not be pretty as there are still some freedom loving Americans who will not willingly give up the few freedoms we have left to the cause of the statist ruler wannabees!

  2. daniel ortega says:

    why not ban muslims from flying on our planes?
    that would actually work.

  3. Dc says:

    [quote]What we are seeing is the result of electing an inexperienced person surrounded by a naive team whose collective ignorance is only outpaced by their arrogance.[/quote]

    Amen. But, I would also add to that….it is not just the collective ignorance..but the collective “willful” ignorance — in the face of evidence otherwise…AND putting their political ideology above national security. (ie., Blame Bush, and trying to push the “lone gunman”, or “isolated extremist” view as well as treating him as a US citizen).

    Rove was just on who suggested that Obama has previously praised the systems the Bush admin put in place for signals and other intel to pre-empt attacks like this — although Obama disagreed about some of the singular methods used in the course of that. Take as evidence to that, since they have been in office, what have they “not” reviewed or changed to their liking if they “knew” this system had problems?

    The failure here is not that there are multiple lists for watching, etc. and that only one of those lists would have automatically kept him off a plane (a system put in place by previous admin). The failure is why this person, given all the info we have, was not moved from one list to another …which is a failure of the “current” admin/people or people in charge of those systems. These are NOT systems that monitor themselves. It takes work, monitoring, to USE the system in place so that it does work.

    Lastly, the fact that the Obama admin continues to try and treat this as a civil/criminal matter…affording foreign nationals who commit acts of war in the US constitutional protections of US citizens is absolutely unforgivable and NOT consistent with the phrase….”rest assured, we are doing everything we can to protect the American people”. NO they are NOT. They are putting “us” at risk…for all the reasons listed above. To add to that, Rove made the point of intelligence lost by treating these cases this way…instead of having the FBI and CIA sweat them for information and actionable intel.

    There is no doubt…and should not be any doubt in anyone’s mind that they are putting “us” at more risk of attack. The question is…why??? Perhaps we could get the president, or one of his “spokespeople” …if he’s too busy golfing with his buddy, and getting ambulances for his buddies kid who fell down in his backyard…to explain the reasons “why” he is choosing to put us at risk?? He’ll call an ambulance for a kid who falls in the backyard and cuts his chin….but it’s up to us to deal with the jihadis hell bent on killing and destruction that they give visas to and let on our plane? Meanwhile…they are searching Grandma…to be political correct…while YOU are watching the sweaty guy with no luggage, buying a one way ticket with cash, walk right on the plane and sit down next to you.

    I think the Obama admin…like the rest of the liberal/progressive nation…is about to be dragged kicking and screaming into the reality of 9/12/01

  4. AJ,

    Did you miss this by Geraghty?

    Five administration officials tell NEWSWEEK that the president has sided with political and diplomatic advisers who argue that widening the scope of the drone attacks would be risky and unwise. Obama is concerned that firing missiles into urban areas like Quetta, where intelligence reports suggest that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and other high-level militants have sometimes taken shelter, would greatly increase the risk of civilian casualties. It would also draw protests from Pakistani politicians and military leaders, who have been largely quiet about the drone attacks as long as they’ve been confined to the country’s out-of-sight border region. The White House has been encouraged by Pakistan’s own recent military efforts to root out militants along the Afghan border, and it does not want to jeopardize that cooperation.

  5. BarbaraS says:

    I don’t know. Somehow I get the idea that Obama wants us to have a disaster such as was recently averted only closer to November. He can then declare martial law and rescind the elections. He has to know the results will be bad for the dems. He would have to be more out of touch than I think him not to know. He is so arrogant he might think he could get away with this. Whatever else, I don’t think his priority is protecting the citizens of this country. His priority is changing the US into his idea of utopia.

  6. KauaiBoy says:

    Bobo is not now in charge and has never been in charge—find his foreign handlers and domestic accomplices and expose them as the real threat to the America we all know and love and will die for. Follow the money and the appointments and put these miscreants in the spotlight. And then let the mob have them.

  7. Mike M. says:

    BarbaraS, Obama really can’t declare martial law. That sort of thing is an emergency move. You can do it in a limited area, for a limited period. Try to overturn an election? The military would LOVE it…because it would provide perfect justification for a military-led purge of the political establishment. Obama is stupid, but not suicidal.

    No. When (not if) there is a successful attack, Obama probably figures on netting the same sort of rally-round-the-flag response that Bush had. Unfortunately, Bush could claim to have been blindsided. Obama can’t.