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Holder and Napolitano: Keeping Us Safe

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Posted on November 21 2010 7:00 pm

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This week’s juxtaposition of Janet Napolitano’s theater of the absurd roll-out of new airport screening methods with the conviction of “man caused disaster doer,” Ahmed Ghailani, for conspiring to destroy property, almost makes one forget how bad our economic circumstances are.

When Napolitano was asked by reporters Monday “will you insist that {women wearing hijabs} go through full body pat downs?” she responded not with a “yes,” but said “with regard to that specific issue there will be more to come…..we are doing this to keep powders, liquids, and gels off the planes.” That really is all you need to know about Obama’s TSA. But for extra credit, I include the following.

Every time a shoe, underwear, a box cutter or whatever is used once in an attempted terrorist attack by a foreign Muslim, a specific prohibition on all Americans is enacted. For air travelers it is akin to the proverbial frog being slowly boiled to death. Ann Coulter is exactly correct—-the final step will be explicit cavity searches. There are approximately 50,000 commercial air flights a day worldwide. That is 18 million flights a year or about 1.5 billion travelers a year. It is interesting that whatever policy was in place at the time of the several post 9/11 attacks (shoe bomber guy, Detroit underwear guy—-probably others) they were unable to detect the “man caused disaster doer” in advance of boarding the plane. Yet each time he was foiled. The policies put in place early on in 2002, combined with passenger and crew awareness, have been very effective, despite these few exceptions among close to 200 million flights globally. Napolitano, who clearly is utterly clueless and not making any of these decisions, is a sight to behold. Despite these newer TSA prison search policies, there will still be some future Richard Reid. How much more effective can we reasonably be?

The most successful preventions have come well before people have even entered airports. This is because resources are actually focused on high probability targets instead of our one size fits all body searches. The probability of a terrorist attack by plane was and still remains remote. Passengers also will never again be surprised and unresponsive. I would like to see the statistics of actual would be terrorists caught just prior to boarding a plane. I do not recall ever hearing of any, but there must have been some, right? The TSA does perform checks on its screeners. USA Today reported in 2007 that 75% of TSA plants made it through the screeners. But we still have few incidents. We all are willing to endure slowdowns etc., to improve safety. But the spectacle now being imposed has become degrading and humiliating to us as individuals and as a nation. It is humiliating because what we are doing is transparently stupid and extreme.

If you disagree, why aren’t we demanding all cars be searched at rush hour on all bridges and tunnels in America? Or, why isn’t every package carried by an individual walking on a city bridge not checked for explosives or machine guns? Or why aren’t every person on crutches checked to see if their crutches can be converted to sniper rifles (Day of the Jackal).

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