Monday, 04 January 2010

Yes, Virginia, the System Didn’t Work and May Never Work

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The fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old al-Qaida operative from Nigeria, was able to board an American airliner in Amsterdam with bomb-making materials in his underwear would indicate that the system created by the federal government to prevent this from happening failed. And it failed in a big way. Almost 300 lives would have been lost had his bomb exploded.

We are being told that that certain pieces of information about the Nigerian were not being shared by the various intelligence agencies within the system. This problem of communication between agencies was supposed to have been solved after 9/11. Although there were red flags being waved all over the place before 9/11, no one in the federal government bothered to “connect the dots” and thwart the plans of the 19 Islamic hijackers. As a result of this failure it was decided after 9/11 to appoint a coordinator who would make sure that all relevant information about a potential terrorist attack would be distributed among all interested agencies.

But now we find out that such distribution of information is not taking place, and that the mindset of the bureaucrats in control is largely the same as it was on 9/10. So our fail-safe system is anything but that. Indeed, it was the failure of the bomb to detonate properly that saved the lives of everyone on board. No thanks to our multi-billion dollar system, which includes the U.S. National Security Agency along with the Central Security Service, the latter with 25,000 employees.

Of course, no system is better than the people in it. We don’t know how people are chosen to run the system. Must they be politically correct? Can they read Arabic? As for airport security, we know that American grandmothers are considered as capable of carrying bomb materials in their panties as a Nigerian terrorist trained in Yemen. Ethnic profiling is verboten.

According to our multicultural state of mind, we are all capable of carrying bombs in our underwear —including business executives, journalists, housewives, and children.

And there were plenty of red flags that should have warned our protectors that an al-Qaida terrorist was on the loose. First, he bought a one-way ticket from Nigeria to Detroit and paid for it in cash. That alone should have set off an alarm. Second, he had no baggage, except a small carry-on. Third, his father, a wealthy Nigerian banker, went to the American embassy to warn them of his son’s extremist behavior. Fourth, the British government denied him a visa to enter Britain. Ironically, Hillary Clinton’s State Department issued Umar a visa, which the authorities in Yemen considered as some sort of approval by the United States government that this potential terrorist was okay and should be allowed into Yemen.

And so he was put on a long list of suspected individuals, but not on the no-fly list. This terrorist would have never been able to get on an El Al flight even without having to look in his underwear. They use ethnic profiling: first he was a Nigerian, second he was a Moslem, third they would want to know why he was traveling and what was his destination and what would he be doing when he got there. And had he paid for a one-way ticket in cash, they would have known that he was a no-goodnick. But, of course, El Al is a small airline, and they can interview every passenger who seems suspicious.

But our protectors apparently had no reason to prevent this young man from boarding an international flight with almost 300 other human beings aboard. In other words, all of that security rigmarole at our airports is one big charade to give the impression that your government is actually protecting you. All it has done is make al-Qaida think of more ingenious ways of getting bombs on planes. But it is obvious that al-Qaida doesn’t recruit American grandmothers and bored American housewives to carry out their plans. They get young Moslems, imbued with extremist views who easily stand out in crowds of middle-class travelers on transcontinental flights.

What does it take to spot a young extremist Moslem bomb carrier? If you’re wearing multicultural blinders you will never spot him. Indeed, you will not want to spot him, for that would be tantamount to practicing ethnic profiling, which, as we all know, is absolutely forbidden by our government.

And so, flying on planes all over the world for the foreseeable future will remain something akin to Russian roullette. The vast majority of flights will be perfectly safe, not because of airport security, but because there are not enough al-Qaida suicide bombers to get on the thousands of flights that take place every day. All they need is one flight to blow up in order to succeed in their efforts to disrupt the civilized world and claim victory.

But there is a much simpler and less costly way of providing airport security. Simply have a psychologist look over the passengers about to board an aircraft, and ask, who among them might want to have sex with 73 virgins in Allah’s paradise? Asking that one question would eliminate much of the idiotic practices that now come under the heading of airport security. Of course, no system is fail-safe. But that one question would get us as close as possible to such a system with the least inconvenience to everyone.

Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld
is the author of nine books on education including NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, The Whole Language/OBE Fraud, and The Victims of Dick & Jane and Other Essays. Of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, former U.S. Senator Steve Symms of Idaho said: “Every so often a book is written that can change the thinking of a nation. This book is one of them.” Mr. Blumenfeld’s columns have appeared in such diverse publications as Reason, The New American, The Chalcedon Report, Insight, Education Digest, Vital Speeches, WorldNetDaily, and others.

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