Monday, December 28, 2009

The Politically Correct Myth of Airline Bombers

From Lorne Gunther, "The Politically Correct Myth of Airline Bombers":

Each new layer of security, each new inconvenience for the travelling public, is mostly a placebo. It does very little to improve our inflight safety. Instead, each is imposed mostly to make it appear as though authorities are doing something and to give us the public some reassurance that they are safe in the air.

And most are implemented, too, to preserve the politically correct, multicultural myth that anyone is a potential terrorist, that all are equally worthy of official suspicion, that everyone must be searched as thoroughly as the next passenger in line.

.... by the time security personnel have caught on to one terror technique, the very real enemies of the West who would blow up airliners loaded with innocents have moved on to a new tactic. Once we learned to forbid box cutters, the terrorists moved on to shoes with fuses, then sports drinks laced with incendiaries and bags of powder strapped to their thighs.

No matter what we screen for, no matter how much we irritate and inconvenience passengers at airports, the bad guys will figure out new ways to bring potential death aboard our planes.

The real trick is screening out bad guys. But to do that would require a cultural will the West has not yet shown itself capable of. It would require us to admit that young Muslims -- mostly young Muslim males -- see themselves at war with the West, so they require a special level of scrutiny from security and intelligence forces.

Abdulmutallab's father, a prominent Nigerian banker, had notified the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria of his son's increasingly extremist religious beliefs. But no one had thought enough of the warning to subject the 23-year-old engineering student to an added thoroughness of search before he boarded a U.S.-bound flight.

Not all Muslims need be harassed -- not even most. Following 9/11, a U.S. think-tank devised a pre-flight screening technique that would red-flag the appropriate suspects.

Anyone, Muslim or not, who had a mortgage, had held the same job for more than 10 years, had a lengthy history of incident-free commercial flights, had a solid credit rating, a retirement account and no reports, like Abdulmutallab's, of extremist tendencies might well still have to do the detector walk-through, but wouldn't need to toss his latte and nail file before getting on a flight.

The trouble is, we are too timid as a culture to do the obvious -- focus on young Muslim men with radical connections, who have proven themselves to be 99 per cent of the problem.
Hat Tip: Kathy Shaidle. Video courtesy of Islamization Watch, "Airline Terror Suspect in Federal Prison."


The Griper said...

the odds of probability still declares that sooner or later someone would get thru a security check regardless.

we've been lucky considering that what, 28 attempts have failed since 9/11. i'd say that, in itself, is a pretty good record.

Rick Derris said...

Although I'd dispute the legitimacy and danger of some of those failed attacks Griper (like certain aspects of airport security, I believe their threat level has been exaggerated to improve the government's anti-terror cred) I agree with you that another attack is pretty much inevitable. Like the bombs falling on London in WWII, an occasional terrorist attack may be something we just might have to learn to live with.

Not to say that we shouldn't do everything within our power, budget and abilities to prevent such an attack of course, but realistically there is only so much we can do to protect ourselves. And to misquote Benjamin Franklin, we can't and shouldn't give up all of our freedom for total security.

Yes we'll get attacked again, and we'll roll with that punch and hopefully learn from it, because the only way to be totally safe is to stop flying altogether, curl up into a little ball and cry about how scary the terror threat is.

And when our way of life and national spirit have finally been crushed and broken by fear and obsession, that's when the terrorists will have truly won.