Even Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Deception of Homeland Security (DHS), occasionally dispenses some truth. “I am grateful to the passengers and crew aboard Northwest Flight 253," she confessed Saturday, after a Nigerian tried to emasculate himself as the plane approached Detroit — a rather extreme reaction, granted, but then Detroit seems to bring out the kooks. This is the place whose residents celebrate Halloween by torching their neighborhoods, after all.
And you can bet the Napster's grateful. Those folks saved this silly charlatan's neck, even if not their own. Though Leviathan hyperventilates about "a Christmas Day massacre with almost 300 people murdered," as Rep. Peter King (R-NY) babbled, it's doubtful anyone other than the Nigerian was in danger: blowing off parts of one's body isn't likely to bring down a plane. Whether the wannabee terrorist attacks his manhood, as did Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, or his feet la Richard Reid, the carnage these idiots inflict won't extend much beyond themselves.
Given the appendage at risk, Abdulmutallab looks to be even less of a trendsetter than Reid — and only the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) considers Reid trendy. Thanks to his lame-brained stunt in December 2001, the TSA has de-shoed travellers at its airport checkpoints since — all 2 million daily passengers, 730 million annually, for seven years now. Ergo, this absurd agency has searched a grand total of 5,110,000,000 pairs of footgear without ever obtaining a single warrant.
Those billions might lead us to conclude that shoe-bombs are not only devastatingly lethal but a terrorist's favorite tactic. Yet Reid was just the third shoe-bomber in aviation's history, and the least successful, too. Why is it that you've never heard of the other two? Because their bombs killed only one man between them. Air Safety Week reports that in the mid-1980's, a terrorist flying from Karachi, Pakistan to Amman, Jordan checked a suitcase containing a shoe with explosives in the heel. They detonated during a stopover in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, but did little damage. And in 1995, Ramzi Yousef of First-World-Trade-Center-Bombing notoriety hid a bomb's components in his shoe. He assembled the device aboard his flight on Philippine Airlines, then stuffed it under a seat. Tragically, it slaughtered the Japanese business man who sat there on the next flight, but the crew safely landed the plane.
So if you want to wreak widespread death and destruction, sign up with the US government rather than Al Qaeda's shoe-bombing division. Groin-grenades are apparently even less lethal, judging from Abdulmutallab, not to mention their built-in deterrent for faithful fanatics: what fun can a guy have with all those virgins in Paradise if he's burnt a certain area to a crisp?
Groin-grenades may be ineffective WMD's, but they're as good as shoe-bombs at growing government's power. If a lone wacko with a bit of explosive in his sneaker excuses the TSA's foot-fetish, imagine the hay Leviathan can make from one with a bomb in his crotch: "I think we have to head in that direction [of virtual strip-searches with millimeter-wave scanning],” the histrionic Pete King intoned. “Yes, there is some brief violation of privacy with a full body scan. But on the other hand, if we can save thousands of lives, to me, we have to make that decision.”
And all because the TSA once again failed. Remember that this agency hit headlines a mere fortnight ago for leaking its top-secret security manual on the internet; now, a possible reader slipped past checkpoints with PETN on him. You might think the TSA would slink away in defeat and shame; instead, it came out swinging — at passengers. They paid the price with onerous new restrictions for its bungling, as they always do when an incident like Flight 253 proves the TSA's utter irrelevance. Perhaps it hopes that harassing and humiliating us more than usual will distract us from its culpability.
The rules are so ridiculous the Mad Hatter must have dreamed them up. "Passengers [on international flights arriving in the US] must remain in seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination…Passengers may not have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination." Victims also suffer a "thorough" groping at the "boarding gate prior to boarding, concentrating on upper legs and torso" — unless they are "Heads of State or Heads of Government." Yep, murderous criminals who start wars and steal our money are "exempt from the measures." The TSA hasn't yet prohibited passengers from becoming sick at 30,000 feet, but if you do, kindly conduct your business in the plane's loo quickly: "an air marshal, his badge visible" arrested one man on Sunday's Flight 253 who objected to emerging "while still unwell."
Meanwhile, the Napster was on a truth-telling jag. She also astoundingly admitted that "…the system worked. …The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action."
Janet isn't the first of Our Rulers to divulge this damaging info. In 2007, the Government Accountability Office reported that the TSA "considers…able-bodied passengers to be an important layer of aviation security" because they will "engage in self-defense actions should an incident occur onboard commercial aircraft." That's right: taxpayers deprived of all weapons and defenses but fingernails, whom the TSA suspects for terrorists and abuses accordingly, not only comprise one of its often-hyped "layers of security" but an "important" one! Is this complete, jaw-dropping insanity or what? And why are we paying $7 billion a year for these thugs to molest and insult us when, in the end, they count on us to defeat terrorists? Finally, exactly how does the TSA expect us to "engage in self-defense actions" after stealing our knitting needles and pocket-knives? Heck, once a screener finishes robbing us, we can't even squirt Listerine at a terrorist's eyes. Shouldn't these wingdings hand out Saturday Night Specials at the gate instead?
Alas, Janet's truthfulness didn't include the No-Fly List. Abdulmutallab wasn't on it despite the Feds' catching wind of him after his father, a retired chairman of Nigeria's First Bank, helpfully reported "his son's u2018extreme religious views'… to the US embassy and Nigerian security agencies six months ago." That was enough for Leviathan to have "created a record on … Abdulmutallab last month in the intelligence community’s central repository of information for known and suspected international terrorists, but … not enough… to place him on a no-fly list, a US official said."
What the US official didn't say was that the Feds often and purposely exclude terrorists from such lists. Joe Trento is an investigative journalist and the author of Unsafe at Any Altitude: Failed Terrorism Investigations, Scapegoating 9/11, and the Shocking Truth about Aviation Security Today. He reports, "At the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency certain names and aliases are kept from the airlines and off the no-fly list to protect intelligence assets who are suspected or known terrorists." Why? Because, as Mr. Trento explains in his book, "…American intelligence and counterterrorism officials … deliberately [allow] suspected terrorist to fly among innocent passengers in the hope that a terrorist would lead them to collaborators or even a terrorist cell." The government that nicks your Neutrogena lest you blow up your flight merely winks at Terry Q. Terrorist's boarding.
At least Attorney General Eric Holder's on our side. "We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously," he thundered, "and we will use all measures available to our government to ensure that anyone responsible for this attempted attack is brought to justice.”
Yee-haw! Looks like he's abolishing the TSA!
Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.