We have it on the authority of John Brennan, Obama Administration counterterrorism advisor appearing on the Fox TV network today, that there was “no smoking gun” that should have alerted US intelligence agencies to the attempted Christmas Day suicide attack.
So that’s OK, then!
I mean, who could have guessed?
Who could have imagined that somebody named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab would try to blow up a plane headed to Detroit on Christmas Day?
And how could we expect airline security to notice Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was smuggling a bomb onto the plane when there were all those grandmothers and little children to search?
Who could possibly have known?
I mean, besides his dad, the chairman of the board of one of Nigeria’s biggest banks, who told the U.S. embassy in Lagos on November 19 to watch out for his Muslim radical son.
I’m not sure I want to know how the Underwear Bomber’s father made his fortune in Nigeria. But, clearly, he’s the kind of man who should be taken seriously when warning about his own son’s extremism.
Two days after terrorism attempt, Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano told ABC News, the “system has worked really very, very smoothly".
Two points stand out:
- More than eight years after 9/11, we still don’t have an effective computer system for tracking potential terrorists trying to board airplanes.
(Recall how President Obama has been boasting for a year about how his administration is going to cut medical spending by spearheading a computer system to track all your health information. What’s your over-under date on when that gets finished? I’ve got dibs on 2033.)
- It’s increasingly obvious that neither Bush nor Obama has wanted an effective airport security system.
Effective security would impose a “disparate impact” on guys with names like “Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab” (or, for that matter, “Barack Hussein Obama”). Both Presidents actively worked against profiling and disparate impact. Why? Because noticing patterns is just plain wrong.
Stupidity is our strength!
Since September 11, 2001, whenever somebody with a name like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab commits terrorism, I’ve been writing virtually the same article about the American ruling class’s pathological prejudice against profiling.
How big a calamity is it going to take to make them wake up, stop randomly dissipating prevention efforts, and instead focus on those most likely to commit terrorism?
For example, look at this typically hysterical reaction to retired Lt. General Thomas McInerney’s recent advocacy of profiling: Former Lt. General "Goes There": Calls for all Muslim men between 18-28 to be strip searched, by Joseph Marhee, Examiner, January 3, 2010. (“McInerney is deliberately using inflammatory and incendiary proclamations to incite hostilities. It is simply unacceptable and irresponsible for someone of his public profile to advocate such blatantly unconstitutional and socially dangerous rhetoric into the mainstream.” Yawn).
In contrast, naïve Nigerians have tended to assume that of course their countryman’s shame will bring more suspicion and searches down upon themselves. Thus Nigerian vice president Goodluck Jonathan lamented: "A Nigerian has created an additional problem for us by wanting to blow up an aircraft … That means that those Nigerians who travel out of this country will be subjected to unnecessary harassments and searches."
How unworldly the vice president of Nigeria is! Goodluck Jonathan simply isn't aware that in 21st century America, it’s considered shameful to notice such patterns. Learning from the past is simply inappropriate.
I've come up with a couple of new air security policy recommendations in the later part of the article.
Read the whole thing there and comment upon it below.