Monday, December 28, 2009
For obvious reasons, the "security incident" that occurred Christmas Day on NWA 253 from AMS to DTW was of particular interest to me. While some say "the system worked" I'll go out on limb and say it didn't work and isn't working yet. I'll even go one step further and say the terrorist attempt was successful.
The system didn't work because today there is no longer the urgency and importance attached to fighting The War on Terror that there was even a year and half ago. Intelligence and security agencies throughout the world are no longer talking to each other or passing information back and forth. Bureaucracies are only growing and becoming more cumbersome. Terror is no longer considered an act of war, but instead treated as a crime. Terrorists snatched off the battlefield are given the same rights as American citizens. The perpetrator on 253 was "charged with a crime" so they could hold him. He should have been arrested, carted off to Gitmo and interrogated to the fullest extent possible in order to prevent future similar attacks. Instead, he is now lawyered up and considered innocent until proven guilty just like the terrorist who attacked Ft. Hood.
Our leaders in Washington (or Hawaii) are already pointing the finger at former President Bush saying the policies in effect that allowed the terrorist aboard 253 were put into place by the previous administration. Never mind the fact that on 9/10/01 there were NO policies in effect. Never mind the fact that Obama's Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano reviewed those policies and saw no reason until now to revise or improve on them. What the current administration needs to do, and do quickly, is stop finger pointing, and move from their current 9/10/01 sense of laisez faire to a 9/12/01 sense of urgency. They need to stop doing the politically correct thing and start doing what's right. They need to show some toughness and common sense.
The terrorist on 253 was successful in one major respect. He succeeded in curtailing our freedom as Americans. After this incident it won't be the terrorist or their network that suffers, it will be airline crewmembers and the traveling public as we deal with more stringent and meaningless security procedures - most of which are put into place to make us believe something is being done even though it isn't. If Al Qaeda can make us afraid and restrict our freedom to move about, the terrorists feel they have succeeded.
What we need to do is treat the terrorists for what they are. When captured, we need to get information from them, not read them their rights. We need to severely punish those that harbor them. That way those around them will cast them out. We need to do much more profiling. We need to get serious again about fighting The War on Terror. Prohibiting pillows on your lap for the last hour of the flight is not serious. If we don't get serious, we have only ourselves to blame for the next 9/11.