Posted on January 3, 2010


I am no expert on security. What I learned in the military is rapidly approaching 20-years out of date. That said, in the light of the recent “attempted bombing” of a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Amsterdam from Detroit, I have an opinion about security and the “war” on terror.

President Obama called the attack the result of a “systemic failure.” With all due respect to your office, Mr. President, that’s bullshit. Our current airport “security” system was foisted on us by similar bullshit from the Bush-Cheney administration. Here’s a challenge, Mr. President, now that you’ve found millions of e-mails the Bush-Cheney administration “lost”: I challenge you to produce one instance when the increased security standards actually stopped a terrorist or criminal. Various heads of the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security have claimed that they have done so, but when asked for details they insist those details were classified. So, Mr. President, please: Give us a concrete example, with supporting information, of a single instance where increased security standards, and nothing else, stopped an attack.

I make that challenge, sir, because to the best of my recollection, every single terrorist and criminal attack stopped since 9/11/01 was stopped by plain, ordinary, police work. It had nothing to do with shared information and new departments, and everything to do with some front-line security person keeping his (or her) eyes open and doing her job. It had to do with that great security slogan, “See something, say something.” Instead of praising these people publicly and rewarding them, the governments of the world put on a big security show that just punishes travelers.

There was no systemic failure, Mr. President. Some security person had enough information to act, and failed. Instead of spending ridiculous sums on additional security and high-tech scanners, just fire everyone who could have stopped the “attack” and failed. Let the rest of us get on with our business.

Posted in: Military