Even after the NYPD de-wired the smoking car bomb, produced enough information to identify the bomb-maker, and handed it all to federal law enforcement authorities tied up in a bow, the federal government's crack "no-fly" list failed to stop Shahzad from boarding a plane to Dubai.
To be fair, at Emirates Airlines, being on a "no-fly" list makes you eligible for pre-boarding.
Perhaps the Department of Homeland Security should consider creating a "Really, REALLY No-Fly" list.
Contrary to the wild excuses being made for the federal government on all the TV networks Monday night, it's now clear that this was not a wily plan of federal investigators to allow Shahzad to board the plane in order to nab his co-conspirators. It was a flub that nearly allowed Shahzad to escape.
Meanwhile, on that same Monday at JFK airport, approximately 100,000 passengers took off their shoes, coats, belts and sunglasses for airport security.
But the "highly trained federal force" The New York Times promised us on Oct. 28, 2001, when the paper demanded that airport security be federalized, failed to stop the only guy they needed to stop at JFK last Monday -- the one who planted a bomb in the middle of Times Square days earlier.
So why were 100,000 other passengers harassed and annoyed by the TSA?
The federal government didn't stop the diaper bomber from nearly detonating a bomb over Detroit. It didn't stop a guy on the "No Fly" list from boarding a plane and coming minutes away from getting out of the country.
If our only defense to terrorism is counting on alert civilians, how about not bothering them before they board airplanes, instead of harassing them with useless airport "security" procedures?
Both of the attempted bombers who sailed through airport security, I note, were young males of the Islamic faith. I wonder if we could develop a security plan based on that information?
And speaking of a "highly trained federal force," who's working at the INS these days? Who on earth made the decision to allow Shahzad the unparalleled privilege of becoming a U.S. citizen last year?
Thursday, May 06, 2010