The latest "screw-up" that let a man with explosives get on a plan on
Christmas day is only part of a larger laxness and irresponsibility when
it comes to national security. This administration pays lip service to
national security and gives out with a lot of rhetorical notions that
makes it notional security instead of national security.
The Muslim major who was arrested for the murders of American soldiers
at Fort Hood had left so many clues to his hatred of this country that
all you had to do was count the dots, without even connecting them, to
see where he was coming from. But for a fellow officer to alert higher
authorities to the danger would have meant risking damage to his own
career moreso than to that of Major Nidal Hasan.
That is because we have become so obsessed with political correctness
that both common sense and self-preservation have to take a back seat.
We don't dare "profile" anybody going through security checks because
that's not politically correct. Far better to be blown to smithereens
than to be politically incorrect.
Probably the country with the strongest security checks for airline
passengers and the strongest reason for such checks is Israel.
Israel profiles. I have been to Israel more than once and it is clear
that they profile.
Fortunately, my wife and I obviously don't fit their profile, whatever
that may be. Others who have been to Israel are amazed when I tell them
that we have gone through Israeli security four times and they have
never opened our luggage.
That is all the more surprising, since we take a lot of luggage. We have
stopped in Israel while on trips completely around the world, including
countries both above and below the equator, so we had to have clothing
for hot weather and cold weather, since the seasons are the opposite in
the northern and southern hemispheres. Moreover, I carry a lot of
photographic equipment in a large, separate piece of luggage.
In short, our luggage could carry enough explosives to blow up any
building in the country. But, whatever their security system and
whatever their profile, they didn't seem to want to waste any time on
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The last time we flew into Israel was from Cairo, where the Israeli
security officials at the Cairo airport detained the lady in line in
front of us for 45 minutes, opened her luggage, spread the contents
across the counter, and asked her all sorts of questions. When they had
finally finished with her and my wife and I stepped up to the counter,
the official in charge waved us on impatiently, saying, "Hurry up,
you'll miss the plane."
This was no special treatment for us. They had no idea who we were. We
were just not the kind of people they spent time on, for whatever
Recently, an Israeli security official was interviewed on Fox News
Channel by Mike Huckabee. The official said that he has testified before
Congress and offered to help with suggestions on how the American
airport security system could be improved and he clearly thought it
needed a lot of improvement.
Apparently the only response he got from American security officials was
a polite letter. "They didn't tell me to go to Hell," he said. "They
There is no stronger indication of danger than officials who don't want
to hear what anybody else has to say, even when those who offer to help
have a system that works better than ours.
The fundamental issue goes beyond the Fort Hood massacre or the
Christmas bomber. These are just symptoms of a larger set of attitudes
and expediences reflecting the same outlook.
Putting terrorists on trial in American criminal courts, under rules
designed for American citizens, tells you all you need to know about
whether the Obama administration is serious about security or is still
playing the political correctness game.
Terrorists are not covered by the Geneva convention for the simple
reason that they do not abide by the Geneva convention. They are enemy
combatants and you do not turn enemy combatants loose to go back to
killing Americans while the war is still on not if you are being
serious, as distinguished from being political or ideological.