December 26, 2009

Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab.

Some facts about the Christmas Day bomber:

1. He was an engineering student who lived in a $4 million apartment in London.

2. His father, a banker, warned American authorities about his son months ago. (How much will Obama be blamed?)

3. His bombing was interrupted by a passenger, Dutch video director Jasper Schuringa, who heard a noise and saw that "he was holding a burning object between his legs. 'I pulled the object from him and tried to extinguish the fire with my hands and threw it away.'"

4. "He was staring into nothing."

ADDED: Mutallab had a 2-year visa that was issued in 2008, and "the initial information was not specific enough to raise alarms that he could potentially carry out a terrorist attack":
“The information was passed into the system, but the expression of radical extremist views were very nonspecific,” said the senior administration official, who has been briefed on the inquiry but spoke on condition of anonymity because it is continuing. “We were evaluating him, but the information we had was not a lot to go on.”
Satisfied with the job the administration is doing protecting us from terrorism? George Bush protected the American homeland after 9/11. Is Obama taking it seriously enough? Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
traditionalguy said...

Just another priviledged kid who was taken in by the moslem cult's promise that he would becoming the moslem god's favorite warrior by attacking and murdering infidels. These guys need to find an atonement for their legalistic religion's guilt that is in the death of God's own son and not on their own and innocent infidel's deaths.

From Inwood said...

Kinda hurts the conventional wisdom that it's poverty which causes bombing & other bad things.

Fred4Pres said...

His pants caught on fire...Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Sorry, it just popped into my head.

I am glad no one was seriously hurt, including the terrorist. I hope he can provide useful information on how he was recruited and groomed for this suicide murder attack.

Florida said...

In order to board a Delta flight in Amsterdam bound for Detroit, one must receive permission from the US State Department.

It is Hillary Clinton who is in charge of handing out Visas.

How come nobody is calling Hillary Clinton for comment on why her department granted a known terrorist permission to come into our country on an airplane?

Michael said...

Julius Ray Hoffman

Is perfectly correct. Those beastly Baptists constantly trying to blow us sky high, not to mention the Methodists and Seventh Day Adventists have got to be stopped. Hindus and Buddhists always storming down the aisles. Catholics. Yech.

David said...

A $4 million apartment! Oh, the oppresson.

Is it possible that radical jihad is a means to prevent ordinary Muslims from learning who their actual oppressors are?

Florida said...

Associated Press:

"Abdulmutallab had for at least two years been on a list that includes people with known or suspected contact or ties to terrorists, an official briefed on the attack told The Associated Press Saturday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The list, known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, is maintained by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center and contains about 550,000 names.

Dutch anti-terrorism authorities said Abdulmutallab was traveling on a U.S. visa valid through the first half of 2010.

A security official in Amsterdam, where the Christmas Day flight originated, told Newsweek that U.S. security authorities had cleared the flight for departure.

A U.S. counterterrorism official acknowledged that "in many respects, this one (case) is puzzling. There's still a lot of questions that need answers."

There's no mystery here. The US State Department, run by Hillary Clinton, is not competent to hand out fucking visas.

They're handing out visas to known terrorists and it's only a matter of luck that their incompetence didn't result in the deaths of thousands of people as this aircraft's parts rained down in a fiery storm over Detroit, Michigan.

Fire the stupid bitch.

Florida said...

Investigative Reporter:

Quick question for you Ms. Clinton ... how many other known terrorists today hold valid US travel visas issued by the State Department?

Have you taken the time today, Madam Secretary, to compare the TIDE list of 550,000 known terrorists with the list of visas you've already handed out to people?

It would seem like a trivial matter to use a computer to compare those two lists.

Isn't that why we have computers? Couldn't a computer tell you, say in about 10 minutes, how many terrorists you've given travel visas to other than this one?

vbspurs said...

1. He was an engineering student who lived in a $4 million apartment in London.

I wondered about that! When I saw the apartment building's doors on BBC America, I realised they were much too grand for a poor university student. Those are straight out of Kensington or Mayfair!

Dutch video director Jasper Schuringa

Pass the dutchie by the right hand side (and let him fly over three rows of seats!).

Excellent. I genuinely thought it was a young beefy American guy, given the descriptions. In the CNN interview (with the Miami skyline in the background -- he was on his way to visiting relatives here, there's always a Florida link), he didn't seem "sturdy" as described repeatedly by witnesses, but rather sinewy, like a lean and muscular soccer player.

Incidentally, CNN have been far better covering this incident than Fox (and certainly much more than MSNBC, who are taking the traditional Lefty attitude of ignoring anything which feeds into the War on Terror narrative). They published the first grainy photograph of Abdul being led away in the pain, plus they got the Sharinga exclusive.

Bully for them.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

$4 million, that's what these days, about £500?

jag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

"In the plane" -- though I'm sure he was in PAIN too.

avwh said...

His FATHER flagged him, he was on an international terrorist list, and we STILL let him come to this country?

TSA and the State Dept have got some 'splainin to do...

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Time for a historic speech in Nigeria....we need to engage the super rich Muslim youth of Africa, not wage war on them....

I'm sure I'm not the first person to think this, but if the backgrounds of almost all terrorists, from Bin Laden to Nidal Hassan and now Abdulmuttalab can be inferred upon -- men from a privileged, educated background in their native countries like those in Africa, it's a good job that Barack Hussein Obama was born in the US, as he easily fits the description of those men.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?"

I think that's hard to tell. There is a level of bureaucratic stupidity that permeates all large organizations. But bureaucrats also cover their asses as a very first priority. Perhaps under Bush the CYA mentality would be more evident among the bureaucrats because the message from the top was clearer. But you can't really count on that.

Guy Average said...

Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?

Of course no one can answer this with certainty. Was there an incident comparable during Bush's Two Terms? Only Richard Reid's aborted attempt, which was less than 6 weeks after 9/11, when the Gorelick Wall was stil being deconstructed.

There was nothing like Ft. Hood during Bush's watch. There was the "Flying Imam" incident, though.

Thankfully, no serious injuries from this incident, because a fire on an aircraft can be a MAJOR problem.

At least the WH has been able to state publicly that it is terrorism this time, unlike Ft. Hood.

A better question than the one I copied at the top of this comment: Would Bush be allowing KSM to be tried in a court in NYC?

Oh Please....

Balfegor said...

Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?

David's "hard to tell" answer is probably correct. But my guess would be no, he wouldn't have done. I mean, it's the same ineffectual TSA in any event -- who can have much confidence that their lackwit inspectors and their niggling rules about fluids and shoes could have caught this?

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Damn, JRH must be posting some outstanding comments, except those of us late to the table will never know what they were.

Solution is obvious: Ban all spoiled rich kids from the world's airlines. Richard Reed is the exception to that rule which proves my point!

Big Mike said...

Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?

Trying to bounce that blame all the way to the top was pathetically stupid back when Bush was president, and I think it's still stupid now. But that said, coupling Amar Farouk Abdul Mutallab this month with Nidal Malik Hasan last month suggests to me that this administration should start reviewing their priorities.

vbspurs said...

Can someone explain why the TSA are being blamed for this, at least in part, in commentaries? The flight originated in Nigeria, and if anything, Schiphol is on the hot seat not our TSA. What am I missing here?

David said...

This from AP:

"This alleged attack on a U.S. airplane on Christmas Day shows that we must remain vigilant in the fight against terrorism at all times," Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement.

"We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously, and we will use all measures available to our government to ensure that anyone responsible for this attempted attack is brought to justice."


Anyone feeling better after that statement?

"Alleged attack?" Ask the people who subdued him if there was an attack.

I

Florida said...

“The information was passed into the system, but the expression of radical extremist views were very nonspecific,” said the senior administration official, who has been briefed on the inquiry but spoke on condition of anonymity because it is continuing. “We were evaluating him, but the information we had was not a lot to go on.”

Look you stupid fucking Democrats. We are not required to let anyone into our country.

It is legal and moral to err on the side of our own safety. If they're on a terrorist watch list for any fucking reason whatsoever, they should not be getting a travel visa. Period.

Get it through your thick fucking skulls you stupid fucking morons.

Why do we have to keep having this stupid fucking conversation with Democrats?

KLDAVIS said...

Has anyone seen confirmation that the passengers from Nigeria were forced to deplane in Amsterdam? It's possible the only breakdown in physical security was in Nigeria...unless you count the procedural situation which allowed for the only physical search of an individual entering the U.S. on an airplane to occur in Nigeria.

Florida said...

"Trying to bounce that blame all the way to the top was pathetically stupid back when Bush was president, and I think it's still stupid now."

Hey Big Mike ... where does the buck stop?

Balfegor said...

Can someone explain why the TSA are being blamed for this, at least in part, in commentaries? The flight originated in Nigeria, and if anything, Schiphol is on the hot seat not our TSA. What am I missing here?

I hate the TSA.

That said, when boarding an international flight bound for the USA, it may not be the TSA performing the actual inspection, but there's clearly heavy TSA involvement (or whoever supervises the TSA), because once you pass the local airport security, there's a second barrage of security where they do all the TSA things just before you get on the plane. I just took a flight from Seoul to LA a few days ago, and had to go through it. I remember something similar in India a few years ago, although for some reason, I don't remember a similar procedure in Australia or Europe -- I think the European/Australian procedures may already have been in line with TSA procedures.

Florida said...

"This alleged attack on a U.S. airplane on Christmas Day shows that we must remain vigilant in the fight against terrorism at all times," Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement."

"Alleged."

Somebody should tell Eric Holder to just shut the fuck up. I mean what a stupid fucking moron.

Every time he opens his mouth Barack Obama's presidency dies just a little bit.

I've never seen an Administration official who makes their President look like a fucking moron on a daily basis worse than Eric Holder.

Why doesn't he just walk right into the Oval Office and just take a giant shit right there on the carpet? And then call a press conference.

David said...

"Can someone explain why the TSA are being blamed for this."

TSA does all kinds of liaison with departure airports for the USA. They have a lot of influence with them, and with the airlines.

I don't know who creates the "no fly" list. If it's TSA their responsibility is even more obvious. If not, it's whoever runs the no fly.

The Dad warned about his son? I think we may find an interagency communications breakdown here.

Nice to hear from Eric Holder, but Obama must think this incident is below the Presidential pay grade. After all, no Harvard professors were involved in the attack, and there's probabaly no one he can invite over for a beer.

David said...

By the way, the Israelis do not delegate passenger screening on inbound El Al flights to Nigerians, or anyone else.

Lisa said...

And the sexism continues.

If you have an issue with the way someone is performing their job, then call them on that but to use sexist language suggests your real issue is the woman and the fact she is a woman.

KLDAVIS said...

Charges have been filed, therefore, the incidents are now "alleged" to have occurred. This administration has decided to treat the WOT as a legal issue. This should surprise no one.

Lisa said...

David,

Israeli security is MUCH tighter than American security. We could learn much from them. However, they do actively profile... and it saves lives.

Florida said...

"I hate the TSA."

Look folks ... the TSA frankly has been given an impossible task. It has a limited time window to check every passenger on every plane entering the US. We just have to accept the fact that they're going to miss some sophisticated attacks of this type.

However, the State Department has an unlimited amount of time to decide whether a known terrorist on the TIDE list should be let into the country.

State has unlimited amounts of time to check the list, and then decide whether or not to issue a visa.

In this case, Hillary Clinton's department gave the known terrorist the visa. They gave a terrorist a visa ... because his "expression of radical extremist views were very nonspecific."

So, by all means, let the nonspecific terrorists in.

What the fuck? We gotta knock some serious heads together. on this one.

If I'm in TSA ... I'm calling bullshit. Their job is hard enough without the State Department handing the terrorists first class fucking travel documents to America.

So, first thing we gotta do is fire a whole lot of people at the State Department before they get us all killed.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

George Bush protected the American homeland after 9/11.

Uh, how convenient it is to forget the fact that George Bush didn't protect the American homeland on 9/11.

Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?

LOL. Good lord. Just like Bush couldn't keep Richard Reid off that other plane, and just like George Bush couldn't stop the D.C. snipers, or the anthrax letters, or the gunmen at LAX on 4th of July, or the anti-Israeli shooter in Seattle in 2006, or the Virginia tech massacre, or...

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I'm sure I'm not the first person to think this, but if the backgrounds of almost all terrorists, from Bin Laden to Nidal Hassan and now Abdulmuttalab can be inferred upon -- men from a privileged, educated background in their native countries like those in Africa, it's a good job that Barack Hussein Obama was born in the US, as he easily fits the description of those men.

Jesus fucking christ Vicky you have gone off the deep end. Cheers, indeed!

vbspurs said...

Israeli security is MUCH tighter than American security. We could learn much from them. However, they do actively profile... and it saves lives.

I've been told by all my Israeli friends, that you haven't seen airport security in boarding planes, if you've never flown El-Al. I don't doubt that, but let me tell you -- I've travelled to Cuba, and we were told to arrive 4-5 hours beforehand, and to keep everything in clear packaging until boarding. It took us 3 security clearances all told. That was the year 2000, pre-9/11.

Big Mike said...

@Florida, can we be rational for a moment? If it turns out that this president has set the wrong policy towards people who might harbor "radical extremist views" receiving visas or has put the wrong people in charge of State and/or DHS, then those things can be fixed. If it turns out that some time-serving FS7 in the State Department rubber-stamped the Visa application without doing the proper checks, I don't see how that can be blamed on Barack Obama.

Rialby said...

There is always plenty of blame to go around but, let's face it, governments are not good at stopping terrorism. It's incredibly hard to be right all the time.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - George Bush protected the American homeland after 9/11. Is Obama taking it seriously enough? Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?

1. George Bush has a very mixed record on protecting the Homeland. He did good on the small threat of AQ. Not so good on mass illegal 3rd World immigration past Borders he refused to control. Allowing the financial system to collapse. Loss of 3 million good jobs to CHina and covering that by borrowing to create more Federal jobs than LBJ. He left America a weaker and poorer country for his 8 years.

2. Is Obama taking it seriously enough? Well, on one hand he is not hesitant about whacking Islamoids and his Nobel speech was a pleasant surprise in that he will not be a brainless Lefty Pacifist. And he is shaming Euroweenies to help out in Afghanistan while keeping us out of 3 new wars John McCain wanted us to engage in. But on the other hand, he appointed Eric Holder. A most unserious choice.

3. Would Bush have kept the Islamoid off the plane? Unlikely as the kid was wealthy, Bush's kinda folk. Not that EITHER Obama or Bush would have any business personally micromanaging the trenches about individual Islamoid's Visas or poring over "no-fly lists".
Bush was also very reluctant to say a peep denouncing the Saudis funding intolerant radical Wahhabi propaganda globally, or what Bush frequently called the "Religion of Peace" itself.

Big Mike said...

@Zach the Hack, I'm sure Victoria meant it tongue in cheek. Grow up, will you?

vbspurs said...

Yes, Zach, it was a throwaway line...sheesh.

Florida said...

"Just like Bush couldn't keep Richard Reid off that other plane ..."

Hey Zack ... Richard Reid wasn't on a terrorist watch list, buddy. And that's the big problem.

Hillary Clinton gave this guy permission to come into America - even though he was already flagged as a potential terrorist.

That's the difference.

There's always going to be new people we know nothing about somehow getting in and causing mayhem. We know that.

We have enough of a problem with that.

Yet, here's Hillary Clinton's State Department deciding that, even though this person has expressed radical extremist views against our country ... since those views were in their opinion "non-specific," they decided to go ahead and let that fucker into our country.

Flying.

On Christmas.

Instead of erring on the side of caution, they erred on the side of the extremist. Since, you know, it was non-specific extremism.

There's only one way to stop decisions of this type and that is to fire the fuckers who made such stupid decisions.

Barack Obama had better fire Hillary Clinton over this, or it's obvious that he's not serious about protecting us.

edutcher said...

From Inwood said...

Kinda hurts the conventional wisdom that it's poverty which causes bombing & other bad things

It's the conventional Lefty wisdom. Going back to the days when the KGB had a filthy little finger in most things terrorist, it was always the spoiled rich kids doing this stuff - Carlos The Jackal, Baader and Meinhof, William Ayers, Ho Chi Minh. The ones with more money than brains. The next in line were the professional classes - Mao, Fidel, etc.

Bin Laden and Zawahiri are the inheritors of the tradition.

Painting terrorists as the poor and downtrodden is a misdirection move to take eyes away from how these idiots were recruited in the first place.

vbspurs said...

@Florida, can we be rational for a moment?

Big Mike, you're talking about a MOBY...

PatCA said...

The 9/11 hijackers received their visas (posthumously of course), so yes, Bush and his State Dept. would have admitted this guy too.

I would like these yahoos to tell me what exactly would be "specific" enough to question an Army doctor or keep a hate-filled jihadi off an airplane. So far I see no limits. After all, we wouldn't want a lawsuit! We wouldn't want to lose our diversity!

Florida said...

@BigMike

Mike here's what we know:

1) The terrorist was on the TIDE list of 550,000 known bad guys.
2) He expressed radical extremist views against our country such that he was put on that list.
3) His expressed views were of a non-specific type, but were sufficient to get himself placed on the TIDE list.

Our entry policy can be:

a) let such people fly into our country, or

b) err on the side of safety and deny such people visas.

Barack Obama's State Department policy is to let such people fly into our country with no pat downs or additional security at the gate.

I ask you:

Where. Does. The. Buck. Stop?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Sorry if you were joking, V. I didn't read it as sarcasm. But assuming now that it is, it's good.

Sam U. said...

Yeah! And, Florida, our policy towards YOUR civil liberties could be one of two things:

1. Honor them.

2. Abridge them just in case we might be wrong. Remember: "better safe than sorry."

I'm sure you favor the second one, right?
Or are soft on national security?

Dave said...

'Couldn't a computer tell you, say in about 10 minutes, how many terrorists you've given travel visas to other than this one?'

The visa was issued in June 2008.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm moving this comment from another thread and expanding:

The Drill SGT said...
Julius Ray Hoffman said...
You ought not to become complacent because of the ineptitude demonstrated here.

It failed, but until they analyze the chemistry involved, it is not clear that it was inept.

It may turn out to be a very sophisticated bomb with liquid and powdered components triggered with a syringe.


The news just now says the explosive used was PETN. PETN is 1.66 times more powerful than TNT. I wonder if they had tested it and the ignition device. The reason I raise that is that explosive typically need both shock and heat, hence a blasting cap. you can put a match to many explosives, C4 and TNT for example and all you get is a hot fast fire. slam it with a hammer while it burns and lose your arm.

This guys bomb burned, but did not explode. but the explosive should have been detectable in any airport check.

PETN is apparently far more sensitive than TNT, nearly like NITRO.

The other strange twist is that the guy got up and went to the mens room then came back covered up with a blanket and went off. It might have turned out differently if he had ignited in the restroom.

The Drill SGT said...

I note that DHS is now talking again about terrorism, rather than that PC "man caused disaster" crap.

maybe this taught them a lesson without loss of life

Florida said...

@Samu

Nobody has a civil right to enter the United States. Nobody. We pick and choose who gets to come ... every day.

It's why the Democrats maintain No-fly lists and TIDE lists. It's because Democrats want to keep some people out of our country who have expressed a desire to kill citizens here.

This is not a rights issue ... it's a safety issue.

We can have people in positions of power who are determined to keep us safe ... or we can have people in positions of power who care more about political correctness.

Barack Obama can fire anyone who is not carrying out his wishes.

Florida said...

"he visa was issued in June 2008."

When he was issued a visa is beside the point. Visas can be revoked.

The terrorists father alerted our intelligence agencies weeks ago about this terrorists intentions. Although they were non-specific threats ... they were made known to the FBI.

Here ... let's go read the New York Times:

"A senior Obama administration official said Mr. Abdulmutallab had come to the attention of American officials at least “several weeks ago,” but the initial information was not specific enough to raise alarms that he could potentially carry out a terrorist attack.

"The investigative file was opened after Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father warned officials at the United States Embassy in Nigeria of his son’s increasingly extremist religious views, the official said."


So ... State Department in Nigeria was warned about this potential terrorists in their midst. They could have revoked the visa then and there, but they didn't err on the side of caution.

This terrorist was brought to the attention of the State Department and they could have revoked his visa at any moment, merely by flicking a switch in the VISA entry system.

They chose not to.

They didn't even so much as flag him for extra security or a pat down.

Fire. State. Department. Employees.

info said...

hate to break it to you...uhbuhma could care less...distraction

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Bureaucratic fubar -- could have happened under any president.

I wouldn't blame Obama for this one, except in that he's decided that the War on Terror doesn't exist. (Sorry, rhetoric counts. Source for that point -- BHO last year.)

If Obama's policies make us less safe, that'll show up in a year or two, not now.

vbspurs said...

The 9/11 hijackers received their visas (posthumously of course), so yes, Bush and his State Dept. would have admitted this guy too.

But PatCa, the point is that the system was tightened AFTER the 9/11 attacks. Significantly. Even my friends here on student visas had to prove they were still in school, whereas before they had been allowed to slide. Sure he got a visa in 2008, but it's possible he didn't come under suspicion for terrorist activity until this very year. He's very very young looking.

Having said that, with all due respect to the person who asked it, I think the question, "Would Bush have kept Mutallab off that plane?" is really silly.

First off, it personalises the War on Terror, making Bush the fountain of all American safety. It reminds me of lefties who consider Obama the direct instrument of changing their lives -- like the person I know who told me that "Obama gave me a really big tax refund this year".

The buck stops here, and all that -- yes, it's correct to hold one's leaders responsible for mistakes (I inferred as much with my "Heckuva job, Obama" line). But that's just in the heat of the moment. The system is bigger than one man, even a president.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh Brother! Bush let Richard Reid on a plane.

What is it with the extraordinary short-term memory?

vbspurs said...

If Obama's policies make us less safe, that'll show up in a year or two, not now.

I agree. The most that can be taken away from this incident (and perhaps that of Ft. Hood) is that it's the start of a trend.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Of course, if there were any empiricists around, we would do the logical thing.

At every day of Obama's presidency, we would tally the number of dead due to domestic terrorism under his watch, and compare it to the number of dead due to domestic terrorism at the same point in Bush's presidency.

Seeing as how we're past September, I think Obama's winning by at least a few thousand.

Nice try. You guys really do care less about our safety than you do attacking Obama.

vbspurs said...

What I like to know, is why this boy (he's only 23) didn't activate his explosive DURING the flight, when they were over the ocean?

That way he didn't have to insist on keeping his blanket over his tummy during landing, because he claimed he had an upset stomach, thus drawing attention to himself.

Could it be that though he wanted to explode the plane or at least cause significant damage, that he got a bit of cold feet as the flight progressed, and knowing that there would be a fire truck and ambulances as they approached Detroit, he hedged his bet?

miller said...

The only "trend" it shows is that man-child President isn't paying attention to the defense of the citizens who voted him into office.

He's paying attention to his jet-setting friends as he flees to Hawaii just after he lectures us all about our evil carbon-consuming ways.

I realize the guy is not serious about being president, but today I realized that I'm now also less safe with him as president.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Jasper Schuringa has to be properly recognized for acting to help put down this fruitcake wannabe bomber from Nigeria.

What is it about Dutch filmmakers that makes them outstanding citizens?

Big Mike said...

@Florida, if in fact (A) really is the Obama administration's policy then he has to do some serious rethinking and make sure that Napolitano and H. Clinton get it. But I'm not so certain that (A) really is the administration policy.

Let's do a thought ("gedanken") experiment. Given all the negative publicity that arose during the Bush administration when Muslim lecturers were barred from entry in the United States for conferences, could it be the case that the professional FSOs at State have established (A) as the de facto policy?

Just thinking.

PatCA said...

I agree, victoria, it's not a personal decision. Richard Reid was let on a plane after 9/11, even after Israel turned him down. I just don't have any faith in our institutions to see that changed. Thank goodness for courageous passengers.

class-factotum said...

His FATHER flagged him, he was on an international terrorist list, and we STILL let him come to this country?

And yet I cannot take a jar of pickled okra on the flight from Jacksonville to Memphis with me, even if I offer to pour off the liquid, and the 75-yr-old grandmother ahead of me has to toss her toothpaste. Because we might be dangerous.

JAL said...

the incidents are now "alleged" to have occurred

How can incidents be alleged? It's the perpetrator who is alleged.

The fire did not start by itself.

JAL said...

Toothpaste nothing. My 92 -- soon to be 93 -- year old mother was given the complete pat down two weeks ago travelling from CA back to us (southeast).

She was accompanied by my middle aged sister. My mother cannot walk independently very well and has to use a wheeled walker. She is about 4' 4" (and shrinking), pure white hair, bright blue eyes and relatively immobile without her walker. (No trips to Yemen, as she doesn't even have a passport anymore.)

So to prove that the searches are random, they pick people like my mom.

Opus One Media said...

Florida said...
“Look you stupid fucking Democrats. We are not required to let anyone into our country".

Florida makes a highly compelling case for weeding through our current population and asking the complete idiots to leave....or did that one sail by you?

vbspurs said...

Old Grouchy Doug Wright (Merry Christmas!) wrote:

What is it about Dutch filmmakers that makes them outstanding citizens?

With all due respect to the slain Theo van Gogh, this Jasper fella is much more of a TOTAL hottie. Rrrrr, woof.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama can't even control who comes to his parties.

He doesn't believe in security.

It's only a matter of time before "chickens come home to roost."

Opus One Media said...

Florida said...
"Barack Obama's State Department policy is to let such people fly into our country with no pat downs or additional security at the gate.

I ask you:

Where. Does. The. Buck. Stop?"

ahhh Florida? earth to florida...take off the tin foil hat for a second...listen up. We don't control security in Europe and it isn't our guys patting people down....just in case you are confused or something...

and as to "where does the buck stop?"....I generally suspect, but this is just a wild hunch, but judging from the thought level behind your comments on this thread, I suspect that the buck is about a ruler deep up your rear end.

Opus One Media said...

Kirby Olson said...
"Obama can't even control who comes to his parties.
He doesn't believe in security.
It's only a matter of time before "chickens come home to roost."


Ahhh Kirby, there you go again...Obama doesn't serve chicken....ohhh and by the way, the Secret Service provides security. I bet he does believe in security..specially with the uberright running around with guns and zero brains....and the chickens? you are referring to the ones that GWB let get away right? right?

ya'betcha. now we wait for sarah to weigh in....

vbspurs said...

The latest info is that young terrorist hid the explosives in his undies (!).

Coming from a punning culture, I know tomorrow the British tabloids will be filled with "Flying Dutchman" references.

Can you think of what they'll call Abdulmuttalab? The Skivvie Bomber?

vbspurs said...

We all know what could've happened. But sometimes it helps to visualise the reality. What a small amount of explosives do to a plane.

Irene said...

Rep. Peter King just spoke on CNN, and he criticized the administration for failing to put a "face" on the response yesterday's events.

When asked why no one from the White House had addressed the public about an attempted Christmas-Day terrorist attack, a White House spokesperson replied that it was not the President's "style" to step out, and that the President would leave the matter to "investigators" and "professionals."

Not the style of the President to step forward and speak?

Leaving it the professionals?

Irene said...

*to*

Mary Christine said...

So instead of really responding to the fact that we could have known that this guy was a real risk, we will now not let people use the rest room in the last half hour of a flight and not let them have a blanket and pillow. Oh, and not let children and grandmothers have their toothpaste.

Every single one of the people who have tried to perpetrate these things has fit the exact same profile and hasn't looked like nana or a 4 year old kid. God forbid we should use sense and target the right people.

Mark said...

Put me in the "Obama wasn't the one doing the screening" camp. Blaming the President personally for Mutallab getting as far as he did is foolish.

Now, Obama's response if very much fair game, and by avoiding the issue he's very much screwing the pooch. How many people in America don't know that only by the grace of God and an Dutch filmmaker did we dodge a flaming catastrophe? How many of those people feel safer today than they did on Christmas Eve?

And Opus One, does your check come straight from Axelrod, or is he bothering to cover his tracks?

vbspurs said...

Not the style of the President to step forward and speak?

Leaving it the professionals?


I saw that live too! Of course, Peter King is making hay of Obama's absence, but he did make two points -- the one you mentioned, that he is not putting an Administrative face to the response, and that President Obama has a cool remove to any situation involving terrorism (perhaps referring to his oddball "shoutout" remarks surrounding the Ft. Hood massacre).

I understand people are on vacation. It's Christmas. Yadda. Blaba. But you tell me he can't appear even for a quick statement? Biden? Clinton? No one from this Administration can comment even for appearances' sakes? Weak.

Irene said...

Mark said, "[B]y avoiding the issue he's very much screwing the pooch."

I like the metaphor.

Victoria, a "cool remove" got President Bush in a lot of trouble during Katrina.

Oh wait, Katrina was Bush's fault.

Jason said...

The reason we occasionally search people who obviously don't fit a terrorist profile is not because we think they are suspicious. It is to deny the terrorists an easy course of action.

If we did not occasionally pick a grandma out to search, the terrorists would notice the pattern, and will kidnap a grandma, wire her with explosives, keep her grandchildren captive, and tell her that she can either follow instructions, or her grandchildren will die horrible deaths.

Besides, they'll tell her. She's not the only terrorist on the plane.

Al Qaeda is known to practice a wide range of variations on this technique. It occurs to me that they are better suited for other targets than to airplanes. But still... don't fall into the trap of thinking that we search grandmothers only because we're stupid.

That's not the case.

Well, we're stupid. But that's not the only reason we search grandmothers.

Big Mike said...

Agree with Mark that Rep. King is absolutely right. He doesn't appear to have any empathy at all.

Bush at least visited the Katrina-related disaster areas. I the 11 months since he was inaugurated Obama has not visited one single disaster area. Not one.

garage mahal said...

Old spin: Obama is a narcissist! Just leave us alone! I can't stand him on TV another second!

New spin: Where IS he to comfort me! Say something! Why did he vacation so far away!

Big Mike said...

Sh*t. Pronoun antecedents strike me down again. I had edited out a whole bunch of text and now "he" looks like it refers to King when I meant it to refer to the President.

I regret my error.

Big Mike said...

Oh, come on, garage. Both are perfectly true. The President should save his appearances on the tube for when it's really needed.

David said...

vbspurs said...
"What I like to know, is why this boy (he's only 23) didn't activate his explosive DURING the flight, when they were over the ocean? "

That sounds plausible. Apparently he had more incendiary material in his underwear. (Boxers or briefs?) I would think the way to do it would be to ignite it in the bathroom, or at least set it up in the bathroom and then step quickly outside.

Either this guy was poorly trained or he had multiple changes of heart.

vbspurs said...

Either this guy was poorly trained or he had multiple changes of heart.

I was watching CNN all day today, but finally turned to Fox after Larry King came on. He has the first person I've heard since the terrorist attempt say that what did we expect would happen, if the US continues to meddle in Muslim lands. Oh brother.

Greta is a true journalist, and from her programme I learnt some interesting details I hadn't read elsewhere:

- Abdulmuttalab had a ONE WAY TICKET.

- Which he paid in cash.

- He had no luggage.

All of these are massive red flags, and one I think is actually illegal -- you cannot enter the US even with an open-ended visa, unless you have a run-trip ticket.

Can someone confirm that?

Either way, security at Schiphol now has very little wiggle room to escape censure.

vbspurs said...

Boxers or briefs?

I should email Greta to find out. :)

This is what Jasper Shuringa said on the matter.

Schuringa, sitting in seat 20J, in the right-most section of the Airbus 330, looked to his left. "I saw smoke rising from a seat ... I didn’t hesitate. I just jumped," he said.

Schuringa dove over four passengers to reach Abdul Mutallab’s seat. The suspect had a blanket on his lap. "It was smoking and there were flames coming from beneath his legs."

"I searched on his body parts and he had his pants open. He had something strapped to his legs."

The unassuming hero ripped the flaming, molten object — which resembled a small, white shampoo bottle — off Abdul Mutallab’s left leg, near his crotch. He said he put out the fire with his bare hands.

Schuringa yelled for water, and members of the flight crew soon appeared with fire extinguishers. Then, he said, he hauled the suspect out of the seat.

"I took him in a choke to the first class and all the people were like, ‘What’s going on?!"

"I don’t feel like a hero," Schuringa told the Post as he recuperated with pals. "It was something that came completely natural ... It was something where I had to do something or it was too late.


"I searched on his body parts"...near his crotch...put out the fire with his bare hands.

Movie offer.

Cheers,
Victoria

former law student said...

Flight NW 253 does not originate in Nigeria. It runs from Amsterdam to Detroit. In any event, for most of the 90s, airport security in Nigeria was considered inadequate. Mutallab should have been reinspected in Amsterdam with imaging equipment.

Next step -- nude boarding.

The Mutallab incident is exactly like W's Richard Reid incident -- known religious nutter Muslim attempts to blow up airplane with items he concealed on person. Only, you'd think W. would have been hypersensitized to Muslim terrorists, less than three months after 9/11.

class-factotum said...

to prove the searches are random

I don't care about random searches. I don't want random searches. I want targeted searches. I want them to be looking for terrorists, not wasting time. When is the last time a retired Lutheran from Iowa bombed a plane?

Please feel free to pull the 30 year old Muslim guy from Saudi Arabia from the line for extra screening and let the rest of us pass through unimpeded. I am fine with that. If it were middle-aged Catholic women from Wisconsin doing the bad stuff, I would take one for the team.

G Joubert said...

A nice Muslim boy.

vbspurs said...

A link to the Independent's story about the "Privileged Terrorist" (as Druge calls him). I want to show you guys some of the comments left after the article.

This one goes to FLS' nude boarding idea:

"For example, our body cavities can store all sorts of things. Are all passengers to be subjected to skin searches, rectal and vaginal examinations, X-Rays? Should all passengers be anaesthetised during flight? Will even that do any good other than to stop people from wanting to fly."

This commenter references the Filipino rebellion of 1900! You know, to suggest that Americans and Muslims go WAYYY back. (It's probably tongue-in-cheek though)

"To stop this we need to play on their ignorance by burying executed terrorist in pork skin coats. In their ignorant beliefs that would mean he!l for ever and ever no virgins just he!l. It worked for the US military in the Filipino rebellion around 1900! The American military knows this quite well. The real question is why we are not doing this already, is it that PC strikes again?"

Ahh, it was only a matter of time before the conspiracists would come out to play.

"i cant believe a nigerian tried to bring down a plane. Maybe he is mentally disturbed. There are no terrorists in nigeria. fnigerias will steal your identity and all your money but to destroy a plane? no way. keep digging"

The comment gets a tag-team below.

"I agree. I’m sorry but as soon as I see these stories about links to Muslim terrorists I smell a rat. Call me cynical, but after watching endless programmes about 9/11 and 7/7 I find the connecting hard to swallow. Still the media always takes the easiest way out and even when they’re wrong, they never admit it."

Finally, it was only a matter of time before we found out who was REALLY behind this terrorist event. THE JOOOOOOOOS.

"An estimated 3,000 Dutch residents suffer health problems as a result of the chemical and radioactive poisoning that occurred when El Al 1862 crashed in 1992 carrying toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of nerve gas . Today there is growing awareness in Holland of Israel’s privileged and unregulated use of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to transport dangerous military cargo, a practice that clearly puts the health of the Dutch people at risk.
“El Al has its own security force at Schiphol,” Heijboer told AFP. “But they don’t work for El Al—they are all from Shin Bet (Israeli secret service) and are paid by the Israeli embassy. The Israelis run the airport like a little Haifa.”
People are already asking how Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was able to get onto an airplane in Amsterdam bound for Detroit with a bomb strapped to his leg when the Amsterdam airport uses the full-body scanners.
As it turns out, security at the Amsterdam airport is run by ICTS, THE VERY SAME ISRAELI-OWNED COMPANY THAT RAN SECURITY AT EVERY SINGLE AIRPORT FROM WHICH THE 9-11 TERRORISTS DEPARTED, APPARENTLY ALSO BYPASSING SECURITY CHECKS!"

Oy. The earth may not have a fever, but certain people on it certainly do. Jew fever.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Vicki: Remember you're a grandma so either act your age or do what Tiger did and try to be discrete!

Didn't work for him either!

vbspurs said...

Err. Old Grouchy, are you talkin' to me? I'm not a grandmother. LOL. That's too funny. :)

amba said...

I doubt that your "will Obama be blamed?" is sincere. I think you're just waving a red flag/red meat to get people worked up. Less subtle than your usual, Ann. This guy was issued a visa in June 2008 (Bush was president). His name was inserted into a terror watch database of 550,000 names last month based on his father's warning. Now tell me that that entire list was "no fly" under Bush and that it was personally dropped down to 4,000 names by Obama. Tell me that Homeland Security is slower to follow up on vague, general month-old warnings since Obama became president.

Bullshit. The argument about whether Obama takes the terror threat seriously enough is an important one, but I doubt it has anything to do with this instance.

JAL said...

"I searched on his body parts"...near his crotch...put out the fire with his bare hands.

Movie offer.


He is a director of videos/movies.

amba said...

why this boy (he's only 23) didn't activate his explosive DURING the flight

Maybe he was ambitious to kill more Americans than just those on the plane.

vbspurs said...

Hey Amba. Merry Christmas. :)

This guy was issued a visa in June 2008 (Bush was president). His name was inserted into a terror watch database of 550,000 names last month based on his father's warning.

That really doesn't mean anything, because his father didn't "denounce" him until six months ago, AFTER his son had applied for the visa. Before that, according to the Independent article, he had been known for his devout Muslim beliefs at his exclusive prep school in Togo, but as you know, you can't blackball a passenger just for being a practising Muslim.

vbspurs said...

Maybe he was ambitious to kill more Americans than just those on the plane.

That's one of the reasons suggested by Jeanne Meserve of CNN. She said something else, which was also very interesting, but I forget.

amba said...

In this case, Hillary Clinton's department gave the known terrorist the visa.

Florida? Hello? The visa was issued in June 2008.

Word is contradictory: was the guy on the list for 2 years, or did he just go on it last month when his father flagged him?

amba said...

Merry Christmas, dear Victoria!

amba said...

Uh, how convenient it is to forget the fact that George Bush didn't protect the American homeland on 9/11.

Zachary, don't you know that was Bill Clinton's fault?

Always blame your predecessor, if s/he is of the other party. It's the new tradition.

amba said...

Aha, so Florida's a MOBY! That explains a few things. Thanks, V!

vw: mendsmor

Good brand name for duct tape, or a sewing machine.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

VPSpurs: Once more into the breech! You're right on with your most recent comments posted here. Well, then since you're not a grandma, watch your back when going after the Dutchman.

Our bureaucracy is going on stupid, decreeing that passengers can't stand up in the last hour of flight! Jeez, AQ would love to have us guessing about why flights disappeared over the oceans! There are many possibilities of what really happened and with what, none of which should be discussed openly on the web; loose keyboards sink our ships.

Thing is that this jerk never should have gotten on the plane, everything VPSpurs that said plus his trip originated at a loosey goosey airport in Lagos. But, since it was Christmas, the Amsterdam security might have said: "Not my job Mon, get on the damned plane!'

However, we know that AQ will continue to pick at our tender parts and try again, some how in some way.

Maybe we need a group of highly trained, super-secret, gone rogue types, to go independent and dig deep by themselves to root out those AQ bastards. Think what would happen if suddenly some of that bunch began to disappear in puffs of whatever, with little trace left behind. That might spook those nasty folks and make them wonder: "Who's next?" However, AG Holder would probably hang our highly trained folks high because that kind of action would sullen our new positive image (Being PC is more correct than being alive?).

Freeman Hunt said...

Obama sucks but not because of this.

vbspurs said...

Well, then since you're not a grandma

I was thinking and thinking about this since reading it since it was so out of left field, and sure enough, a search turned up this! You're not wrong; you just got me confused with "Vicki of Pasadena". No biggie, Old Grouchy! :)

"I understand that some people were throwing up at the movie because of the 3D. Watch a couple of 3d cartoons in preparation. It takes a while to get adjusted to the 3d, then you hardly remember that you have the glasses on. Saw 3 3d cartoons with my grandson and they were fine after a while. Calme, calme."

vbspurs said...

Aha, so Florida's a MOBY! That explains a few things. Thanks, V!

Alex too, Amba. They seem practically indistinguishable at times, except the latter writes at most two lines.

vbspurs said...

Speaking of "no biggie", in the Independent article we learnt that Umar's nickname in London was "Biggie"......

Seven Machos said...

Again, I concur with blog crush Freeman Hunt. There's little Obama could have done about this.

I worked for the State Department. I gave out visas. The son of an apparently prominent banker who is totally loaded would get a visa with basically no questions asked, provided his name didn't come up on your computer the wrong way. We want rich people to come to the United States and spend money.

Please, conservatives, let's keep our shit together and go unhinged to score cheap political points. There's plenty to laugh at Obama about and be disturbed about. This isn't something he did wrong, or Hillary Clinton did wrong. (I would bet that this guy got his visa, incidentally, under Rice.)

At some point, Freeman, you are going to have to admit that we have too much in common not to run off to Florence together.

Seven Machos said...

NOT go unhinged.

pinkmonkeybird said...

Way to go, Althouse.

You voted for Obama despite the warnings that he would not keep America safe.
How's that Hope n' Change working for you, professor?

Seven Machos said...

Also, what's with these crazy Muslim engineering students? I mean, it's clearly a theme at this point, right?

Perhaps people are focusing in the wrong place. If they'd just major in something a little easier and a lot more spiritually nourishing, maybe we could all just have a Coke together in harmony.

AJ Lynch said...

Three points:

Sevem - do you mean Florence, Kentucky?

Where is Janet Reno? We need her now!

Exploding the plane over water,where the cause of the crash, could be unknown forever does not suit the terorist's goal- which is to terrorize.

vbspurs said...

I've ODed on Althouse today, so just a few words to close my night.

Also, what's with these crazy Muslim engineering students? I mean, it's clearly a theme at this point, right?

There's also another thread linking many of these UK-centric terrorists, both successful and unsuccessful -- they were not professionals.

The 7/7 terrorists were dubbed "The B-Team" (speaking of British tabloids) because they were local, poorly trained amateurs who couldn't wreck the havoc the 9/11 terrorists did.

Richard Reid was a low-level hoodlum, who couldn't even give himself a hotfoot.

This millionaire Nigerian chap seems to have been given a more sophisticated mechanism which he was unable to handle.

Though all of us think these people are naturally suspect and ask ourselves how did they escape vigilance, in reality, they're not like the real professional terrorists. We ARE keeping the really cut-throat, seasoned terrorists from getting on planes and successfully carrying out these crimes, forcing them to rely on these incompetents to carry out terror.

Just remember, though. Success is a question of interpretation. If it's better to be lucky than good, we're just fortunate that these terrorists so far have been neither.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Exploding the plane over water,where the cause of the crash, could be unknown forever does not suit the terorist's goal- which is to terrorize.

Oh! You jogged my memory. That's the other point made by Jeanne Meserve too. :)

Seven Machos said...

The deal with Muslim terrorists and airplanes needs to be dissected from several angles as well. Like, Freudian psychoanalysis. Because there is some deep-seated psychological and cultural shit at the bottom of that relationship.

Seven Machos said...

I disagree, Victoria. I remember a raft of terrorist failures and mini-terrorist attacks before September 11 -- over a period of years. This is a period of trial and error. They are going to get this right at some point.

HT said...

Blogger From Inwood said...

Kinda hurts the conventional wisdom that it's poverty which causes bombing & other bad things.

________

Whoever thought that? Take a look at the 911 murderers (during Bush's term) and it's obvious they were some fairly privileged people. I don't think your assumption that people tend to think it's poverty that causes bombing is at all valid.

Seven Machos said...

I don't think your assumption that people tend to think it's poverty that causes bombing is at all valid.

Then you are ingnoring the narrative as mainstream elites have attempted to develop. Pay attention.

HT said...

My advice to you is to think for yourself and pay attention to the bigger picture.

Seven Machos said...

HT -- The comment wasn't about what you think, or in all your wisdom and worldly elan. Nor was it about the actual facts.

It was about what people tend to think.

Given what a great thinker for yourself you clearly are, I'm sure you can see the difference.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Apropos of nothing:

Regarding Florida's potty mouth.

I have a friend who was a Marine from the Vietnam War era. Every other word out of his mouth was either fuck or some other swear word. He didn't realize it; that was just the way he talked from and his experiences in the Corps and from his general upbringing. I began to object because my 2 year old daughter was starting to repeat everything she heard. (Really great at the day care center.) We once counted the number of "fucks" and other profanities in a 10 minute period with a little clicker device and he was amazed. He did try to stop and it was difficult for him. When he had children of his own he really did change.

Florida, on the other hand, is just being an ass, and there is no excuse for the excessive profanity. It/she/he is a very inept Troll putting on a poor show. You have to decide and plan to type "fuck". It doesn't happen subconsiously as it did with my Marine friend. Florida is a faker.

If Florida has interesting or compelling points to make, I suggest he/she/it try to do it with other than four letter swear word language. It might obtain more respect and credibility.

And don't get me confused with some "church lady" type of person. I can swear with the best of them, when it is warranted.

Thus spake Dust Bunny Queen with a broken foot, who is completely bored out of her mind!

Just me said...

"George Bush protected us after 9/11" What about protecting us BEFORE 9/11?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

J Lee said...

Because this was an international flight, it's hard to completely waylay U.S. security here -- Matallab was on the persons of interest list, but it was up to the security apparatus where he boarded to make the connection.

On the other hand, 11 months and five days into the Obama Administration and the people overseas who hated America but supposedly were going to love us by now -- because of the more enlightened leadership in Washington -- don't seem to love us yet. Between this and Ahmedinejad's continuing mocking of the president's attempts at dialogue, hopefully 2011 will be the year the folks at the White House and Miss Hillary figure out the terrorists and their enablers don't just hate Americans who are convervative Republicans.

Seven Machos said...

DBQ -- The other day, I was trying to get my toddler to go to bed. He stands in the door way and goes, "For fuckin sake, I just wanna play with my blue car."

I was so impressed that he used one of my apparently most favorite phrases in the proper context, even if he got it slightly wrong.

William said...

The explosives were apparently hidden in the guy's underwear. I'm not looking forward to my next airport screening.....Some enterprising airline should offer a full body massage (if you get my drift) in the departure lounge just prior to screening. Perhaps a gastroenterologist could offer a package colonoscopy/fly/drive vacation to London.....Umar was successful to this exent: The screening process will be a greater hassle, and everyone will eye the guy in the fez a lot harder--thereby increasing the sum total of anti Muslim sentiments in the world.

former law student said...

For reference, most of the incompetent bombers in the Weather Underground grew up solidly middle class, but not actually wealthy.

The welloff have a sort of nostalgia for the struggle of the proletariat, and see themselves as their leaders, nobly sacrificing themselves to improve the lot of others.

John Lynch said...

I don't think this will be a big deal. This particular attempt at mass murder failed. Unfortunately, we don't learn well from mistakes unless a lot of people die. I don't think there's enough information to make any general statement about the President's home security policies. I don't see why this couldn't have happened last year just as easily.

I think this attack will further reinforce the stereotype of the lone, well educated, crazy young Muslim man who wants to kill infidels. I think a lot of people are tired of these mass murder attempts every 3 months or so. I am. Until enough people die, nothing much will be done. This depressed me.

Air travel is not dangerous because of weapons and bombs. It's dangerous because of people willing to use them. Before the 1960s airline security wasn't really necessary. What happened is that air travel became available to people willing to use it for terrorism. People are the issue, not chemicals, not weapons.

If we continue to focus on the means rather than the ends of terrorists, our security will continue to fail. The enemy will always be able to find ways of smuggling weapons and explosives onto aircraft.

Fixed defense is always in danger of being outflanked. The TSA is America's Maginot Line. It gives the illusion of safety, until it fails catastrophically.

A much better way to protect ourselves is to focus on the people trying to kill us. Most terrorists have a history of radical behavior. We should concentrate on that and focus our efforts on locating and neutralizing them.

It's the old "guns don't kill people, people kill people," line. While trite, it's true that human beings, not baggage or pocket knives, are the threat. There are plenty of smart people trying to kill us. Let's find them before they make one of these plots work.

I'm pessimistic about our chances of stopping another mass terrorist attack. We keep closing the barn door too late. We should be going after the enemy instead of protecting against what's already happened.

John Lynch said...

We should not neglect other means of attacking us. The next big attack probably won't be via airliner.

If we focus on the enemy as people, rather than their means of travel, we'll be better prepared for anything they come up with.

Donald Douglas said...

Ann, more facts - and thoughts - here, 'Revisiting the 'Terrorist Threat Debate'.

PatCA said...

"The TSA is America's Maginot Line. It gives the illusion of safety, until it fails catastrophically."

So true, John Lynch, and fail it will. Today there were random car searches at LAX.

We must not lose our diversity! Random searches! No tiny bottles! No underpants!

bagoh20 said...

"
Where. Does. The. Buck. Stop?"


In reality, it stops with the guy who jumped him on the plane. In other words, you and me. Will we do it if we need to? If the terrorist think we will, then we are infinitely safer.

That's why the PC handling of cases like The flying Imams is so dangerous. It discourages the victims from protecting themselves and thus encourages the wolves.

This was the advantage of Bush and I think the reason he was successful in preventing attacks. I believe it's likely that some attacks were not carried out because the organization decided that crazy cowboy would hit back too hard. He's nuts you know. 9/11 cost them two countries, hundreds of leaders and thousands of fighters. Not to mention it brought the fight to them daily for going on 8 years now. Frankly, they can't afford another round. But, if all you get in return is a strongly worded speech, then maybe it's time to arm that bitch. I feel less safe under Obama. McCain would have been better in this regard as well. For specific one man attacks like this, I don't think it matters. Lone nuts are lone for a reason. I know, I am one.

Christie said...

This is a dumb post. George Bush apparently didn't care enough to keep us safe BEFORE 9/11. (At least by your logic.) And this guy was issued his visa before Obama was elected and Hillary became the Secretary of State.

Fred4Pres said...

Perhaps it is time to consider that Muslim men traveling alone warrant a second look. And while I recognize the next bomber may be some American or Eurpean non Muslim white woman, we need to do some profiling too.

Balfegor said...

The explosives were apparently hidden in the guy's underwear. I'm not looking forward to my next airport screening.....

#%$*!! I have three cross-country flights in the next week.

I hear they're also banning all electronics on international flights. That's going to be absolute hell. No MP3 players, no video players, no computers, not even an ebook reader. What the devil am I supposed to do for 10 hours (or 15 or 20, depending on where you're flying from)? Take a sleeping pill, I suppose.

info said...

I repeat uhbuhma could care less...Fort Hood..."let's wait and see"....this thing..."Hey I'm on vacation"....Black harvard guy acting like an ass..."Now THAT'S Raciiiisssssmmmmm!"

Wake up people....the dude has his head up his ass...

Almost Ali said...

Balfegor said...
What the devil am I supposed to do...?

Go one way, pay cash, bring no luggage, not even as carry-on. Also, profile your screeners so you can fly through security with an invalid visa, a syringe, PETN, and a chemistry set.

Then, have a close family member call the US State Department to let them know you're airborne, again.

Follow these simple steps and you'll have absolutely no problem.

downtownlad said...

Well Ann - Why don't you tell me who was President in 2008 when the visa was issued?

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

John Lynch it seems to me has done a brillant job of summarizing the issues. We seem to have this penchant for blaming individuals in charge of huge bureaucracies for any failing of thier subordinates. the situation is made worse by the bitter partisanship that permeates our political discourse. This thread bearts witness to that, I think-

Well, I brelieve llife aint that simple. I submit that the issue is that we rely on a bureaucracy to protect us--A bureaucracy is a facelss mass of people, most of whom do the job in accordance with their policies--Max Weber described this phenomenon over a hundred years ago.

My take away point: rely on a bureaucracy and you will be fucked. The DOS, TSA, DHS are, in fact, no different that your local DMV office--simply bigger, less competent,led by politicians and more likely to fuck it up.

John Lynch--again, sir--great post.

Florida said...

@amba, who wrote: "Florida? Hello? The visa was issued in June 2008."

That is completely irrelevant. and here's why:

After this person's visa was issued (it was a 2-year visa), the person became radicalized. It became evident that he was, in fact, a terrorist.

His own father notified both British and American authorities to the threat. His own father.

The British, wisely, immediately revoked his British visa. That prevented him from returning to school in London and killing British subjects.

The Obama Administration looked at the situation and yet acted stupidly. They refused to revoke his visa.

That's the difference here.

Terrorists are going to be able to sneak into our country. There's no doubt about that. However this terrorist wasn't sneaking into our country. He was openly advocating violence against Americans, was put on a list, and then the State Department, following its official Obama Administration olicy, let the terrorist onto an airplane bound for America.

He was on a list of known suspected terrorists and yet the Obama Administration policy is to allow such people to fly on our airplanes with us. Terrorists on the TIDE list are not preventing from either flying, or entering our country.

That policy endangers Americans and the United States.

When you put stupid people in charge of the country, this is what you can expect.

Stupid policies that kill Americans. It's time to remove the Democrats from positions where they can do damage. Let them be trash picker-uppers and dog catchers ... but we need to fire Democrats from positions where they can get us killed.

Dinesh Prabhu said...

Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab Photo:


http://www.monkeydollars.net/2009/12/umar-farouk-abdulmutallab-abdulfarouk.html

bearbee said...

I think the President will take the appropriate tact, blame the US for the incident and again apologize to Middle-Eastern tyrants for our ignorance and infinite sins.

save_the_rustbelt said...

ARE WE MISSING SOMETHING HERE?

The Bush administration give a 2 year visa to this nut job?

Michael Hasenstab said...

There's no mystery here. The US State Department, run by Hillary Clinton, is not competent to hand out fucking visas.

It turns out that this was also Tiger Wood's problem. He needed a fucking visa, and the US State Department was very slow in issuing it.

He was caught fucking without a fucking visa. Elin, of course, is a law and order kinda wife, so no fucking visa and kapow! an iron to the face.

Always obtain your fucking visa before traveling away from home.

bearbee said...

Movie offer.

Good looking man.

Jasper Schuringa, Dutchman who subdued Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Flight 253, recalls moment


Hope he doesn't become a target like film director -Theo van Gogh.

AllenS said...

rust--

There was no reason not to give this guy a visa two years ago.

The terror suspect who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane is the son of a Nigerian banker who alerted U.S. authorities to his "extreme religious views" months ago, it was reported Saturday.

Months ago, Bush wasn't the president. He should have been denied a visa and on the no fly list months ago. Who was in charge months ago?

George said...

"We should be going after the enemy instead of protecting against what's already happened."

Well, now there's the real life-and-death difference between the way the Obama Administration approaches the problem and the way Bush approached it. Obama and all liberals believe it's just a law enforcement problem. But until a law actually gets broken (i.e., a lot of us get killed), there's nothing they feel they can do. So they wait for the next bad thing to happen. And the next. And the next.

Very succinct summary of the essential (and existential) difference between the two approaches.

AllenS said...

Am I making myself clear, rust? Or should I have used all caps, instead of bold face?

John Lynch said...

Other than effectiveness, there's another argument to be made about airport security: it's unfair.

We're being forced to accept increasingly totalitarian invasions of our privacy in the name of security. Everyone is forced to endure searches not because they are effective, but because it's supposedly more fair. That's bullshit.

It's not the American public that's the problem. But we're forced into accepting more and more control over our freedom of movement. Have any American citizens seriously tried to blow up an airliner? I can't think of any (feel free to correct me on this. I can think of a lot of threats, but no actual bombing. The Vicennes was different because it wasn't terrorism.) But we're the focus of every new security measure. I don't think that we should give people a pass just because they are a US citizen, but we shouldn't lump the entire public in with terrorists, either.

Security measures should work against the actual threat they were implemented to stop. We've set up one that's more about a process than a result. It's more effective than it was, but at a huge price. And it could be better.

It seems to me that focusing more attention on a smaller group from which almost all terrorists emerge is much more fair. The social cost of a small group having to endure increased security is better than forcing everyone to do it. We should limit invasive government searches as much as possible by narrowing their focus to the minimum needed to keep us safe. Most of the people so targeted would be innocent, but that's true already. It would at least be fewer people inconvenienced. It would not be any more unfair than the current system.

I don't see why it's better to put everyone through the wringer if increasing scrutiny for a few people is all we need to prevent attacks. We're letting ideology get in the way of saving lives. When thousands of lives are at stake, discrimination is exactly what is called for.

Keeping dangerous people off of planes is what we should be concentrating on. Whoever they are, wherever they come from, doesn't matter. What matters is the characteristics of the security threat, whatever it is.

When I was flying out of Europe back in 1997 I was pulled out of line and searched several times. Why? Because I was a young man, from a foreign country, wearing a beret and an army jacket. Fine. Didn't bother me. I'm happy when cops are using their brain. It doesn't make us more safe just because everyone has to endure the same thing.

Florida said...

ARE WE MISSING SOMETHING HERE?

The Bush administration give a 2 year visa to this nut job?

We're not missing something, but in your hatred for George W. Bush, you certainly are missing something.

Someone can become radicalized AFTER they get a visa.

In this case, that appears to be exactly what occurred.

1) Bush Administration granted the visa in 2008

2) Terrorist joined al Queda (or otherwise became radicalized)

3) His father then alerted the Obama Administration and the British government.

4) The British government revoked his visa (naturally).

5) The Obama Administration looked at the situation and decided to let the guy fly on an airplane with other innocent Americans.

So, there's nothing odd at all about this guy having gotten a visa. I don't think the United States should even be granting people 2-year visas, but that's a different topic.

After it became obvious that this guy had decided to join the Jihad the Obama Administration had the opportunity and the duty to revoke his visa.

They acted stupidly, and let the guy fly on a fucking plane without so much as flagging him for a pat down at the airport.

Democrats are morons. They can't be trusted with our security because they err on the side of potential terrorists.

We have to fire them before they kill more of us.

john said...

I guess that all those Snuggies people got for Christmas this year are going to be banned as carry-ons.

The terrorists have truely won.

Michael said...

How about we make everyone with a name like Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab stand in a separate line at security. In that line they can all hate America and, while they are at it, begin to think up ways to stop some of their co=religionists to cool it.

John Lynch said...

OH FFS.

I can't even have a laptop or a book on my lap now!

How is this more effective than increasing security on one person out of a thousand?

Opus One Media said...

Big Mike said...
"Bush at least visited the Katrina-related disaster areas. "

You have gotta made the dumbest most idiotic statement found yet on this blog.

you meant he flyover? you mean the speech with generators? you mean "heck of a job brownie"...you mean Rove is in charge of the efforts?

You dumb suckers on the right would re-write your mom's obituary if you thought it would put that moron at a higher level.

vbspurs said...

John Lynch wrote:

Keeping dangerous people off of planes is what we should be concentrating on. Whoever they are, wherever they come from, doesn't matter. What matters is the characteristics of the security threat, whatever it is.

Although I like your muscular logic, full of vim and vinegar towards our enemies, I think this is why John Q. Public can never be in charge of security. It rarely thinks outside the box, coming up instead with sensible reasons to behave sensibly (if unpolitically correct) with people who don't know the meaning of sense.

"Keep out only the suspicious people!", you say. Okay, so the terrorists will search high and low for unsuspicious people, even if they have to turn them.

They're on to the A-rabs as terrorists? We'll get a British guy with a British name (even if he looks Middle Eastern) to do our dirty work.

If he fails, we'll get a Hispanic guy, Jose Padilla, to carry on.

If he fails, we'll get a medical doctor, US-born citizen and SERVING officer, Nadir Hassan, to kill people.

If he fails, we'll get a millionaire African guy, Umar Mutallab, to finish what we started.

On and on and on.

We'll have East Asian terrorists. Blonde, blue-eyed terrorists. South American terrorists. Sleeper cells without previous records. Anything which will seem just different enough to escape first scrutiny.

They all have something in common though. They're all Muslims. And they are all terrorists. The problem is separating the terrorists from their fellow Muslims. That's the tricky part for the world.

Cheers,
Victoria

AllenS said...

Using the Googles:

On the ground in New Orleans, Bush and several of his Cabinet secretaries were promoting National Volunteer Week, which aims to show how volunteers can assist in efforts that the government can't handle on its own. Bush's visit marks his 11th trip to the region since the Aug. 29 storm killed more than 1,300 people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Bush visited with volunteers helping to repair low-income housing damaged by Katrina. There he met a New Orleans family whose home was repaired through Catholic Charities, said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

The president drove past destroyed homes and stopped by the home of Ethel Williams, 72, in the Upper Ninth Ward
.

vbspurs said...

John wrote:

I guess that all those Snuggies people got for Christmas this year are going to be banned as carry-ons.

To think, we could be wearing our snuggies and using our laptops on planes, if only young Umar had thought of bringing a COAT.

Who trained this guy?

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

victoria-

Yes, that's all true, we should think outside the box.

But the enemy has his own box, doesn't he? Why not use that?

AllenS said...

Obituary, Dec. 27, 2009

Mrs. Opus One Media died suddenly today, leaving one feeble minded child, Opus One Media to fend for himself.

Pogo said...

It's hard to protect yourself from a death cult if (1) you pretend there is no death cult and (2) you feel too guilty about perceived racism to practice profiling.

Radical imams in Minneapolis and Rochester, MN have been recruiting young men of Somali origin to fly back to their homeland and fight for Al Qaeda.

I see these men every day, hanging around the mosque or the Halal store, and I wonder.

Obama had nothing to do with the man getting here with an explosive in his jihadi Underoos, except the way the State Dept. handled his own father's report of radicalism.

The lack of a rapid response, by not immediately making him a "no fly" name, tells me they are not serious.

For me, on any public transport, I am watching closely, and profiling intently. I'm no good at it, but I try. I intend to act if needed, and pray I do.

The bureaucrats won't act until well after the fact.

AllenS said...

Pogo, is the mosque still on the main street downtown?

vbspurs said...

But the enemy has his own box, doesn't he? Why not use that?

I'll give a nod to your logic, John, to say that in each of the most recent cases, "Christmas Undies Terrorist" and "Killer Meds", both had glaring reasons to be under suspicion and they WEREN'T.

Umar's dad even denounced his own son to authorities, for Chrissakes. The man should be thanked as a hero for such a painful task.

Hassan's wildly anti-American behaviour was ignored, with brass choosing merely to shunt him off to another spot, in behaviour eerily similar to "problem priests" in certain parishes.

I know bureaucracies are slow, but we need to stop pussyfooting with obvious problem people.

Pogo said...

Yes sir, it is.

A nondescript little building; a former union hall, I think.

Several young Somali men returned to their homeland in 2009 to fight for the terrorists. No doubt we'll let them return, no questions asked. I wonder where they got their ideas?

Ten years ago, this town had one or two shootings a year, now we have one or two per week. The perpetrators are always from Chicago, Somalia, or Mexico.

I am wondering about moving to Chile.

AllenS said...

Speaking of morons, let's analyze this passage:

you meant he flyover? you mean the speech with generators?

bagoh20 said...

Nice, AllenS. Thanks.

AllenS said...

Here's another:

You have gotta made the dumbest most idiotic statement found yet on this blog.

have gotta?
dumbest?
most idiotic?

WV: umoma

I'm tellin ya, WV has a brain.

vbspurs said...

Bagoh20 wrote:

This was the advantage of Bush and I think the reason he was successful in preventing attacks. I believe it's likely that some attacks were not carried out because the organization decided that crazy cowboy would hit back too hard. He's nuts you know. 9/11 cost them two countries, hundreds of leaders and thousands of fighters. Not to mention it brought the fight to them daily for going on 8 years now. Frankly, they can't afford another round.

What if the aim these terrorists have is not really to kill people (that's just a bonus), but to seriously damage the already ailing US airline industry?

Is they why they employ such ill-trained people like Richard Reid and Umar Mutallab? Because they don't care if the plane really blows up?

My parents and I had been thinking of a trip up north for New Year's. My thought was to book a hotel in Vermont, and enjoy some snow for the first time in years. Although I told them I can't due to my cold, in reality, I'll admit I don't want to be on a plane anywhere near New Year's Eve. They know that's the reason too.

Did the terrorists win? Maybe. Not in making me scared exactly, but in preventing 3 people from buying 3 much needed tickets to keep their industry afloat.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

I'm tellin ya, WV has a brain.

Yes. It's eerie.

Last night, after my 8:54 comment, where I mentioned that he had an one-way ticket, bought with cash, and no luggage, the WV was "intel".

And I forget which comment I posted had this WV: popcal.

Umar's pop called us, but we didn't pick up the phone.

AllenS said...

Thanks, bagoh20. Since I found out yesterday that I was a demi-God, things have really been looking up.

Pogo said...

Me, too, Vic. But I have come to loathe the flying experience so much as to avoid it except as a last resort. Hell, I took the train from MN to Seattle this past summer because the last flights I took each required an extra day of travel due to cancellations and delays.

The "flying imams" case originated in Minneapolis, and proved the gummint PC diktats outweigh common sense.

Cedarford said...

vbspurs - Keep out only the suspicious people!", you say. Okay, so the terrorists will search high and low for unsuspicious people, even if they have to turn them.

vbspurs - We'll have East Asian terrorists. Blonde, blue-eyed terrorists. South American terrorists. Sleeper cells without previous records. Anything which will seem just different enough to escape first scrutiny.

1. Vbspurs ignores that seeking help outside the vast manpower pools of the Ummah vastly pares down the choices, vastly complicates ops. It's like the US in 1939 saying it wasn't worth while to block Nazi agents of Reich origin because they could conceivably work on recruiting Nazis of Chinese ethnicity...so we should just let thousands of dangerous Germans and Austrians in.

2. If Islamoids from the Ummah are blocked and they have to go with converts from non-Muslim ethnicities and nations...it vastly increases the danger of counter-Islamist agencies exposing whole networks and inserting agents into their groups. As is, they are hard to penetrate because they seek reliable faithful Arabs and Paks and black African Muslims with a "lineage" and radical peer network that recruiters can vett them by.

3. Evidence suggests that sleepers outside the Ummah, mostly excited and committed converts..are unable to avoid drawing attention to themselves with their zeal. And have already established a "trail" of Islamist activities making themselves known to authorities in a way a Somali, Saudi hijacker muscle, or a Nigerian arriving "cold" in our midst has not.

4. It is a lot easier to detect an American blonde-haired Islamoid convert that went to Pakistan or Yemen for terror training at multiple points in that process than to detect a Yemeni or Pakistani walking quietly from his village to a bus dropping him off at Ye OLde Merry Jihad camp 35 kilometers away. And it is also far easier for a Muslim expat of the usual terrorist Islamoid ethicities in Londonistan, Dearborn, Marselles, or Minnepaolis to concoct a good cover story of "visiting family" back in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and making a good paper trail documenting that "family visit" - when in fact they just stop by, ask the family to vouch for them and create phony email or phone call alibis on the Islamoid's cell phone - while the little bugger is off in a camp learning how to make peroxide bombs to kill British infidel dogs or godless American oppressors of brother Somalis.

You gotta start somewhere, vbspurs. If 99 out of 100 Nazis agents trying to get in, in 1939 were Germanic, you focus on the 99 out of common sense 1st...before you start worrying that the Nazis are so clever they will find a Chinese agent eventually and because they can find that one, it is pointless to block the other 99% of Nazis.

vbspurs said...

All you need to know about Kos Kidz is contained in this one exchange about the incident (I'm not linking, but it's in the "Flying Soon?" post):

-"what is the security color threat level now

crimson, carmine, wtf?"

- "What color is stupid? nt"

- "red white and blue"

Michael Hasenstab said...

Why not simply require that all airline passengers remove all clothing and footwear before boarding and wear only an airline-issued wrap (think toga) and flip-flops while on board the aircraft.

Don't like it? Well, airline travel isn't a right. Take a car, bus, train, or ship to your destination.

If the problem is bombs concealed by shoes and clothing, then elinate the wearing of shoes and clothing on board aircraft.

And when something happens like on the flight to Detroit, fire all the public officials on whose watch the system failed. Accountability clarifies thinking.

vbspurs said...

Michael H wrote:

Why not simply require that all airline passengers remove all clothing and footwear before boarding and wear only an airline-issued wrap (think toga) and flip-flops while on board the aircraft.

I have another idea. How about body-painting? Or for the allergic, really skin-tight clothes?

Check out the look by Air New Zealand staff.

former law student said...

that crazy cowboy would hit back too hard. He's nuts you know. 9/11 cost them two countries, hundreds of leaders and thousands of fighters. Not to mention it brought the fight to them daily for going on 8 years now. Frankly, they can't afford another round.

That's basically the Israeli strategy. But it's been counterproductive for at least the last 40 years. Hezbollah was nothing until Israel decided to invade Lebanon, and Hamas was nothing till Israel decided the PLO was too radical. Both are now flourishing -- having crazy cowboys leading Israel has only made them stronger.

What 9/11 served largely to do was to bring the Middle East war home -- now every American could understand what it meant to have suicide bombers spreading terror in the heart of our cities and our everyday life. But let's pick successful strategies to bail out of this, not the same old failed Israeli one.

former law student said...

Someone can become radicalized AFTER they get a visa.

And someone can become radicalized AFTER they "do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God. "

AllenS said...

Are you talking about Obama, fls? Do you think that Barack Hussein Obama will radicalize like Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab.

vbspurs said...

OMG! There's Janet Napolitano, AT LAST, on CNN. Our Homeland Security Goddess. With her high-and-tight Midwestern Marine sergeant haircut, and Arizona biker jacket.

And don't shoot me, but Candy Crowley looks hot these days. The stapling worked.

John Lynch said...

I wouldn't make the enemy into supermen. They aren't. They are very limited in what they can do, limitations imposed by their outlook, resources, and very proscribed appeal. They don't have much to offer non-Muslims. That's most of the planet.

Just about every American has thought of ways to attack us that would be more effective than what Al Qaeda has tried so far. I won't bring any up, but I'm sure you've thought of some. Why, then, has the enemy failed to try any of them?

Mainly because the enemy is constrained in his thinking by ideology and irrational thinking. It's not really about results in this world, but about fighting an abstract struggle.

This is a source of strength, since Al Qaeda can appeal to a certain kind of person by fighting the "good" fight without having to show any actual results (what are Al Qeada's war aims? How can what they do be reconciled with what they say they want?)

Al Qaeda's war is not rational the way Westerners demand. We bicker about whether a war was worth it, or which leader had the better policy. Very few people justify the war in Iraq or Afghanistan as simply the right thing to do because Al Qaeda must be fought no matter what. The war is justified in terms of making America safer, or increasing population security, or all manner of real-world aims. We don't typically invoke God or claim that we are commanded to take the war to the enemy because it's the only moral thing to do. War is a necessary evil to achieve what are essentially political aims.

Most importantly, our aims tend to be accountable to real world events. People noticed when Iraq fell into civil war. We changed what we were doing there, and shifted our objectives to reflect reality. We're in the process of doing that in Afghanistan.

The enemy isn't really very good at seeing their errors and fixing them. They have a lot of innovation at the tactical level, but strategically Al Qaeda doesn't seem to be doing very well. Their aim is a united Islamic caliphate that will spread Islam to the rest of the world. That's not a rational or achievable aim, nor are their current tactics working toward that goal. They kill many Muslims and divide the Muslim world by fomenting civil war. This is a huge weakness, and I think it will eventually cause the whole radical Islamic movement to collapse.

Ultimately, they have to show results in the real world. They aren't focused on that and it will cost them.

This is a good essay from a while back, but still applicable.

Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology.

former law student said...

If the Army that employed and supervised him didn't respond to Major Hasan's acts of increasing nuttiness -- other than sending him to a different unit -- why expect the State Department to respond to some vague fears of Mutallab's father's?

AllenS said...

I dunno, fls. Obama has become radicalized?

vbspurs said...

Very nicely written blogpost, John, if you'll permit me to say so.

John Lynch said...

Victoria-

thanks, yeah, it's too long.

I need to write more stories instead of dumping here in the comments section. I seem to have an internal writing quota that gets met one way or another. I'm in between story ideas right now.

Ironclad said...

I flew back from the US to the middle East on Tuesday through Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam). Security there then was normal - they search and xray your stuff at the individual gate - not like in the US where you get searched before you enter the boarding areas. They are strict on liquids - but they don't make you take off your shoes or belt - when I was leaving from Washington DC, I set off the alarm and had to take my belt off, at Amsterdam the belt did not ring the buzzer. The security crews there are pretty good - they are serious too about searching and asking questions.

Schiphol is a huge hub airport - and the planes that arrive deplane completely - the guy would have had to transfer and go through the other gate security. I assume that the guy played along to act like he needed insulin if he had a syringe. Maybe now they will restrict that - or make you inject yourself at the gate.

One final thing - the new security edicts suck to put it bluntly. Can't go to the toilet or leave your seat the last hour? Can't "have" anything in your lap? I can guarantee you that some people sleep to the end - they will be pissed if they have to give up the blanket - or not read a book the last hour. The idiot that came up with that needs to be fired. How about strapping high risk passengers in their seats the duration of the flight? - that is about as sensible as these new rules.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Victoria - thanks for the link. Nothing like a flight staff that looks like it is heading to Key West for Fantasy Fest.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

How about we stop giving visas to muslim males???? We are not a Muslim country, and the liberals who are inexplicably trying to turn us into one need to be told "enough".

Heck, my Ukrainian mother-in-law cannot even get a visa to see her grandson, but this "religion of peace" POS gets a 2 year visa???

Rialby said...

Yesterday, I wrote a comment on this post where I tried to give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt. I was wrong. They're a bunch of morons. Witness the Sec of the Dept of Homeland Security: "the system worked" and "we're focused on ensuring that the air environment remains safe". If it wasn't safe on Christmas, then it cannot remain safe. The system failed miserably.

She needs to be fired immediately.

Cedarford said...

Michael Hasenstab said...
Why not simply require that all airline passengers remove all clothing and footwear before boarding and wear only an airline-issued wrap (think toga) and flip-flops while on board the aircraft.

Don't like it? Well, airline travel isn't a right. Take a car, bus, train, or ship to your destination.


Why not simply anally probe you again and again as a test to see, if wearing your silly little sandals and toga already...there is ANYTHING the "Heroes in Authoritative-Looking Uniforms" can do to you that you won't object to "if it makes us all SAFER!"

Because past underwear bombs, AQ has already tested out the "butt bomb"....something I predicted was inevitable back in 2002...given drug mules were smuggling 4-6 kilos internally by the early 90s.
In August, the 1st Butt Bomb was deployed - 2 pounds of PETN shoved up the butt of an Islamoid who got close to the Saudi Minister of counterterrorism then triggered the device with a cell phone signal.
Hasenstab - "Oh, please, anally probe me, My Heroes in TSA polyester! I have nothing to hide and I'll do ANYTHING to be PERFECTLY SAFE!"

BTW, no means of travel is a "right". If your Uniformed Heroes can shove their fingers up your ass and make you wear a version of a hospital gown in order to fly...they have the same power over train passengers, subway riders, bus riders, ship passengers, and car (bomb) drivers....Remember your Heroes in Charge constantly remind us that driving is not a right, but a privilege that can be taxed and regulated in any way they see fit.

I suppose you can then say that a true freedom lover willing to sacrifice everything else to be Perfectly Safe from a one-in-a-million Islamoid encounter in a vessel or vehicle can always walk, but if anything, slow-moving pedestrians are subject to even more control and scrutiny by authorities in countries than their vehicle-born counterparts.

The Israelis, after some bad encounters with pedestrian suicide bombers, bar walkers from many roads and areas..jam the Palestinians up into hours longs queques and checkpoint clearances or throw curfews - all as harassment. And even make some suspects strip down to skivvies at gunpoint.

Fortunately, I don't think Hasenstab's over-the-top obligatory underwearless togas and flip-flops you have to purchase and wear to have the "privilege" of flying will go anywhere. Nor will the public blubbering in fear of the one in a million risk of Islamoid mayhem consent to vaginal and anal searches "So We Can Be Perfectly Safe".

Now we are told that travelers diarrhea is officially prohibited by bulldyke Napolitano herself and no one can use the restrooms on the last hour of a flight back from Puerto Vallarta. Or use a laptop, or read a book.

My theory is that the bulldykes "counter Nigerian rich boy Islamoid" gambit will fail dramatically. As the first person with severe GI travel problems elects not to shit in their pants but get up, drop trouser, and spray the plane seat or step out in the aisle and launch diarrhea up three rows as well as on any flight crew trying to force the hapless passenger to "comply, so we may be Perfectly Safe".

Such an incident would be a lawyer's field day in court. You cannot stop biological functions by Bulldyke Diktat.

Rialby said...

On Fox this morning Juan Williams closed his remarks by stating that Obama is a "global President". WTF does that mean?

John Lynch said...


Useful guide to past airline bombings.

naturalfake said...

There's new news breaking on the case:

The NW Bomber's Theological Dilemma: Beans Went To Paradise, Frank To Hell

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/26/video-northwest-253-passengers-tell-of-thwarted-terror-attack/

naturalfake said...

OOPS.

That should be:

The Nw Bomber's Theological Dilemma: Beans Went To Paradise, FRank To Hell

http://naturalfake.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/the-nw-bombers-theological-dilemma-beans-went-to-paradise-frank-to-hell/


Sorry, if you went to the wrong place....

John Lynch said...


How to use hypertext in blogger comments

vbspurs said...

Michael H wrote:

Victoria - thanks for the link. Nothing like a flight staff that looks like it is heading to Key West for Fantasy Fest.

It was fun, wasn't it? They're so perky. Also, they're very very white. Living in America today, it comes as a bit of a shock as it's like stepping into a rehearsal of the Lawrence Welk Show in 1975.

In Britain we are 91% white, with 2% total black population (there are only around 8000 blacks in Scotland, did you know that?) -- but you'd be hard-pressed to find any TV show or advert with an ensemble cast which didn't feature an "United Colours of Benetton" racial composition.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I am wondering about moving to Chile.

@ Pogo. Chile is very nice. The climate in the general latitutdes of Santiago is much like Santa Barbara or San Diego. The country is quite economicaly stable and forward looking. In addition many in the educated class speak English so you would have time to learn Spanish, if you don't already speak it.

I have relatives who lived there for some time and they loved it.

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