Sunday, December 27, 2009

Defending Against Terrorism

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was all over the Sunday news programs this morning reassuring the public that air travel was safe, and that the Christmas Day incident in Detroit was not an “indication that it is part of anything larger.”

A truly odd statement considering how the perpetrator apparently got his bomb materials. The explosive material, identified as PETN - Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, is the same material used by Richard Reid in 2001 when he attempted to explode his shoes.

In defending air travel security, Napolitano said another truly odd thing:

“The whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly.”
That “process” consisted of intervention by passengers who were alarmed that this guy was trying to set off his underwear. That’s right, the PETN was sewed into his underwear. Passengers apparently took matters into their own hands and subdued the potential terrorist, then the air crew helped to keep the suspect restrained by handcuffing him to a stretcher.

That is, all of the billions spent to buy technology, all of the billions spent to staff and maintain air travel check points, something one political wag called a “jobs program” this morning, failed to keep this guy off that plane.

It took individual efforts by faceless people to keep that plane from blowing up.

Oh, that and religious stupidity.

Religious stupidity because apparently the only people that terrorist organizations can coax into wearing high explosives in their shoes, or in their underwear, and then setting them off, are these one-off religious zealots. Complete idiots who have bought into a ridiculous mythology of being martyrs who are rewarded in heaven by the attentions of 72 houris, or virgins.

If anything, our main defense against fanatical terrorists with religious motivations is the very fact that these guys aren’t firing off on all pistons, are a half a bubble off, as it were. A couple of slices short of a full loaf.

Because twice in 8 years al-Qaeda has sent a couple of religious losers from rich families armed with PETN, gotten them past the checkpoints, but when they finally make their try at martyrdom they haven’t been able to pull it off. Partly, I think, because there is no way to practice it first to get it right, and partly because these guys are mentally imbalanced. They are so ill-suited to survival that Charles Darwin must be spinning in his grave at the notion that they got to this point in their lives without falling off a cliff first.


Anonymous said...

I heard Napolitano make that similar statement on multiple Sunday shows.

She is totally incompetent.

Can anyone think of any reason she shouldn't be fired immediately?

Hal said...

She's singing a completely different tune this morning - as I thought she would. Saying stupid things - even on news shows - are not a criterion for firing government officials.

We tried that tack for 8 years and it got us nowhere. They stayed in their jobs despite the utterly stupid things being said on the air.

Or am i being "misunderestimated?"

Anonymous said...

I had hoped for so much more from President Obama. Didn't know we have the same as the last 8 years.