Near disaster reveals security flaws

December 29, 2009


Had it not been for a malfunctioning detonator, nearly 300 people traveling on a Christmas Day flight might have perished. Only the faulty device, along with some fast-acting passengers, prevented a disaster.

But the detonator was not the only malfunction in this near-catastrophe. Government also broke down. The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has been on a watch list for the last two years. That list contains names of people known to have extremist links.

British press reports say Abdulmutallab has been on MI5’s radar but was deemed insufficiently threatening to warrant surveillance. Still, he was barred from returning to Britain earlier this year, according to the London Times.

I was once on a watch list because my name is similar to that of someone wanted by the law. It is inconceivable that someone with a real terrorism profile could get on a plane bound for the United States with explosives strapped to his body and not be detected. When I was on a list, my identification was taken into a back room where calls were made to determine I was not the one they were looking for. Sometimes a series of S’s would be stamped on my boarding pass. This did not qualify me for a free drink or an upgrade, but an intimate pat-down, along with a complete search of my carry-on bag. I had to turn on my laptop computer to prove it was not an explosive device.

How did Abdulmutallab, whose father had recently warned State Department officials about his son’s radical beliefs and extremist connections, get on a plane bound for Detroit? What good is it to report suspicious behavior, as the Department of Homeland Security repeatedly urges us to do, if those reports are not taken more seriously?

Did America’s reluctance to profile contribute to this latest near-disaster? That question should be among many asked at a congressional hearing.

Abdulmutallab is said to have traveled to the failed state of Yemen, where he acquired his explosive device and received training for the attack he nearly pulled off. The Obama administration is sending several Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. This is the equivalent of the Coolidge administration sending New York Mafia members to Chicago for re-education during the Roaring Twenties.

Richard Clarke, former terrorism czar and now an ABC News consultant, told the network that the screening devices in Nigeria and at other airports need to be upgraded to more modern systems that penetrate clothing and reveal internal organs. They are expensive and intrusive and certain “civil liberties” groups might go to court to block them. Abdulmutallab’s profile should have extended beyond his religion. Press reports say he paid $3,000 cash for his ticket and checked no bags. Some of the 9-11 hijackers paid cash for their tickets and checked no luggage.

This latest incident and the killings at Fort Hood, Texas, by a Muslim Army officer ought to be a verdict on the Obama administration’s strategy of apologizing for America and reaching out to Muslim nations. None of it has mollified terrorist states or terrorists operating within those states, or for that matter potential terrorists operating within the U.S.

Administration officials have acknowledged the strong likelihood of terrorist cells in the United States. The question should not be how to make terrorists like us, but how to find them, eliminate them and, most important of all, keep them from entering the country in the first place.

The Obama administration, like the Clinton administration, continues to view terrorists as criminals who ought to be subject to the American judicial system. In fact, they are soldiers in a war unlike any this country has ever faced. Until we start treating these people as soldiers and not criminals, there will be more incidents like this, as there have been previous ones. Without a serious approach to domestic terrorism, the next attempted attack on an airliner might succeed, as did the ones during another less serious time which gave us 9-11.


jaywalker 8 years, 1 month ago

"Did America’s reluctance to profile contribute to this latest near-disaster?"

Ugh, Cal, this piece is exceptionally weak. It reads like your settled on this topic because you couldn't think of anything else to write about, and then you came down with writer's block to boot. America's reluctance to profile? Don't you mean Holland's? (that is where this flight originated, right?)

"This latest incident and the killings at Fort Hood, Texas, by a Muslim Army officer ought to be a verdict on the Obama administration’s strategy of apologizing for America and reaching out to Muslim nations"

No, they shouldn't, and the conclusion that follows that is assinine. Fairly certain the President never expected all extremists to lay down their arms and embrace the West because he tried to open a dialogue. And saying (or in this case, writing) such should be the impetus for getting you laughed out of the room.

Unbelievably weak column.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 1 month ago

Idiot Cal rides again.

"Until we start treating these people as soldiers and not criminals, there will be more incidents like this, as there have been previous ones."

But the fact is they aren't soldiers. They are criminals. That doesn't mean that nothing should be done, as Cal wants to imply. But the failure of the "war on terror" is stark, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars most certainly didn't prevent a guy from Nigeria pulling a stupid and potentially dangerous stunt. Does Cal think the solution is to invade and occupy Nigeria? (They do have a lot of oil, so maybe he does.)

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 1 month ago

You guys rejoice in any excuse to trash the POTUS, like it's his fault this happened. No one was killed although that was just plain lucky. And while we're talking about "Where's the Potus", where was Bush during Katrina. He couldn't keep New Orleans residents safe when they saw Katrina coming a week earlier and didn't come off of his vacation until day 4 after the hurricane. At least no one died in this event.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

It's a good thing both exploding pants dude and Dear Leader's buddy Bill Ayers are both lousy bomb makers.

jaywalker 8 years, 1 month ago

"He couldn't keep New Orleans residents safe when they saw Katrina coming a week earlier..."

Yes, because Bush was a superhero and all, and the Governor and Senators of La., along with the mayor of N'awlins, weren't expected to react to protect their own people. There weren't any logistical impediments whatsoever; well, except for the fact the city is basically an island and set 18' below sea level. And there weren't any physical impediments; well, except for the dominant lawless segment of the population who kept opening fire on the Red Cross, the National Guard, and anyone else that was trying to help.
Yes, Bush should have stood atop the substandard levies that had lost out to political corruption and embezzelment for decades and done his best Moses impersonation.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Napolitano believes that Americans are the enemy.

"The report said extremist groups may try to attract veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also said extremists also may use the recession and the election of the nation's first African-American president to recruit members." http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/16/napolitano.apology/

"That same report also cast suspicion on American citizens who oppose abortion and gun control, or those who oppose the federal government's intrusion into the business of individual states or citizens." http://www.newswithviews.com/NWV-News/news145.htm

Instead, we have the PC version:

"Overseas contingency operations" and "man-made disasters," the favored substitute terms, are bureaucratese jargon designed to muddle the minds of the public and get people focused on this administration's domestic agenda of expanding the government."

......"Napolitano's politically motivated plans to unionize the employees of the Transportation Safety Administration must be scrapped. The safety of the homeland cannot be jeopardized by union bosses making collective bargaining demands."

President Obama's amendment last week to President Reagan's 1983 Interpol executive order, in which Obama gave the international police force immunity from U.S. laws when it operates here, is an insult to our own law enforcement agencies at a time when we need them more than ever. The Christmas Day attempted bombing should spur the president to reconsider. " http://news.yahoo.com/s/ibd/20091228/bs_ibd_ibd/20091228issues

I guess very few caught on to all the surreptitious goings on during the Christmas holiday.

georgeofwesternkansas 8 years, 1 month ago

People who get the Nobel Peace prize do not make war on anyone...Pull your head out of the sand...

tomatogrower 8 years, 1 month ago

Let's see, to use the Bush/Cheney strategy - we were attacked by a Nigerian (Saudi Arabians) who was getting support and sanctions from a group in Yemen (Taliban) who are trying to control that country (Afghanistan), so maybe we should invade Venezuela (Iraq).

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

"People who get the Nobel Peace prize do not make war on anyone…" If their rush to swoon over Dear Leader, the Nobel committee seems to have not followed your advice.

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

So geniuses what has Obama done that has radically changed the way we handle these situations since he has taken office. Please point out the change in screening that Obama forced on the people in the U.S. Neatherlands, Yeman, or Nigeria that allowed this guy to board a plane? It' seems to me that you are saying that the POTUS was personally informed when this nut ball's father called the FBI or State Department. He had not had any past ties to connected terrorist according to the British intelligence acency MI5 when they were made aware of him. He slipped on the plane saying he was a refugee with no passport acoording to the AP. What was it that the President was supposed to do? This would seem to be more a failure of the CIA or FBI than the President. The Fort Hood thing was an Army matter by all accounts and he was known to be radical before Obama ever took office. He acted alone and when the President spoke there was determined to be no connected larger plot to further warrant an increased level of alert. Should we have locked down all the military bases because of the actions of one man? If the internal Army command didn't acknowledge, investigate and remove this guy the President was supposed to know and step in how?

tomatogrower 8 years, 1 month ago

I do think that the father's concerns should have been taken seriously by the American embassy. I wonder who was in charge of that investigation? I don't think a parent would make charges like he did lightly. It would have taken a lot for him to tell authorities that his son might be a danger.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

Politico's Carol E. Lee has an interesting story today on "President Obama's "by-now familiar pattern...for dealing with unexpected problems." As best we can figure, the Obama damage control strategy consists of these 5 easy steps:

Step 1: Deny seriousness of issue. Step 2: Deny any admin responibility/failure. Step 3: Have spokespeople convey O’s feelings to public. Step 4: Blame Bush admin. Step 5: Concede the issue days later.

Of course, it's very important that you understand the signals to know which step we're at. For example, "Obama heading to the golf course, [Cato Institute fellow Benjamin] Friedman said, 'signals that it’s not a crisis, and he’s the president and he has a lot of things to do and this is just one of them.'" Maybe it's when the president goes bowling that you're supposed to find immediate shelter and duck tape the windows."


georgiahawk 8 years, 1 month ago

You guys are funny! In an ignorant hill-billy sort of way!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

9/11/01 Bush and Cheney dropped the ball. So did Rummy and Rice. Not to mention Director of the National Security Agency Gen. Michael Hayden knowing full well the 9/11 culprits were living but a few blocks away from his NSA headquarters.

It appears Director of the National Security Agency Gen Michael Hayden is still in that position.

Pres. Barrack Obama don't you think it is time to get rid of the BUSHCO thinker Hayden? Get rid of this dude!

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

So George, Snap, Barry, Jacob, Money, Tom answer the question what did Obama change from the way we have done things for the last 8 or 9 years that allowed this to happen? How is this his personal responsibility? Stop talking out your a$$e$ and tell me what he changed.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

Dear Leader was the go-along-get-along guy in the IL legislature. He's still voting "present" with almost 25% of his term as POTUS gone by. The oceans ain't gonna go down with him just playing more golf.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Dudes, be very afraid - zoni is calling you out. If Pollyanna is referring to me as "money", I do believe I characterized my position rather clearly.

"On Monday, Obama worked out in the morning and played tennis before making his first public remarks on airline security, then hit the golf course." http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091229/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_tired_obama

Tell me, what is it like to be hopelessly devoted to the great one?

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

Monkey "Dude" I'm not "hopelessly devoted" anyone but my wife and daughter. I asked a question which your statement above does not address. The only thing even close is the Interpol (and only because the treat did not originate on U.S. soil) thing which is exactly what we (the U.S.) demand when we operate in forgein countries i.e. blackwater. That has nothing to do with screening passengers in Africa and Europe. Or are you saying that because Obama played golf after the fact that it somehow let the terrorist get on the plane? Maybe you're saying that the focus on domestic terrorist was what caused this. That would be saying the report authorized and started by President Bush but finished and released after Obama took office is too blame. I do believe though that you characterized your position clearly on other things though. How does it feel to be hopelessly devoted to ridiculing and hoping to bring down the duly elected President of the United States not for any crimes but solely because you don't agree with him? Again what did the President change that made this happen?

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

Tom what the He!! does that have to do with airport security in Amsterdam?????? Because we can't mistreat prisoners that makes them want to attack us? How are they "capitalizing on it". I don't see it because it has no relation. There is just no way to say that A caused B. Point to one thing were this guy said or his father said or an intelligence agency has said that the prosecutions of service members or law enforcement members spurred this guy on to plan and carry out this attack. Are you saying prosecution of crimes in America caused the airport workers in another country to fear stopping him? The terrorist's father said he was upset about Afghanistan. I don't believe he mentioned anything about Pelosi, Reid or court-martial proceedings. For you to think that two unrelated things 1. Amsterdam authorities not stopping an individual from getting on a plane and launching an attack from forgien soil" and 2. Navy Seals who are being court-martialed ( a military proceeding not a civilian one and not ordered by Pelosi or Reid) not only for punching a suspected terrorist but then lying to investigators about it, is somehow cause and effect is quite remarkable. I suppose you think we should be able to beat suspects and then lie to authorities about it. If we just beat everyone we take into custody enough that will stop those terrorist. Is that country you want? BTW this kool-aid thing is getting a little worn out isn't it. I think someone with your frequency (6200+ posts) on this site could come up with something a little more original but no just the same old drivel and an insult. Thanks for keeping it civil.

georgiahawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Right on Arizona!

Nancy-tom, it is now your turn to say something stupid and completely right-wing!

Go-tom-go, take us to new depths!

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

In other news: "The Department of Homeland Security has placed an order for 200 million rounds of pistol ammunition (.40 caliber, hollow-point) over the next five years for use by its Immigration, Customs and Enforcement division. Let's see now, ICE has approximately 15,000 employees. Not all of them are licensed to carry firearms, but just to keep the math simple, we'll divide the whole shebang into 200 million. That works out to a little over 13,000 rounds per employee over five years, or approximately 2,600 per employee per year.... Update: Winchester confirms. This news has been out there for a while, incidentally, but I'm just finding out about it." http://pacoenterprises.blogspot.com/2009/12/highlyer-targeted-job-stimulus.html

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 1 month ago

"Stimulus, Jihad-Personal Choice, and Posercare live unprecedented"


monkeyhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

The domestic "Movement" will need to be armed. "A sitting President of the United States is organizing a political organization loyal to him, bound by a pledge, outside the government and existing party apparatus. The historical precedents are ominous."

"Obama recently released this video, in which he calls for MORE "volunteers" to help him "change America" -- and he makes it sound like a noble cause. In the video, at the end, he even places "The Movement" before "our country" -- the United States of America."

"Never before has such a massive, organized political action force -- independent from the federal government --existed. Obama sardonically calls it, "Organizing for America." http://www.theobamafile.com/ObamaSecurityForce.htm

DoD Directive 1404.10 On January 23rd, 2009 -- three days after the inauguration -- a little-publicized Department of Defense Directive (Number 1404.10) established a "DoD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce." This document authorizes the mission and funding of hundreds of thousand foot-soldiers to fill the ranks of "The Movement." http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/140410p.pdf

jimmyjms 8 years, 1 month ago

You know what would be totally f** insane? If we had had the planners of this attack in custody, and the Bush administration had set them free so they could have art therapy so they could feel better.

Wouldn't that be just crazy?!?



I'm waiting with baited breath for Cal's article on that.

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

Tom how does Obama's rhetoric give a "green light"? You won't answer the question and I am beginning to feel it's because you don't have one. I can say something the Pope say's gave a green light to the terrorist but it make it true, just as you saying Obama gave them the green light doesn't make it so. How are they miles ahead of us and how did Obama bring it about? Show me how, not just say, well you can't see it. That's the equivalent of saying because I said so. Answer the question or don't say anything.

Monkey Nice try to change the subject, always the last hope of someone who can't defend what they have said. But just for giggles I watched the video you linked to all 27 minutes of it and there was nothing about an armed civilian police/military force loyal to Obama in it. He said he would increase the size of Americore and the peace core? How do you get a armed force loyal only to Obama out of that? Do you fear the peace core? The DoD link you provided talks about civilians in support of our armed forces overseas and a domestic volunteers to fill positions of DoD members when they are called overseas not "filling the movement". This is such BS! You link to things that I don't even think you've read. You just assume something nefarious because it's under Obamas watch. Keep making stuff up and we'll keep laughing at you. I'm beginning to think half of Lawrence has gone batsh!t crazy!

monkeyhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I was addressing snap's 2:50 post, not yours. You are rather boring, so I was done with you, pollyanna.

jaywalker 8 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I think Obama's push to radically increase volunteerism is one of the best ideas I've heard in a while. If we could get a third of the country to do some part-time volunteer work.....wow! I think the possibilities are exciting.

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

Jacob so you know the mind and thought's of the terrorist? The terrorist problem is only "simple" to simple minds. I personally would think that they would think the time to strike was when we had idiot cowboy in office who guaranteed them a knee-jerk reaction and an escalation in violence and bloodshed which is exactly what they need to fulfill their martyrdom fantasies. They need westerners shedding the blood of Muslims to convince others that theirs is a just cause that it is Islam that is under attack. That's just my opinion but it is every bit as valid as your's because neither of us truly know. But go ahead and make declarative statements about something you know nothing about. As Jackie Chan say's in Rush Hour "I like to let people talk who like to talk. It makes it easier to find out how full of sh!t they are." I found out everything I need to know about you in two sentences.

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

Monkeyboy Boring you or beat you your game? Losers often get bored of the game. You don't answer the call to back up your word's and pu$$ out and go back to answer a 2 hour old post of someone that agrees with you? Real Intellectual giant you are aren't you. Futhermore how am I a Pollyanna? Pollyanna tried to see good in whatever came her way i.e. dinner with Nancy as punishment. I said you can't blame Obama directly for this a$$wipe getting on a plane in Amsterdam. Now explain to me how you get Pollyanna out of that. I wasn't looking for good I was pointing out ignorance and you were willing to jump in front my finger. But then again you probably never read Pollyanna or much else it seems just take your talking points from Rush and Bill and head out onto the web.

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

Again Tom you don't answer the question of how they dismantled our defenses, because you say they did? How? How? How? You can't back up what you say. So go ahead and quit. Take your ball and go home if you can't win just like the third grader you act like and your mental capacity has risen to. What a loser!

jimmyjms 8 years, 1 month ago

jacob123, did you happen to read the post directly before yours?!?!?!?

The stupidity, it hurts.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 1 month ago

A few years ago, I heard a man state there was a terrorist cell in K.C., Mo. No, seriously. He said that if he ever felt like his family were in danger because of his missionary work, he would rather disappear and let them think he was dead than to have them harmed. This person would know what he was talking about. No, I can't say why. And no, it's not my first ex-husband. While I don't agree with everything Shewmon posts, I have to say, at this rate some day it will be us sitting in a restaurant or other public place and some friendly terrorist's bomb will explode. The speaker I referenced used the following example. He asked, "What are you going to do one day when a terrorist with a bomb strapped to his body makes his "stand" in the middle of the local Wal-Mart?

MyName 8 years, 1 month ago

And another swing and a miss by "iron Cal Thomas". Because I'm sure if he had only made alot of worthless blustering comments that the US couldn't possibly follow through on (see any of GW Bush's speeches on the subjects for the past 7 years) then the terrorists would have thought twice about trying to do the same thing they've been doing through the past 10 years. Brilliant!

MyName 8 years, 1 month ago


1) Even Bush thought closing Gitmo is the right thing to do, and said so himself. The only person who seems to think differently is Cheney.

2) I didn't get the memo on the war suddenly being over? Unless you mean making fewer vague scary statements (is it an Orange alert this week? I can't remember).

3) Obviously he hasn't done enough, as the VP is still free. But I guess you're saying we should just ignore the fact that TORTURING people in US custody is illegal even if the President's lawyers say it's okay.

4) Oh yeah, have you ran a survey and asked them if they really feel that way? All he seemed to be saying is that you shouldn't torture people anymore, which is exactly what the policy was before Bush took office. So HTH can you say they aren't doing their job?

5) When the hell has President Obama apologized for any of this stuff? Give me a quote or STHU.

6) What does this have to do with international or domestic terrorism? It sounds like a diplomatic issue, plain and simple.

But again, terrorists were trying to do this stuff for 10 years, including 8 years of Bush. Nothing Bush said in any of his speeches had any affect on him. And you somehow think they've started listening to anything Obama has said?

jaywalker 8 years, 1 month ago


Closing the Gitmo prison facility is not the right thing to do, and I'm willing to bet most politicians would actually agree if it weren't such a political football. The facility has never been the problem, in fact it's perfect. The behavior of some of the guards is the only thing that needed to be changed. Closing it would be nothing more than symbolism.

Just my opinion.

Bryan Moore 8 years, 1 month ago

Tom 1. So moving them to a different prison and bringing them to trial increased their desire to attack us? So by that logic opening gitmo should have ended terrorism.

  1. How do you have a war on a tactic? Terrorism is not a movement, it's not a country, it's not an army - it's a tactic. We can have a war against al qaeda or the taliban but it is physically and grammatically impossible to have a war on "terrorism".

  2. You'll have to expand on the "Investigating practically every aspect of counter-terrorism under Bush". Be specific.

  3. FBI and CIA operatives executing their jobs could only land them in prison if they have violated the laws of the United States of America. If they are torturing they should be worried it is not "proper" to violate the law. Unless you know of someone who, be they CIA FBI Army intell etc. is being held illegally by this administration for doing everything by the book. Please enlighten us all about these individuals.

5, When did Obama apologize for us defending ourselves. He said we have made mistakes. We are not perfect. I do agree. We had no reason to invade Iraq. We started the Vietnam war under false pretences (gulf of Tonkin) etc. Thats one of the problems with the right wing. You feel we are somehow above mistakes that anything we do must be right because we did it, It's like Nixon saying "if the President does it, it's not illegal. How did that work out for him?

  1. Has Obama complied with the extradition of these people to Spain? How should he have stood up to them? Invade in true Republican fashion? He has ignored it. They can't be taken from the U.S. without our permission. Of course if the roles were reversed I'm sure you would have no problem using extraordinary rendition to bring the offenders here.

You do realize that Jihad just means "struggle" and people who partake in Jihad are mujahid. So they are more appropriately mujahideen. "Jihadist" just like a "war on terror" it's a bad choice of words. But I digress. They are most certainly criminals they are not soldiers they do not serve nation or state they wear no uniforms and they in no way organize themselves in a manner of any army on the planet and every time you insist they are you lend them credibility and stature. They are as much an army and soldiers as the Mexican mafia. If they got the message loud and clear why are we not over run with bombings? You see I don't fear these people. I know that I have much more chance of being killed by a frozen waste ball falling from a passenger plane than I do of being in a "757 when you look up and the fuselage is splitting in half due to a bomb". I don't let them control my life. I refuse to live in fear. When the IRA (not an army again just criminals) were detonating bombs in England did the Brit's cower and impose draconian laws against the Irish? Did they torture them and consider everyone of the Catholic faith a terrorist?

funkdog1 8 years, 1 month ago

"Again, Obama's rhetoric has given the green light to jihadists. "


So was it Bush's rhetoric that gave the green light for 9-11?

Okay, I did vote for Obama and I didn't like Bush, but blaming this most recent terrorist incident on Obama, like blaming 9-11 on Bush, is re-donk-u-lous.

We live in a free country people. For the most part, we're free to come and go as we please. If that results in an occasional threat to peoples' safety, oh freakin' well. The fact is that terrorist attacks are far worse in countries that are not as free as ours.

Keep whining and panicking and pointing partisan fingers. Your rights to move around as you like---as a free American---will disappear faster than you can say britches bomb.

Can you imagine how POed Tom Shewman would be if he was strip-searched at the airport? Or if he was detained and questioned? "You can't harass me! I'm an American, dammit! And I'm not even brown!"

Randall Barnes 8 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jaywalker 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm likin' ya funkdog, you seem fairly rational and willing to look at both sides, too early to know for sure but you seem cool. But I would disagree on your assessment of Tom at the last; I'd wager a bundle he's the type of person who's nothing but cooperative and courteous with TSA. And I don't believe he's a racist, that "I'm not even brown!" comment was outta line.

funkdog1 8 years, 1 month ago

Okay, I apologize. I was too quick to jump to judgment.

But when it comes to terrorism, anybody trying to assign blame to Bush or Obama is the one who's clueless. These are radical, fundamentalist religious freaks. They aren't against us because of who's sitting in the White House. They're against us for two reasons: 1) our foreign policy (which, even if we were to change our foreign policy, wouldn't make them happy anyway) and 2) they're against us because we're Americans. They hate America because we're prosperous, women have rights here and, for the most part, we're a secular society. That is never going to change. We can never make them happy. What they want is their own bizarre version of a religious utopia that makes my blood go cold.

funkdog1 8 years, 1 month ago

And you know what else? We're never going to totally stop the terrorists. Just like we'll never stop people from going wacko and gunning down a bunch of people in a Taco Bell. People are unpredictable.

How long should it take to get on a plane? Two hours? Five hours? Seven hours? Should we start carrying papers and show them when we cross state lines?

The bottom line is that you're never safe walking out of your house. Never. (Hell, you're never safe IN your house.) You could get hit by a bus, shot by a stray bullet or stabbed by a crazy person. This idea that we can make air travel 100% safe is ridiculous.

georgiahawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Funkdog, I agree with what you are saying, except, it's still Obama's fault when something bad happens... right?

temperance 8 years, 1 month ago

"They hate America because we're prosperous, women have rights here and, for the most part, we're a secular society."

Keep telling yourself fairy tales. They hate America because we drop bombs on their countries, kill their civilians, and give billions of dollars in military aid to their biggest enemy in the region. People are not becoming suicide bombers because they're angry over another country's wealth and civil liberties. That's the simplistic "they hate us because we're Free!" mentality that's underwritten our multiple wars and bombing campaigns in (three, now four?) Middle East countries over the last 9 years. For every civilian that a drone attack kills, we produce a dozen more people willing to kill themselves to eradicate what they see as a Western threat. That's just a fact. You can retreat into comforting cliches like "They hate America because we're prosperous" if they make you feel Hannitized, or something, but they sound dumber and dumber as the century moves forward.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 1 month ago

Tom: I have a link to a good article for you. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/opinion/30dowd.html?_r=2 Temperance: your observations are very close to correct. However, to reverse our foreign policies with our friends is not a good thing. And believe me I will refuse to pay a religous tax, or to be a slave. I can however, accept being a wage slave and paying U.S. taxes.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

“In the wake of the botched terror attack on Christmas Day, Barack Obama promised a thorough investigation into why American intelligence did not “connect the dots,” allowing Umar Abdulmutallab to board a plane from Amsterdam to Detroit. The focus will fall in large part on the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the use of watch lists that are supposed to prevent terrorists from boarding flights and entering the country. However, the man chosen to run the probe, John Brennan, is also the man who designed the watch-list system and ran the NCTC:” http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/31/transparency-man-reviewing-intel-center-also-created-and-ran-it/

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