Outrageous Outrage of the Day: Napolitano Says ‘The System Worked’

In the latest nontroversy sweeping the wingnut blogosphere, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was interviewed on CNN yesterday, and said, “The system worked.”

The usual blogs are yelling and screaming and running around in faux outrage, claiming that Napolitano said the system worked because passengers tackled the would-be terrorist. Some are even calling for her to be fired.

But here’s the video clip in question, and Napolitano’s point is pretty clear: she was saying the system worked because the system-wide response following the incident worked smoothly.

Youtube Video

Sorry, can’t join in the outrage on this one either. She definitely worded it badly, but calling for her to be fired over this? That’s ridiculous.

But outrageous outrages have their effect, and Napolitano has now taken back her initial clumsy remark.

“Our system did not work in this instance,” Napolitano told “The Today Show.” “No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.”

Napolitano initially had said the system worked in an interview with CNN that aired over the weekend. She said Monday that her earlier comment was taken out of context.

UPDATE at 12/28/09 1:44:59 pm:

By the way, last June a majority of Republicans in the House voted against a bill that would have installed bomb detection systems at airports.

Republicans have cast votes against the key TSA funding measure that the 2010 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security contained, which included funding for the TSA, including for explosives detection systems and other aviation security measures. In the June 24 vote in the House, leading Republicans including John Boehner, Pete Hoekstra, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan voted against the bill, amid a procedural dispute over the appropriations process, a Democrat points out. A full 108 Republicans voted against the conference version, including Boehner, Hoekstra, Pence, Michelle Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Darrell Issa and Joe Wilson.

The conference bill included more than $4 billion for “screening operations,” including $1.1 billion in funding for explosives detection systems, with $778 million for buying and installing the systems.

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212 comments
1 Mournie  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:28:51pm

Speaking out both sides of her mouth doesn't exactly instill confidence either.

2 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:28:57pm

At least she didn't say mission accomplished.

3 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:33:44pm

I think it's pretty clear she was trying to calm people's fears. Unfortunately, the way she phrased it let the right wing blogosphere and GOP politicians use her remarks to achieve the exact opposite -- to stoke fears, which is what they're all about these days.

4 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:33:49pm

Somehow I can't get upset over this when some of the same rightwing blogs are posting videos detailing how to make and conceal effective bomb detonators.

5 webevintage  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:33:55pm

I don't know how they keep track of which is the fauxage of the day/hour. It just seems like so much wasted energy....

I'm still trying to decide if I really enjoyed the latest Doctor Who or if they went just a bit to far this time.
Awesome ending though....

6 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:34:19pm

re: #4 Thanos

Somehow I can't get upset over this when some of the same rightwing blogs are posting videos detailing how to make and conceal effective bomb detonators.

Right. And I continue to get hate mail for pointing that out, by the way.

7 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:34:58pm

The system failed miserably leading up to this incident.

The only reason there is not a team of FAA investigators cleaning up airplane debris on a farm somewhere is because the device itself failed to properly blow a hole in the plane.

For Napolitano to exclaim the system worked is akin to "mission accomplished". Should she be fired? No.

8 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:35:39pm

re: #7 Racer X

The system failed miserably leading up to this incident.

The only reason there is not a team of FAA investigators cleaning up airplane debris on a farm somewhere is because the device itself failed to properly blow a hole in the plane.

For Napolitano to exclaim the system worked is akin to "mission accomplished". Should she be fired? No.

Again -- she said the system worked after the incident, and it did.

9 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:37:11pm

re: #7 Racer X

False equivalency again.

You guys've gotta quit doing that :P

10 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:37:54pm

re: #8 Charles

Again -- she said the system worked after the incident, and it did.

I understand.

But we came this frikking close to a major catastrophe. Would she have proclaimed "the system worked" if there was a plane crash? We came this close.

Poor, poor choice of words on her part.

11 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:38:04pm

re: #3 Charles

I think it's pretty clear she was trying to calm people's fears. Unfortunately, the way she phrased it let the right wing blogosphere and GOP politicians use her remarks to achieve the exact opposite -- to stoke fears, which is what they're all about these days.

They didn't even like Michael Chertoff. An example of which you can see here.

They also didn't like Tom Ridge who they now insult by calling him a RINO.

12 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:38:33pm

In what sense did Napolitano's system fail? I mean, clearly, there were screw-ups, but did the U.S. fail to do anything we were supposed to?

13 SasyMomaCat  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:39:25pm

OT, but of potential interest to those following Iran protests: (reposted from previous thread)

For anyone interested, @oxfordgirl is somehow getting info out of Iran via twitter. She must have found a way around the govt block.

Does anyone else know of a reliable twitter account to follow for info? I'm also following iranbaan, Stop Ahmadi, and Winston80 (although, didn't he get banned here? Is he still reliable?) Iranbaan hasn't tweeted since early yesterday morning and it's been 22 hrs since Stop Ahmadi got anything through.

(did anyone ever find out what happened to @persiankiwi? Last tweet on 6/24 was distressing)

14 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:39:37pm

re: #10 Racer X

But how bad is a poor choice of words, really? Isn't it worse to claim that she meant something she didn't?

I think we'd be a lot better off if context was allowed, instead of conversations being rooted through for quotes that can be used in an attack.

15 Daniel Ballard  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:39:42pm

Fools are easily distracted. One of the problems with outrage over statements in interviews is often highly skilled executives-even the best-will stumble on camera or when caught suddenly. It's the policies and their management that bears close examination at a time like this.

BTW it's nice to be recognized as part of the system. As a passenger I mean. Yeah given a fighting chance we will certainly intervene. Not sure how to phrase this-I just wish the justly classified number of flying air marshals was a much higher classified number.

16 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:39:44pm

Let me rephrase my question - how did the system work?

How will we know that it did in fact work?

17 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:39:50pm

Everyone's in a big flap over this and how come the terrorists came so close to being successful. There are proposals and counter proposals, calls to profile, to exclude passengers of one religion etc.

None of them answer the key problem however.

Explosives of any sort should not have been able to get through two airport security checks. PETN has a chemical signature, and is detectable by bomb sniffing devices and dogs. My take is that if you don't run all passengers headed to the US by a sniffer (either dog or device) then your airline just doesn't get to fly here.

18 freetoken  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:39:52pm

re: #7 Racer X

Listening to it, all that she seems to be saying is that the response to the event worked as expected.

Preventative measures were not the subject.

19 Digital Display  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:40:14pm

Airport Security should and win evolve with software to help eliminate the human element weak links in Security...and make great gains in the future..
For instance..One of the first thing you learn about software design is never let the user fail.. You try to enter the wrong zipcode in the wrong box it directs you to correct your mistake.. In great designed software the user will always be successful...
In airport security of the future we will get great results....

20 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:41:04pm

re: #17 Thanos

Everyone's in a big flap over this and how come the terrorists came so close to being successful. There are proposals and counter proposals, calls to profile, to exclude passengers of one religion etc.

None of them answer the key problem however.

Explosives of any sort should not have been able to get through two airport security checks. PETN has a chemical signature, and is detectable by bomb sniffing devices and dogs. My take is that if you don't run all passengers headed to the US by a sniffer (either dog or device) then your airline just doesn't get to fly here.

Full employment for beagles.

21 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:41:41pm

re: #16 Racer X

It worked in that it got information out and relatively effective countermeasures out supremely quickly.

eg the 'no getting out of the seat in the last hour' and 'no covering your lap with anything' rules.

22 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:42:26pm

re: #21 windsagio

also the 'no inflight map' rules. Altho' that one seems silly, because they could just start preparing when the plane begins to descend.

23 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:42:29pm

re: #17 Thanos

Everyone's in a big flap over this and how come the terrorists came so close to being successful. There are proposals and counter proposals, calls to profile, to exclude passengers of one religion etc.

None of them answer the key problem however.

Explosives of any sort should not have been able to get through two airport security checks. PETN has a chemical signature, and is detectable by bomb sniffing devices and dogs. My take is that if you don't run all passengers headed to the US by a sniffer (either dog or device) then your airline just doesn't get to fly here.

Dogs are natural crotch sniffers. But wouldn't there be an objection by Muslims to dog searches?

24 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:43:02pm

re: #23 DaddyG

Dogs are natural crotch sniffers. But wouldn't there be an objection by Muslims to dog searches?

That's why I included devices.

25 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:43:09pm

re: #17 Thanos

Everyone's in a big flap over this and how come the terrorists came so close to being successful. There are proposals and counter proposals, calls to profile, to exclude passengers of one religion etc.

None of them answer the key problem however.

Explosives of any sort should not have been able to get through two airport security checks. PETN has a chemical signature, and is detectable by bomb sniffing devices and dogs. My take is that if you don't run all passengers headed to the US by a sniffer (either dog or device) then your airline just doesn't get to fly here.

Excellent point.

We came way too close to a successful terror attack. Way too close. The failures leading up to this were a joke. And I would say the same thing if Bush was in the white house.

26 freetoken  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:43:11pm

re: #19 HoosierHoops

Over the past few years there have been lots of patent applications for sensors able to detect chemical (and biological) compounds. This is obviously a big potentially world wide market for countermeasures to prevent stuff like this. I would like to believe that in the next few years we will see the ability to screen for these types of events to become a near certainty.

27 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:44:02pm

re: #25 Racer X

they really were. THOSE DAMN DUTCH!

28 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:44:48pm

re: #21 windsagio

It worked in that it got information out and relatively effective countermeasures out supremely quickly.

eg the 'no getting out of the seat in the last hour' and 'no covering your lap with anything' rules.

And that will prevent the next attack how?

2 days later a guy is stuck in the bathroom for an hour (turns out he was sick) and no one could have stopped him from lighting one of these things off. No one could see him.

29 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:44:51pm

I've had my bag swabbed in Altanta for traces of chemicals. Why isn't that being done worldwide?

(Not that bag you pervs.)

30 webevintage  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:45:01pm

Is there a reason why we don't have more drug/explosives sniffing dogs at airports? Is it the money required to train/feed/care for a bunch of dogs or the training curve or just no one has ever pushed it as a deterrent?
(not that it would have mattered in this case since the guy got on the plane in Amsterdam)

31 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:45:13pm

By the way, last June a majority of Republicans in the House voted against a bill that would have installed bomb detection systems at airports.

Republicans have cast votes against the key TSA funding measure that the 2010 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security contained, which included funding for the TSA, including for explosives detection systems and other aviation security measures. In the June 24 vote in the House, leading Republicans including John Boehner, Pete Hoekstra, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan voted against the bill, amid a procedural dispute over the appropriations process, a Democrat points out. A full 108 Republicans voted against the conference version, including Boehner, Hoekstra, Pence, Michelle Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Darrell Issa and Joe Wilson.

The conference bill included more than $4 billion for "screening operations," including $1.1 billion in funding for explosives detection systems, with $778 million for buying and installing the systems.

32 Mournie  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:45:34pm

Clearly there were missed signs and opportunities to pull this guy off the flight. His own father reported his fear that his son was 'radicalized'. In the wake of those things Napolitano isn't reassuring with her happy talk and then a recant. The day could have very well turned out much differently if it wasn't for the luck of a failed explosive and a Dutch passenger. I'd say its a wake up call and should be addressed as such.

33 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:45:55pm

re: #7 Racer X

The system failed miserably leading up to this incident.

The only reason there is not a team of FAA investigators cleaning up airplane debris on a farm somewhere is because the device itself failed to properly blow a hole in the plane.

For Napolitano to exclaim the system worked is akin to "mission accomplished". Should she be fired? No.

Honestly, there's just no way to detect everything. We'd have to strip search everyone going onto a plane.

34 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:46:46pm

re: #28 Racer X

Well, then, what would you suggest?

Reminder: The screening failures weren't even the US' fault.

35 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:46:51pm

re: #33 WindUpBird

Honestly, there's just no way to detect everything. We'd have to strip search everyone going onto a plane.


Don't forget the cavity search.

36 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:47:11pm

re: #24 Thanos

That's why I included devices.

What about the African Giant Pouched Rat? They're really good at detecting explosives and even TB.

See Hero Rat.

37 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:47:21pm

Right now the big terror threat comes from radical muslims from foreign countries, however we don't know if that will be true in ten years. Maybe in ten years it will come from white Eastern European anarchists, or Chinese Falun Gong, or South American fascists - the point is nobody can predict the future, and even with profiling you can't predict who a terrorist is or isn't 100 percent of the time. We need systems that don't care but that will always flag explosives.

38 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:47:34pm

re: #33 WindUpBird

Honestly, there's just no way to detect everything. We'd have to strip search everyone going onto a plane.

I'm in!

39 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:48:09pm

re: #23 DaddyG

Dogs are natural crotch sniffers. But wouldn't there be an objection by Muslims to dog searches?

Possibly, but cats won't work. They may be able to smell explosives, but they wouldn't tell us about it.

40 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:48:15pm

Some passengers on the flight claimed that the terrorist was allowed to board the plane without a passport although Nigerian officials claimed that Abdulmutallab did have a valid passport.

41 lgffan  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:48:23pm

re: #38 Racer X

Dibs on the hot chicks!

42 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:48:34pm

re: #37 Thanos

That's not to underestimate the usefulness of human intelligence, though. There are two separate issues: identifying dangerous people and neutralizing them or at least being aware of them before they strike, and having mechanisms in place to help defeat an attempted terrorist attack if the human intelligence fails.

43 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:48:49pm

re: #25 Racer X

Excellent point.

We came way too close to a successful terror attack. Way too close. The failures leading up to this were a joke. And I would say the same thing if Bush was in the white house.

What do you see as the failures of the U.S. in this one? How could we effectively prevent it from happening in the future?

44 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:49:21pm

re: #43 SanFranciscoZionist

we could conquer Europe!

45 webevintage  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:49:21pm

re: #32 Mournie

Clearly there were missed signs and opportunities to pull this guy off the flight. His own father reported his fear that his son was 'radicalized'.

Did he?
This statement from the family seems more like they were concerned because he cut off contact with them.

"Prior to this incident, his father, having become concerned about his disappearance and stoppage of communication while schooling abroad, reported the matter to the Nigerian security agencies about two months ago, and to some foreign security agencies about a month and a half ago, then sought their assistance to find and return him home. We provided them with all the information required of us to enable them do this. We were hopeful that they would find and return him home. It was while we were waiting for the outcome of their investigation that we arose to the shocking news of that day.

The disappearance and cessation of communication which got his mother and father concerned to report to the security agencies are completely out of character and a very recent development"

[Link: www.nytimes.com...]

46 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:49:35pm

re: #18 freetoken

Listening to it, all that she seems to be saying is that the response to the event worked as expected.

Preventative measures were not the subject.

If she's talking about the government's first responders after the attack was thwarted, they did indeed respond quickly. But hell, so did the FDNY on 9/11.

Clumsy articulation, but no firing offense, is my finding.

47 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:49:47pm

re: #42 obdicut

That's not to underestimate the usefulness of human intelligence, though. There are two separate issues: identifying dangerous people and neutralizing them or at least being aware of them before they strike, and having mechanisms in place to help defeat an attempted terrorist attack if the human intelligence fails.

I'm not: humint is very much still needed, but it's fallible. We need layered defenses and systems.

48 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:50:25pm

re: #34 windsagio

Well, then, what would you suggest?

Reminder: The screening failures weren't even the US' fault.

I'm just some numbskull posting on a blog. There are smarter people than me who are supposed to figure this out.

Last week they failed to prevent a known threat from boarding a plane headed to the U.S. - even though he paid in cash (one way ticket) and checked no bags.

Warning signs all over this one dontcha think?

49 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:50:28pm

re: #44 windsagio

we could conquer Europe!

Or just the airports, really.

50 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:50:44pm
51 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:50:45pm

re: #41 lgffan

Dibs on the hot chicks!


A few weeks after 9/11 the Denver airport was patting down every passenger boarding a plane. This handsome young man had just finished patting my backside searching for contraband when the woman behind me cheerfully exclaimed, "Oh goodie! It's my turn now."

He was quite red faced but professional.

52 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:51:12pm

re: #23 DaddyG

Dogs are natural crotch sniffers. But wouldn't there be an objection by Muslims to dog searches?

Yes. The procedure wouldn't last its first morning, for the uproar.

53 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:51:58pm

re: #48 Racer X

but you're not really addressing what SFZ or I am saying.

Explain how The United States failed before the attack.

re: #49 SanFranciscoZionist

That'd work. Might as well do the whole thing tho, no?

54 sakublock  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:52:12pm

I still call for her to be fired. Really, does she give the the confidence to sleep tight knowing she is out there getting bad guys?

55 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:52:26pm

re: #43 SanFranciscoZionist

What do you see as the failures of the U.S. in this one? How could we effectively prevent it from happening in the future?

There were warning signs all over this one that were either ignored or never reviewed properly.

56 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:52:39pm

Whoopee frickin doo is about all I can muster up to say about all this. The right wing noise machine really has become a liability to them. If they ever do have a good point in the future, I won't be listening or caring by then.

57 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:52:47pm

re: #50 Alouette

Jasper Schuringa is hot!

Well heck. I guess I have to have sex with him now, to thank him for saving Detroit. I assume my husband will understand that this is just to support international relations.

58 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:52:49pm

I've heard reporters on both CNN and NPR today refer to today's statement as a "reversal" of yesterday's statement.

True or not, that's the impression that's been left, and it hasn't been created by crazed bloggers - it's been created by Napolitano's statements.

Part of the job in such positions is to be able to get in front of a camera and give a clear, concise and accurate presentation of events. Napolitano didn't succeed. She isn't the first person holding similar positions to be taken to task for misspeaking or for not speaking clearly, and she won't be the last.

The outcome, like it or not, is a lingering whiff of incompetence added to what is rapidly growing into a stinking miasma of incompetence spanning the entire intelligence community responsible for airline safety. All the more reason to view this pair of clumsy statements askance.

59 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:52:59pm

re: #37 Thanos

Tell that to this guy.

60 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:53:35pm

re: #54 sakublock

I still call for her to be fired. Really, does she give the the confidence to sleep tight knowing she is out there getting bad guys?

Jack Bauer is a fictional character. Any other nominations? And what exactly are we firing her ABOUT?

61 webevintage  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:53:58pm

re: #54 sakublock

I still call for her to be fired. Really, does she give the the confidence to sleep tight knowing she is out there getting bad guys?

Yes, because she is not out there all alone for heaven's sake and I always have confidence in people who are willing to admit mistakes and work to fix them.

62 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:54:00pm

re: #32 Mournie

Clearly there were missed signs and opportunities to pull this guy off the flight. His own father reported his fear that his son was 'radicalized'. In the wake of those things Napolitano isn't reassuring with her happy talk and then a recant. The day could have very well turned out much differently if it wasn't for the luck of a failed explosive and a Dutch passenger. I'd say its a wake up call and should be addressed as such.

His father reported him because he thought his son might become dangerous -- not because he had any evidence of a specific plot. The son's name went on a very long list of potential suspects, and there was nothing to indicate he was any more likely to be involved in an imminent plot than any of the other people on the list.

It's just not possible to investigate every single person who's reported as a potential danger, obviously. I don't think it's right -- or productive -- to blame DHS for "missing" Abdulmutallab.

63 Mournie  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:54:01pm

re: #45 webevintage

From what I saw his father apparently made statements to the US Embassy which might raise a flag on inter agency communications:

"Abdulmutallab's father, Umaru Mutallab, had grown so distraught over his son's religious extremism that he contacted US authorities about it in mid-2009.

Citing family sources, This Day said Mutallab reported his son's activities to the US Embassy in Abuja as well as to Nigerian security officials."

[Link: bigpondnews.com...]

64 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:54:24pm

re: #52 The Sanity Inspector

Yes. The procedure wouldn't last its first morning, for the uproar.

They have used dogs in Afghanistan for years to find and uproot mines leftover from the successive Soviet and Taliban regimes. The dogs have Muslim handlers, and are actually liked even in the hinterlands once it's demonstrated that they can find mines.

It doesn't have to be dogs, there are effective mechanical sniffers.

65 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:54:34pm

re: #55 Racer X

There were warning signs all over this one that were either ignored or never reviewed properly.

By whom? I agree, but whose watch did it happen on, and how could we respond to that?

66 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:55:15pm

re: #57 SanFranciscoZionist

Well heck. I guess I have to have sex with him now, to thank him for saving Detroit. I assume my husband will understand that this is just to support international relations.

I'm sure there is a long line already.

67 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:55:32pm

re: #62 Charles

His father reported him because he thought his son might become dangerous -- not because he had any evidence of a specific plot. The son's name went on a very long list of potential suspects, and there was nothing to indicate he was any more likely to be involved in an imminent plot than any of other people on the list.

It's just not possible to investigate every single person who's reported as a potential danger, obviously. I don't think it's right to blame DHS for "missing" Abdulmutallab.

There's 500,000 people on the TIDE list.

68 Mark Pennington  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:55:46pm

re: #60 SanFranciscoZionist

Jack Bauer is a fictional character. Any other nominations? And what exactly are we firing her ABOUT?

You beat me to it. I was about to ask what she needs to be fired for.

69 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:56:08pm

re: #58 SixDegrees

The outcome is only that if there is a concerted effort to attack her. What does attacking her gain anyone?

70 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:56:23pm

re: #64 Thanos

They have used dogs in Afghanistan for years to find and uproot mines leftover from the successive Soviet and Taliban regimes. The dogs have Muslim handlers, and are actually liked even in the hinterlands once it's demonstrated that they can find mines.

It doesn't have to be dogs, there are effective mechanical sniffers.

Middle Easterners have a real distaste for dogs, but that doesn't extend to the whole Muslim world.

But yeah, there's mechanical stuff as well. And the rats, as someone mentioned above.

71 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:56:29pm

re: #53 windsagio

but you're not really addressing what SFZ or I am saying.

Explain how The United States failed before the attack.

re: #49 SanFranciscoZionist

That'd work. Might as well do the whole thing tho, no?

Pretend for a minute the bomb went off as he planned. Hundreds are now dead. Debris over a large area. No clue as to who carried out the attack.

I bet you could come up with a few suggestions for improved security.

72 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:56:36pm

re: #67 Gus 802

There's 500,000 people on the TIDE list.

That's my point. Every day the US gets reports about potentially dangerous people. It's not realistic at all to think they can investigate every single one.

73 ryannon  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:56:45pm

re: #8 Charles

Again -- she said the system worked after the incident, and it did.

I think the real issue in most people's minds is that if the system had worked, there never would have been an 'incident'.

All the rest is endless semantics.

74 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:56:56pm

And now I'm getting hate mail about this post, of course.

75 webevintage  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:57:26pm

re: #64 Thanos

They have used dogs in Afghanistan for years to find and uproot mines leftover from the successive Soviet and Taliban regimes. The dogs have Muslim handlers, and are actually liked even in the hinterlands once it's demonstrated that they can find mines.

It doesn't have to be dogs, there are effective mechanical sniffers.

Giant African Rats that sniff out mines:
[Link: news.nationalgeographic.com...]

76 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:58:14pm

re: #73 ryannon

I think the real issue in most people's minds is that if the system had worked, there never would have been an 'incident'.

All the rest is endless semantics.

I disagree. It's very important to have a system in place for handling the aftermath of a terrorist incident. Almost as important as having bomb detection systems in airports -- which the GOP voted against.

77 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:58:25pm

re: #71 Racer X

Dude, you're just not getting it!

The security failures that let him get on the flight were terrible. ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!

They also happened in A FOREIGN NATION where THE US HAS NO JURISDICTION!

Explain how the US failed in that scenario.

78 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:58:43pm

re: #72 Charles

That's my point. Every day the US gets reports about potentially dangerous people. It's not realistic at all to think they can investigate every single one.

Exactly. Of course that won't stop the armchair generals from making it sound easy.

79 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:59:29pm

re: #73 ryannon

That's assuming there's any system that can be 100% effective, which there isn't.

There is no way to 100% protect yourself against the actions of other humans. It can't be done. Humans are human, and we can outsmart each other. What you can do is make it very, very difficult for them-- and we need to make it more difficult for them, I agree-- but we also need to have a system in place in the wake of an attack.

80 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:59:39pm

re: #75 webevintage

Giant African Rats that sniff out mines:
[Link: news.nationalgeographic.com...]

Hero Rats! See my #36. I wonder how effective they would be in an airport environment.

81 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 1:59:58pm

re: #71 Racer X

Pretend for a minute the bomb went off as he planned. Hundreds are now dead. Debris over a large area. No clue as to who carried out the attack.

I bet you could come up with a few suggestions for improved security.

Really? You think these engineers are only motivated after something goes wrong? Cuz at this point the war is our engineers against theirs.

82 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:00:30pm

re: #75 webevintage

Giant African Rats that sniff out mines:
[Link: news.nationalgeographic.com...]

Imagine the response from Michelle Malkin if the TSA deployed giant rats in airports. Heh.

83 Mournie  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:00:35pm

re: #62 Charles
Is that not what they are there for? Slipping thru the cracks might be more of someone not connecting the dots. His father had concerns, he was on a watch, he specifically asked for a seat over the fuel. Is it known flights from Amsterdam do not have US Marshalls? Not to question every step of where this fell down surely falls into DHS's job description.

84 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:01:09pm

re: #76 Charles

I disagree. It's very important to have a system in place for handling the aftermath of a terrorist incident. Almost as important as having bomb detection systems in airports -- which the GOP voted against.

They voted against the bill based on a precedural issue with appropriations not because they are against security in airports.

If we're going to be fair to Director Napolitano (which we should) we should also refrain from pointing fingers in other directions.

The constant react and blame game is going to discourage any qualified executive from serving in government positions. It is a sad and self destructive game that started long ago and cannot be placed squarely on the last administration or two.

85 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:01:12pm

re: #77 windsagio

Dude, you're just not getting it!

The security failures that let him get on the flight were terrible. ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!

They also happened in A FOREIGN NATION where THE US HAS NO JURISDICTION!

Explain how the US failed in that scenario.

If I were king of America I would require more thorough screening. Period. No checked bags, one-way ticket, no passport. You don't get on a plane headed to the U.S. Period.

But thats just me.

86 Firstinla  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:01:15pm

How about: the system worked here but not over there.

87 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:01:19pm

re: #59 Olsonist

Tell that to this guy.

Sorry I left off "big terror threatat airports" I assumed that from the incident and thread. If you want to expand to all terror including domestic that's a subject for another thread.

88 webevintage  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:01:41pm

re: #80 Gus 802

Hero Rats! See my #36. I wonder how effective they would be in an airport environment.


Well, how cool is that?

We had rats (as pets and no they were not huge African Rats) once and folks, they were just the sweetest pets...and pretty smart too.

89 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:01:54pm

re: #31 Charles

By the way, last June a majority of Republicans in the House voted against a bill that would have installed bomb detection systems at airports.

Not really related to this case, where the bomb entered the system overseas. But I will say that, as much as I'm fascinated by technology, it really isn't going to be a solution in cases like these anyway. We can spend billions putting sniffers in place that have a high degree of sophistication, while terrorists spend a few thousand taking probe flights to learn what substances the machines miss, and how to package and prepare explosives to evade detection.

X-raying checked luggage is an excellent idea - anything in the luggage compartment is going to need mechanical aids to ensure detonation that show up well on x-rays - and there are extensive systems in place to do this already. On the passenger side, however, what's really needed is a stronger emphasis on human intelligence - including the dreaded "profiling" that's used by every other security force on the planet. We tend to like technology, and over-emphasize it in this country, because it depersonalizes surveillance and removes any hint of prejudice that human-based intelligence inevitably carries with it. It's very objectivity tends, however, to mask it's shortcomings. You can't have an effective security system when you take half the cards off the table, and in my view adding more technology to airports is not worth the marginal improvement in security it may temporarily achieve. From where we currently stand, it would be much more effective dedicating money to training in human surveillance techniques.

90 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:02:05pm

re: #80 Gus 802

Hero Rats! See my #36. I wonder how effective they would be in an airport environment.


Look at New York, they have been there for years. /

91 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:02:27pm

I guess I should use caps more to make my points.

92 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:02:41pm

re: #71 Racer X

Pretend for a minute the bomb went off as he planned. Hundreds are now dead. Debris over a large area. No clue as to who carried out the attack.

I bet you could come up with a few suggestions for improved security.

You're really ignoring the point of what I'm saying, but OK--my first comment here is that Reid and this dude both boarded U.S. flights from points in Europe. If it's true that this guy boarded with no passport, that's an additional issue.

Are there DHS agents, or similar posted to international airports? If not, and if it's possible, I would suggest doing so. (Don't know what the legal issues are.) Add requirements for explosives checks as possible. Try to increase U.S. control over any plane departing for the U.S.

These are things that come to mind, now. I don't know how possible any of them are at the present time.

93 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:02:47pm

BBL

94 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:02:59pm

re: #89 SixDegrees

It's not either/or.

95 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:03:05pm

re: #84 DaddyG

They voted against the bill based on a precedural issue with appropriations not because they are against security in airports.

Whatever the reason, the bill was defeated because GOP representatives voted it down. This seems like a much more serious charge than a few clumsy words from Janet Napolitano.

96 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:03:19pm

re: #85 Racer X

Are you trolling me?

Intentionally missing my point?

Because I just cannot understand how you can be this freakin' dense.

You keep talking about this as if he left from an American airport, and as if our security people let him through. We all know that isn't true.

97 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:03:34pm

re: #88 webevintage

Well, how cool is that?

We had rats (as pets and no they were not huge African Rats) once and folks, they were just the sweetest pets...and pretty smart too.

Yeah, I heard about this early this year. They're extremely efficient for detecting landmines and now they're working on having them detect tuberculosis.

Quick video:

98 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:04:11pm

re: #80 Gus 802

Hero Rats! See my #36. I wonder how effective they would be in an airport environment.

Portable, easily fed and stored. I don't know how much contact they need to sniff someone down.

99 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:04:51pm

re: #96 windsagio

I read his statement as saying that he would ensure that no planes could come from outside the US with a passenger with a one-way ticket. How that would be achieved, I don't know.

100 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:06:00pm

re: #99 obdicut

I read his statement as saying that he would ensure that no planes could come from outside the US with a passenger with a one-way ticket. How that would be achieved, I don't know.

What? Terrorists can afford round trip?

101 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:06:05pm

re: #96 windsagio

Are you trolling me?

Intentionally missing my point?

Because I just cannot understand how you can be this freakin' dense.

You keep talking about this as if he left from an American airport, and as if our security people let him through. We all know that isn't true.

Hey ease up on the name calling because I can be pretty good at it myself, and we both do not want to stoop that low do we?

So, you're saying we cannot control who boards an American plane on foreign soil - is that about right? and we cannot do any more than we did in this instance? Really?

102 freetoken  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:06:11pm

re: #95 Charles

The unintended consequences of decisions...

The Law of Unintended Consequences

103 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:06:21pm

re: #95 Charles

Whatever the reason, the bill was defeated because GOP representatives voted it down. This seems like a much more serious charge than a few clumsy words from Janet Napolitano.


Both of which fall into the category of huge nontroversy in my opinion. Napolitano's statement is more a symptom of the 24/7 scandal scoop machine than an indication of how well DHS is run.

104 osprey34229  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:06:50pm

The US is in the reactive mode behind the curve. The terrorist
probe our weakness we react ie hands in laps , no toilet trips
in last hr of flight , 555k names on list that no one understands.
Until we cut out the PC crap and focus on passengers who fit and
the profile we are spinning our wheels.We were lucky this time.
When the IRA tried to blow up Margaret Thacther and failed
their response to her was you need to be lucky all the time
we only have to be lucky once! That is the problem we face.
Leave the 80yr old granny alone scan and pat down those that
fit the profile -- in doubt they don't fly!!

105 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:07:31pm

re: #100 Olsonist

What? Terrorists can afford round trip?

Things like the one-way ticket and the luggage are easily checked, but also easily adapted to by terrorists. Good clues, but nothing to stake anyone's life on.

106 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:07:48pm

I will wager that the nativist lobbies will be using this incident to gin more fear and to further their causes. They will be the ones against effective but non-discriminatory methods.

107 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:08:00pm

re: #98 SanFranciscoZionist

Portable, easily fed and stored. I don't know how much contact they need to sniff someone down.

It would have to be tested. Given the portability if it can be done it would be easier and cheaper than using canines. Not sure what Islamic law is compared with canines. I think they're kind of cute.

108 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:08:00pm

re: #98 SanFranciscoZionist

Portable, easily fed and stored. I don't know how much contact they need to sniff someone down.

Imagine how passengers will react to being required to walk past a bank of chattering, sniffing giant rats before they board. The media would have little trouble portraying it as something out of a horror movie.

109 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:08:15pm

re: #99 obdicut

Thats something, anyways.

re: #101 Racer X

Lets just both walk away, we're getting mad :p

And no, I honestly can't think of anything realistic we could do in the Amsterdam airport to stop this kind of thing.

110 wrenchwench  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:08:16pm

re: #74 Charles

And now I'm getting hate mail about this post, of course.

Another bullseye!

111 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:08:51pm

re: #72 Charles

That's my point. Every day the US gets reports about potentially dangerous people. It's not realistic at all to think they can investigate every single one.

From what I've heard today - and it's probably still best to be cautious about such news until it ages a bit - this guy was placed on the no-fly list in Britain due to his connections with extremist Islamic groups, something his father was also aware of. I don't know if they got their information from the father, but dad apparently contacted the US embassy more than once: first, to report the worrisome connections, and on a separate occasion to report that his son had gone off the radar and he wanted to both warn US authorities of a potential risk and to ask their help to find his son and have him returned home safely. Toss in buying a one-way ticket with cash and several other red flags, and it's questionable whether he ever should have been granted a visa in the first place.

From what I'm hearing today, it sounds like that whole "connect the dots" thing isn't working out at all.

112 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:10:16pm

re: #64 Thanos

They have used dogs in Afghanistan for years to find and uproot mines leftover from the successive Soviet and Taliban regimes. The dogs have Muslim handlers, and are actually liked even in the hinterlands once it's demonstrated that they can find mines.

It doesn't have to be dogs, there are effective mechanical sniffers.

Difference being, our airports are not war zones. Yes, let's hope the mechanical sniffers are as good as the pooches.

113 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:10:20pm

re: #108 Shiplord Kirel

Imagine how passengers will react to being required to walk past a bank of chattering, sniffing giant rats before they board. The media would have little trouble portraying it as something out of a horror movie.

Train the Rats to use twitter (it can't be that hard given most Twitterers) and have them phone in the positives. That way they don't have to chatter. /

114 predator_intelligence  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:10:45pm

Charles this comment by you kind of bothers me...

"Again -- she said the system worked after the incident, and it did."

Based on that standard pretty much everything the government does works. Stuff breaks down or goes wrong...and then they come around and respond to it and clean up the mess after wards and tell the country that hey the system worked. No problem just move along.

That seems to be a pretty low standard overall...and a meager defense on your part.

Does she deserve to be fired? No.

115 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:10:47pm

re: #111 SixDegrees

Well, again. The problem is sometimes who is connecting the dots. Unless we take SFZ's suggestion way above and have the US military take over all foreign airports, theres not much that we can do on the boarding side, if they start in another country.

116 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:11:09pm

re: #111 SixDegrees

I do not doubt that there was a CIA or State Dept. failure if this was truly reported to our embassy and the guy's son was painted as a threat. That's another avenue to follow: are agencies once again stonewalling or compartmentalizing info?

117 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:11:19pm

re: #104 osprey34229

The US is in the reactive mode behind the curve. The terrorist
probe our weakness we react ie hands in laps , no toilet trips
in last hr of flight , 555k names on list that no one understands.
Until we cut out the PC crap and focus on passengers who fit and
the profile we are spinning our wheels.We were lucky this time.
When the IRA tried to blow up Margaret Thacther and failed
their response to her was you need to be lucky all the time
we only have to be lucky once! That is the problem we face.
Leave the 80yr old granny alone scan and pat down those that
fit the profile -- in doubt they don't fly!!

No offense, dude, but the 'profiling will save us' routine is silly. It won't. At best, it is one tool among many others.

I can think of all kinds of ways around profiling. You really wanna bet grandma's life the terrorists can't? Remember, they only have to get lucky once.

I get sick of people who keep talking about how there's a war on, and we need to git tough, but can't stand the idea that gittin' tough might mean they have to take off their shoes, or stand in line for a while at the airport, when anyone should be able to SEE that they're not a threat.

Whoosh. Rant done.

118 LotharBot  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:11:44pm

I understand her desire to credit the passengers and crew. And I understand her desire to explain that the post-incident system worked. But she wove the two together in an ill-thought-out manner by putting her description of the passenger response immediately after her statement that "the system worked". It was clumsy; it took a few sentences before it became clear she was talking about the response system rather than the prevention system. It's not a firing offense, but I think it's fair to criticize her presentation. Had she said the passengers and crew responded heroically, and the post-incident system worked in such-and-such ways, and we're now working internationally to modify security procedures to fix where the system didn't work there would be no room for criticism.

#58 SixDegrees nailed it. It's not nearly as big a controversy/problem as the right pretends, but she really did screw up. Her job is to give a clear, concise, accurate description, and instead she gave a clumsy, muddled response that needed clarification.

119 Racer X  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:11:45pm

re: #109 windsagio

Thats something, anyways.

re: #101 Racer X

Lets just both walk away, we're getting mad :p

And no, I honestly can't think of anything realistic we could do in the Amsterdam airport to stop this kind of thing.

I'm not mad. I'm sorry if you are. I honestly think we can do better, and we will do better. As Janet said, the system worked after the fact and steps will be taken to improve.

Had there been an actual crash the actions taken afterward would be of little consolation to the families left behind. Thats all I'm saying.

Because I really gotta go do some work.

120 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:12:07pm

re: #107 Gus 802

It would have to be tested. Given the portability if it can be done it would be easier and cheaper than using canines. Not sure what Islamic law is compared with canines. I think they're kind of cute.

I don't even know what Islamic law really is, regarding dogs.

121 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:12:44pm

re: #108 Shiplord Kirel

Imagine how passengers will react to being required to walk past a bank of chattering, sniffing giant rats before they board. The media would have little trouble portraying it as something out of a horror movie.

I would just be pissed off that they wouldn't let me play with the giant rats. I have to be restrained from cuddling the beagles at the airport.

122 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:13:37pm

re: #116 Thanos

I do not doubt that there was a CIA or State Dept. failure if this was truly reported to our embassy and the guy's son was painted as a threat. That's another avenue to follow: are agencies once again stonewalling or compartmentalizing info?

... the follow on to that is that if they are then Bush probably failed in forming policy for DHS, since I doubt that O has changed that policy procedures significantly in foreign embassies since election.

123 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:13:37pm
124 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:14:11pm

re: #104 osprey34229

They'd find a way around profiling, too. They'd just find an idiot white woman to be their girlfriend, and have her take the bomb on board. They did it before, at least.

125 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:14:15pm

re: #119 Racer X

sure sure. Enjoy your work :p

re: #117 SanFranciscoZionist

Man, I heard the second 'Janet' interview this morning before I left work. And to my shame, my first thought was 'damn I can't believe they're making flying such a huge pain!' Then I thought about it, and was embarrassed.

126 DaddyG  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:14:58pm

re: #116 Thanos

I do not doubt that there was a CIA or State Dept. failure if this was truly reported to our embassy and the guy's son was painted as a threat. That's another avenue to follow: are agencies once again stonewalling or compartmentalizing info?


It is bad enough sharing info. between US agencies. I imagine open access to this type of info between international agencies is a bureaucratic mightmare. However, this should be a wake-up call on that count. The risk of detaining an innocent passenger long enough to check their background may be worth the safety we get from routinely cross chacking do not fly lists.

Even then we've got a new crop of homegrown Jihadists in the USA that look, sound and act like typical American kids. It is not too far fetched to see them being used as deep cover terrorists.

127 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:15:00pm

re: #31 Charles

By the way, last June a majority of Republicans in the House voted against a bill that would have installed bomb detection systems at airports.

On another point: it looks as though the bill passed. Which it presumably would have no matter what, given the Democratic majority in both Houses and the Executive. 108 out of 202 House Republicans voted against it, a slight majority of Republicans but an overwhelming margin of victory for the bill itself, particularly in the caustically partisan environment we currently find ourselves in.

128 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:15:16pm

re: #120 SanFranciscoZionist

I don't even know what Islamic law really is, regarding dogs.

Neither do I. Found this:

None of the statements regarding dogs are found in the Quran but they abound in the various collections of traditions (hadith). These traditions are a primary foundation of Islamic theology and are the basis of many Islamic laws. They render dogs as "impure" and worse. Per Muhammad’s orders most dogs were to be killed and all dogs of a specific color (black) had to be killed.

129 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:15:26pm

A building catches fire, and the fire dept. responds. Maybe they save some lives/inventory, maybe not. Still, they keep the whole neighborhood, perhaps even the entire city, from going up in flames.

Even though we are left with one burned out building, the system works.

130 yenta-fada  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:15:30pm

re: #120 SanFranciscoZionist

As far as I know, there is no Islamic LAW against dogs. Mohammed did not like dogs. Mohammed is considered the perfect man. Muslims imitate the behavior of Mohammed. That is how I have heard it explained.

131 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:15:47pm

re: #115 windsagio

Well, again. The problem is sometimes who is connecting the dots. Unless we take SFZ's suggestion way above and have the US military take over all foreign airports, theres not much that we can do on the boarding side, if they start in another country.

We can refuse to grant visas, for starters.

132 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:16:48pm

re: #130 yenta-fada

As far as I know, there is no Islamic LAW against dogs. Mohammed did not like dogs. Mohammed is considered the perfect man. Muslims imitate the behavior of Mohammed. That is how I have heard it explained.

Yep. See #128.

133 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:16:56pm

re: #116 Thanos

I do not doubt that there was a CIA or State Dept. failure if this was truly reported to our embassy and the guy's son was painted as a threat. That's another avenue to follow: are agencies once again stonewalling or compartmentalizing info?

That's exactly my concern. That's what "connecting the dots" was supposed to eliminate. It appears to have failed quite badly.

134 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:18:21pm

re: #124 The Sanity Inspector

They'd find a way around profiling, too. They'd just find an idiot white woman to be their girlfriend, and have her take the bomb on board. They did it before, at least.

Use women, use terrorists with passably Hindu names and Indian passports. Use Chechens with Russian passports. Recruit American and European converts with faces that don't fit the profile and non-Muslim names on their passports. Use fake passports. Funnel people through South America. None of this is hard. All of it will really screw up 'profile the kind of people we know are terrorists', which simply means Muslim men between fifteen and forty.

135 KingKenrod  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:18:50pm

re: #127 SixDegrees

On another point: it looks as though the bill passed. Which it presumably would have no matter what, given the Democratic majority in both Houses and the Executive. 108 out of 202 House Republicans voted against it, a slight majority of Republicans but an overwhelming margin of victory for the bill itself, particularly in the caustically partisan environment we currently find ourselves in.

Sounds like the trick the majority party always tries to pull - provoke the minority party into voting against a popular bill just to use as campaign fodder.

136 Randall Gross  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:19:29pm

re: #133 SixDegrees

That's exactly my concern. That's what "connecting the dots" was supposed to eliminate. It appears to have failed quite badly.

My dad worked crypto in embassies for quite a few years, I won't tell you what he thought about the CIA, or what he said when he heard about this.

137 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:19:54pm

re: #131 SixDegrees

True. On that, I'm certain that people on the smaller, 'higher alert' lists are regularly denied visas. Charles and others had a good discussion about the list he was on upthread, and its not really practical to block everyone on that list.

Should we really be saying 'anyone with any small suspicion of terrorism should be banned froim entering the US, even without any actual evidence'?

138 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:20:24pm

re: #118 LotharBot

Napolitano simply followed the natural bureaucratic instinct to want to be judged by her efforts rather than her results. Her department is doubtless working their hearts out trying to keep this nation safe. But the happy ending to this incident must be credited to the passengers.

139 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:21:38pm

re: #138 The Sanity Inspector

more evidence that a 9/11 style attack won't work in the forseeable future, and thats good news!

140 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:22:45pm

re: #121 SanFranciscoZionist

I would just be pissed off that they wouldn't let me play with the giant rats. I have to be restrained from cuddling the beagles at the airport.

I've heard roaches have really acute olfactory centers. Maybe we could just require everyone to sit down in a box full of trained roaches.
/ =O

141 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:22:50pm

What would have the response been had the Secretary said, "We got lucky that the kid was a moron."

142 Williamnr  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:22:59pm

Charles,

I haven't read your site in quite awhile because your posts became more and more offensive. I have however seen quite a few sites commenting on how incredibly stupid and juvenile LGF had become.

Please add me to the ever growing list of people who have been banned for disagreeing with your mindless drivel. The LGF that I read religiously has died and been replaced by something abhorrant.

Perhaps you have been too busy sucking Obama's cock to have the time necessary to properly keep LGF up to standards. Either that or a really bad blow to the head from a biking accident. Either way, you blowing Zero's head or a blow to your head, this blog now sucks.

Fuck off Charles, you brain dead moron.

143 ryannon  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:23:34pm

re: #79 obdicut

That's assuming there's any system that can be 100% effective, which there isn't.

There is no way to 100% protect yourself against the actions of other humans. It can't be done. Humans are human, and we can outsmart each other. What you can do is make it very, very difficult for them-- and we need to make it more difficult for them, I agree-- but we also need to have a system in place in the wake of an attack.


Of course no system is 100% perfect. Otherwise, I would have attained perfection decades ago.

As for the rest, the only reasonable response to this 'before' and 'after' dichotomy is that the system failed totally up until the moment the suicide bomber was neutralized by another passenger - which was a matter of great luck and providence rather than an integral part of the system itself.

But I reiterate, for most people including myself, the initial assertion by Ms. Napolitano implying that 'it worked' didn't seem to make a lot of sense. Unless you restrict its meaning to what happened after - meaning, I guess, that police were sent out and he was arrested. As for my own opinion of the success of the final hour no-leave-seat and other hastily post-activated strategies, that's best left unsaid.

Writing these lines leaves me with a profound sadness that we as a nation are afflicted with these issues - let alone compelled to Analise and dissect the language used by our leaders to talk about them. The only bright spot in this aftermath is that this guy was prevented from blowing up the plane and killing everyone on it. A total fail on that score, thank goodness, but I still have a hard time figuring out exactly what's meant by the system's success in handling the aftermath.

144 Gus  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:23:34pm

re: #142 Williamnr

GFY loser.

145 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:24:30pm

re: #134 SanFranciscoZionist

Use women, use terrorists with passably Hindu names and Indian passports. Use Chechens with Russian passports. Recruit American and European converts with faces that don't fit the profile and non-Muslim names on their passports. Use fake passports. Funnel people through South America. None of this is hard. All of it will really screw up 'profile the kind of people we know are terrorists', which simply means Muslim men between fifteen and forty.

Years ago, on a flight from London, I looked with some tension at a young man, subcontinental of face, who was just setting off some bells for me. Little things. He didn't seem to have luggage, and he wasn't resetting his watch, and...he seemed twitchy.

Then his wife came down the aisle, RIGHT before take-off, in a sari, with diaper bag and baby and telling him in a cute British accent that the duty-free shop had the perfume Aunt Deepa likes so much. And he fell of my suspect list.

There are a number of morals one could take from this little lesson, but one that occurs to me right now is that it is not that hard to put on a sari and carry a diaper bag.

146 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:24:39pm

re: #142 Williamnr

Happy New Year!

I'll leave your post there, because it's so well written.

147 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:25:30pm

re: #146 Charles

Happy New Year!

I'll leave your post there, because it's so well written.

It's a Festivus Miracle!

148 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:25:53pm

re: #141 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

What would have the response been had the Secretary said, "We got lucky that the kid was a moron."

Or, perhaps, if she broke off mid-interview to sing a version of "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."

149 Firstinla  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:26:23pm

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuge of your teeming shore..." (Emma Lazarus)

Which in 2010 was added: "And make sure they have a round-trip ticket."

150 Idle Drifter  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:26:43pm

re: #142 Williamnr

Good bye.

151 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:27:06pm

re: #141 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

What would have the response been had the Secretary said, "We got lucky that the kid was a moron."

The (fill in the blank association, depending on political affiliation) would have demanded an apology.

152 ryannon  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:28:13pm

re: #86 Firstinla

How about: the system worked here but not over there.

That's exactly what I'm talking about: the strange dichotomy. I know that we don't run airport security around the world, but once again and in most people's minds, when you say something as colossal as (paraphrase) 'the system worked', the average Joe sees it as an A-to-Z evaluation.

To say, 'well, the system worked just fine here but not there' is either for the consumption of total idiots or people far more intelligent that I am.

And how's that for a dichotomy?

153 morrisab  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:28:14pm

re: #121 SanFranciscoZionist

I would just be pissed off that they wouldn't let me play with the giant rats. I have to be restrained from cuddling the beagles at the airport.

But are R.O.U.S.es really that cuddly?

154 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:29:07pm

Thats another thing that has worked with our pressure on the various terrorist groups. We aren't facing the levels of organization and training that we were 9 years ago. At least a fwe attacks have failed due to incompetance on the attackers part, or bad planning.

155 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:29:45pm

re: #124 The Sanity Inspector

They'd find a way around profiling, too. They'd just find an idiot white woman to be their girlfriend, and have her take the bomb on board. They did it before, at least.

Yes, they would. They are always trying, always adapting.

But it's much easier to retrain human intelligence screeners than it is to replace a multi-million dollar bomb sniffer that gets obsoleted just as quickly.

156 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:30:36pm

re: #142 Williamnr

This is what it sounds like, when brats cry.

/apologies to Prince

157 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:32:09pm

Can I tell ya what pisses me off? You wanna know what pisses me off? I'll tell you what pisses me off.

During the Bush Administration; no one associated with the Administration could say "Good morning" without being attacked by the opposing side. It was what I grew to detest about the left as much (or more) than anything.

Now? The side I used to claim has gone farther into the attack mode, for any fucking worthless thing they can find.

They are looking for those things rather than trying to find my fucking country!

158 SixDegrees  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:34:24pm

re: #139 windsagio

more evidence that a 9/11 style attack won't work in the forseeable future, and thats good news!

Well, until the enemy comes up with reliable fuses, anyway.

Fact is, we've gotten incredibly, almost unbelievably lucky twice now, thanks solely to incompetence by our enemies. While I completely agree that passengers aren't going to simply sit back and do nothing in the current climate, and will actively attack, that only works if they're given the chance to attack in the first place.

159 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:34:35pm

re: #157 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

They are looking for those things rather than trying to find my fucking country!

Fat Bastardistan? It's over there, near the corn chips.

160 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:35:16pm

From the Guardian:

A US couple on Flight 253 said they saw a tall, well-dressed man aged about 50 with Abdulmutallab at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport before he boarded the plane.

Kurt and Lori Haskell claimed the man spoke for Abdulmutallab and attempted to get him aboard the flight without a passport, the Reuters news agency reported.

161 lgffan  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:37:09pm

re: #157 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Thank you FBV very well put

162 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:37:42pm

re: #158 SixDegrees

Now a Jihadist gets on a plane, acts suspicious, gets his ass kicked from one end of the plane to the other, has no bomb, no nothing.

Then the courts get involved...

163 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:38:49pm

re: #158 SixDegrees

Well a 9/11 style attack means no bombs :p

But yeah, see my 154. It has become much harder for them to get good training or reliable engineering. Not impossible, but it makes our getting lucky alot more likely :)

re: #157 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

You know, I don't find the level of attacks in 2002-2006 remotely equivalent to whats going on now, but maybe its just me :p

re: #162 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Who has jurisdiction on an international flight, btw?

164 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:41:07pm

re: #163 windsagio

I find the level of attack way beyond 02-06... s'what I meant to say anyway.

Maybe they're not beyond, but just so full of stupidity they seem worse?

165 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:41:15pm

re: #157 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Uh, no. The fact is that Bush as a wartime President had the approval he needed and then squandered it. Rove politicized the War on Terror to create permanent majority.

166 windsagio  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:42:33pm

re: #164 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

oh sorry misunderstood >

I think its more the mainstreaming of it. Truthers were damn retarded, but nobody really took them as anything other than a sad joke.

167 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:50:13pm

re: #85 Racer X

If I were king of America I would require more thorough screening. Period. No checked bags, one-way ticket, no passport. You don't get on a plane headed to the U.S. Period.

But thats just me.

hahaha what? So nobody can visit the US with checked luggage?

168 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:51:29pm

re: #142 Williamnr

Yes, we can see how concerned you are with offensive content.

Do they call you "Little Willie" by any chance? It would explain this fixation you have so eloquently exhibited.

169 wrenchwench  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:52:34pm

re: #165 Olsonist

Uh, no. The fact is that Bush as a wartime President had the approval he needed and then squandered it. Rove politicized the War on Terror to create permanent majority.

You're asking that chart to do a lot of work for you.

170 hanoch  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:54:55pm

The real outrage here is left's obsession with political correctness which puts lives at risk. Sure these people came close to losing their lives but, heaven forbid, we engage in "profiling". Contrast that to the profiling used by El Al, which has thus far never fallen victim to an in-air terrorist incident (and I'd wager it is quite a target).

171 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:54:55pm

re: #121 SanFranciscoZionist

I would just be pissed off that they wouldn't let me play with the giant rats. I have to be restrained from cuddling the beagles at the airport.

I hear they're pretty good eating too. The rats that is. Not the beagles. I haven't heard about them. Honest.

172 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:57:49pm

National Review compares & contrasts John Ashcroft and Janet Napolitano re the WOT>

173 Locker  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 2:58:08pm

re: #142 Williamnr

Fuck off you donkey raping shit eater.
174 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:02:43pm

re: #169 wrenchwench

With Bush as an elected President with majorities in the House, Senate and Supreme Court, with a 90% approval rating post 9-11 with the MSM asking nary a question, you're asking exactly what? Do you see Bush as some victim of liberal backsliding?

To pick one thing out of a million Bush had Porter Goss as DCIA. nuff said.

175 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:03:13pm

It was a dumb thing to say, even if her intent was understandable. Turning it into outrage and demanding her resignation is hilariously overwrought, however.

That having been said, I think I'm just overall disappointed at Americans' (humans in general, really) tendency to freak out in a hyperventilating mess about this stuff, when driving to pick up your kids from school is literally about 10,000 times more likely to kill you than air terrorists.

176 TheQuis  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:03:35pm

re: #104 osprey34229

The US is in the reactive mode behind the curve. The terrorist
probe our weakness we react ie hands in laps , no toilet trips
in last hr of flight , 555k names on list that no one understands.
Until we cut out the PC crap and focus on passengers who fit and
the profile we are spinning our wheels.We were lucky this time.
When the IRA tried to blow up Margaret Thacther and failed
their response to her was you need to be lucky all the time
we only have to be lucky once! That is the problem we face.
Leave the 80yr old granny alone scan and pat down those that
fit the profile -- in doubt they don't fly!!

The problem of "w need to only check those who fit the profile is that the once the profile is cast those who seek to destroy us will work around it. Once they know 80 year old grandma's are exempt from being searched then the terrorist will start figuring out how to target 80 year old grandma's as carriers. What about the other terrorist that don't fit the "profile?" McVeigh would have skated through your line if he wanted to.

Why am I for Concealed Carry laws for guns, because bad guys never know who is packing and who is not. If everyone is subject to a search then it adds one more piece or "random" into their system instead of a hard piece of data they can plan against.

177 Locker  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:03:55pm

re: #157 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Can I tell ya what pisses me off? You wanna know what pisses me off? I'll tell you what pisses me off.

During the Bush Administration; no one associated with the Administration could say "Good morning" without being attacked by the opposing side. It was what I grew to detest about the left as much (or more) than anything.

Now? The side I used to claim has gone farther into the attack mode, for any fucking worthless thing they can find.

They are looking for those things rather than trying to find my fucking country!

You are certainly accurate about the left with regard to waiting for and hoping for any misstep so they could pounce on Bush (and admin). I would agree we are seeing the same from the Right now. Not saying it's worse, just different.

The big fallout from the attitude of "waiting for a misstep" is an overwhelming tendency to jump the gun, pre-judge and thus step on one's own dick.

178 wrenchwench  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:05:35pm

re: #174 Olsonist

With Bush as an elected President with majorities in the House, Senate and Supreme Court, with a 90% approval rating post 9-11 with the MSM asking nary a question, you're asking exactly what? Do you see Bush as some victim of liberal backsliding?

To pick one thing out of a million Bush had Porter Goss as DCIA. nuff said.

I'm just saying that your chart does not show that Bush squandered his approval rating. All it shows is that it went down.

179 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:08:25pm

So let me understand this. Napolitano is not an embarrassment to her office and gets a pass because her deractors are calling for her head. Is that it?

180 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:09:04pm

re: #179 Spare O'Lake

detractors
PIMF

181 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:09:46pm

re: #104 osprey34229

Once we start profiling a certain race/religious group, it's pretty trivially easy for them to find a sympathizer who doesn't match the description. 'lest ye forget, terrorism comes in all shapes and colors, and there have always been plenty of white, ostensibly Christian groups that would love to blow up a US airliner.

Do you think Tim McVeigh would have turned down help from Al Qaeda if it were offered? How about once we announce to the world that folks who look like him get to bypass parts of airport security?

182 Locker  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:10:10pm

re: #178 wrenchwench

I'm just saying that your chart does not show that Bush squandered his approval rating. All it shows is that it went down.

Not sure what the chart shows but Bush's approval rating, like all ratings was bound to go down sooner or later. I do think, however, that he took a big hit with independents and lefties when we veered off into Iraq. Don't know if you can call that squandering but he did persist when it was obvious the approval wasn't there.

183 webevintage  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:11:18pm

re: #142 Williamnr

Oh goody, that's a fine one.

Y HALO THAR CHARLEZ,

I HAVENT READ UR SIET IN QUITE AWHILE CUZ UR POSTS BECAME MOAR AN MOAR OFFENSIV. I HAS HOWEVR SEEN QUITE FEW SIETS COMMENTIN ON HOW INCREDIBLY STOOPID AN JUVENILE LGF HAD BECOME.

PLZ ADD ME 2 TEH EVR GROWIN LIST OV PEEPS HOO HAS BEEN BANND 4 DISAGREEIN WIF UR MINDLES DRIVEL. TEH LGF DAT I READ RELIGIOUSLY HAS DID AN BEEN REPLACD BY SOMETHIN ABHORRANT.

PERHAPS U HAS BEEN 2 BUSY SUCKIN OBAMAS COCK 2 HAS TEH TIEM NECESARY 2 PROPERLY KEEP LGF UP 2 STANDARDZ. EITHR DAT OR RLY BAD BLOW 2 TEH HEAD FRUM BIKIN ACCIDENT. EITHR WAI, U BLOWIN ZEROS HEAD OR BLOW 2 UR HEAD, DIS BLOG NAO SUCKZ.

F&^% OFF CHARLEZ, U BRAIN DED MORON.

See, even more cracktastic in LOL....

184 Locker  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:11:57pm

re: #179 Spare O'Lake

So let me understand this. Napolitano is not an embarrassment to her office and gets a pass because her deractors are calling for her head. Is that it?

You didn't do a very good job of understanding this. Napolitano said the system AFTER the incident "worked" and that the outrage over an out of text and deliberately misleading quote is total bullshit.

185 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:13:02pm

re: #142 Williamnr

Stay classy, dude.

186 wrenchwench  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:13:13pm

re: #183 webevintage

The capslock is just the icing!

187 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:14:45pm

re: #178 wrenchwench

I'm just saying that your chart does not show that Bush squandered his approval rating. All it shows is that it went down.

The buck evidently did not stop with George W Bush. Instead, for some unknowable reason, his approval rating went from 90% to below 30%. I see.

188 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:16:09pm

re: #184 Locker

You didn't do a very good job of understanding this. Napolitano said the system AFTER the incident "worked" and that the outrage over an out of text and deliberately misleading quote is total bullshit.

Did I miss the part where, as the responsible cabinet official, she took responsibility for the gross negligence in her department which allowed this incident to occur?

189 Claire  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:16:10pm

re: #181 Jaerik

Not sure I agree with your use of the word "plenty."

"Profiling" wouldn't let anybody bypass security- it would ramp up security to the next level if certain factors were present. That's how El Al does it- nobody skims by, but some people do end up going through the wringer, and having that happen to me once, I didn't have a problem with it.

190 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:19:26pm

re: #188 Spare O'Lake

Yeah you did. It's called her oath of office. After that she serves at the pleasure of the President or the displeasure of the Senate. Anything else I can help you with?

191 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:19:47pm

I will also point out that backscatter x-ray technology could do a much better job of detecting guns and bombs of all types than our current metal detectors and residue-sniffers. (Including this latest guy's bomb.)

We just aren't allowed to use them everywhere because social conservatives were worried about people potentially getting to see other people's naughty bits.

192 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:27:38pm

re: #189 Claire

That's how El Al does it- nobody skims by, but some people do end up going through the wringer, and having that happen to me once, I didn't have a problem with it.

Fair enough, but I'll also point out that El Al is a microscopically tiny airline, with only 30 jets in operation, in a country smaller than the size of New Jersey. I really don't think their strategy would scale.

193 TheQuis  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:31:52pm

re: #192 Jaerik

You spoke what I was thinking.

194 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:36:32pm

re: #190 Olsonist

Yeah you did. It's called her oath of office. After that she serves at the pleasure of the President or the displeasure of the Senate. Anything else I can help you with?

Thank you for agreeing that she should offer her resignation.

195 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:38:22pm

re: #192 Jaerik

Fair enough, but I'll also point out that El Al is a microscopically tiny airline, with only 30 jets in operation, in a country smaller than the size of New Jersey. I really don't think their strategy would scale.

Why not?

196 Claire  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:42:11pm

re: #192 Jaerik

Perhaps not with personal interviewers screening each passenger, but with a passenger profile on the boarding pass, you go through line A (basic screen), line B (enhanced sniffers) or line C personal interview- Don't know why that wouldn't scale.

197 Egregious Philbin  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:45:51pm

Hey America, you finally got to see what a moron Crappy Nappy is! We in Arizona are so glad she is gone, she ruined our economy, spent like crazy, nearly bankrupted us and ran like hell on the first chance she got.

She is a terrible joke, but now she is our nation's joke. You've come a long way baby...

198 captdiggs  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:53:17pm

No matter how you cut this, Napolitano's statement was dumb. She deserves the scrutiny she's getting for it.
Equally, or more, worrying was Obama's statement today about "an isolated extremist".
This was not an "isolated" extremist. This was a plot involving many people and the organization responsible for 9/11.

199 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:57:08pm

re: #197 Egregious Philbin

Yeah, Janet was real unpopular winning that re-election in a 2-1 landslide. The fact that the Reptiles have held the majority in both houses of the AZ legislature since 1993 doesn't ring a bell cuz Janet set the record for vetoing.

200 Claire  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 3:58:33pm

re: #199 Olsonist

Reptiles?

201 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 4:08:23pm

re: #197 Egregious Philbin

Hey America, you finally got to see what a moron Crappy Nappy is! We in Arizona are so glad she is gone, she ruined our economy, spent like crazy, nearly bankrupted us and ran like hell on the first chance she got.

She is a terrible joke, but now she is our nation's joke. You've come a long way baby...

IIRC this wasn't the first time Napolitano stuck her left foot in her big mouth...earlier this year she stated that the 9/11 hijackers came from Canada, and then was forced to eat her words.
What an ongoing embarrassment she is to this administration.

202 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 4:14:00pm

re: #198 captdiggs

No matter how you cut this, Napolitano's statement was dumb. She deserves the scrutiny she's getting for it.

And of course, I said exactly that. It was worded very badly. But it's being distorted and taken out of context to look even worse.

Equally, or more, worrying was Obama's statement today about "an isolated extremist".
This was not an "isolated" extremist. This was a plot involving many people and the organization responsible for 9/11.

And you know this ... how?

203 Claire  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 4:24:19pm

Okay, the system worked, but only after the fact, not so much before. Apparently, the TSA stands for "Thwarts Second Attempt" and Janet says that part is working smoothly- I feel so much better now about flying.

/

204 Jaerik  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 4:24:33pm

I guess what I'm arguing is that we could save tens of thousands of Americans' lives every year by reducing the speed limit on every road to 10mph. We wouldn't even consider it, because people are willing to assume a certain amount of risk in exchange for speed and convenience.

Even before the security measures passed after 9/11, the lifetime chance of being a victim of air terrorism were about 1 in 9,300,000. But we're seriously sitting here, considering throwing even more billions of dollars, and wasting even more of air travelers' time, and resorting to religious/racial profiling to get that chance down to what? 1 in 10,000,000 maybe?

El Al has 30 planes. Total. And they don't all fly every day. By comparison, the US has 37,000 flights per day. If the criteria for failure is just one event, the probabilities are not linear -- the US system would theoretically need to be 10,000 times as effective as El Al's to have the same record over time. That's just how the probabilities stack.

And the point still stands -- Al Qaeda will just find some unassuming fanatical white guy to carry the bomb instead. Extremism makes for strange bedfellows.

205 Sakublock  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 4:25:11pm

re: #60 SanFranciscoZionist

Firing her for not having armed air marshals on those Amsterdam flights and for her pandering and giving speeches at radical Islamic universities funded by anti-semitic sheiks and holocaust deniers.

206 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 4:26:14pm

re: #198 captdiggs

Equally, or more, worrying was Obama's statement today about "an isolated extremist".
This was not an "isolated" extremist. This was a plot involving many people and the organization responsible for 9/11.

By the way, this is another distortion. He said:

This incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist.

The guy was alone on that plane. He was an isolated extremist.

And Obama said the US would not rest until all those involved were brought to justice. Your criticism is very ill-founded.

207 Olsonist  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 5:13:35pm

re: #206 Charles

The guy was alone on that plane. He was an isolated extremist.

Charles, I'm not going to agree with that until the report of an accomplice at Schiphol pans out. But with that said, Obama has our back so we should have his. This chiseling at the President after a near disaster is not patriotic.

208 Egregious Philbin  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 8:48:44pm

re: #199 Olsonist

Do you know who Janet ran against? A fundie nutcase who many republicans didn't vote for. I voted for neither. Len Munsil was a joke from day one.

Janet is not popular in AZ, she blew through our treasury then blew town...

209 yoshicastmaster  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 9:37:43pm

The context didn't add much for me- she said the system worked, and then described the actions of the passengers as the first part of the system working. I at that point had no idea what she was talking about.

It's also clear from this quote that she was not talking about reactions "following the incident", unless the passenger's reaction to the bomber are not considered part of the incident. I believe that the passenger's reactions were still part of the incident. Therefore, she was talking about the passengers as part of the system during the incident.

To say the system worked, when catastrophe was avoided because the bomb malfunctioned, is a perfectly bizarre thing to say. And (hopefully) a very inaccurate thing to say.

The calls for resignation, eh, well the wingnuts on both sides do that pretty much all the time. I think I'd be more surprised if they didn't.

210 BartB  Mon, Dec 28, 2009 11:26:15pm

About half of the Republicans voted against the bill. About half voted for it. The bill passed. Don't think the description was quite fair.
Next topic:
We can (and I thought we had) issue standards and procedures for any flight coming into the U.S.
If some airline / airport / country objects, they just don't fly here. Period.
Don't like it? Tough, sucks to be you.
Next topic:
Muslims don't like dogs? Tough, sucks to be you, go somewhere else.
Next topic:
To refuse to use a tool in a life-and-death situation is insane. Don't like profiling? Tough, sucks to be you, go fly somewhere else.
At least then, we would be inconveniencing them.

211 simoom  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 6:21:15am

Every time I flipped past FNC yesterday they were going on about this. At some point I stopped briefly on Hannity. Tucker Carlson was filling in and his "Security Expert" kept making off-the-wall comments like, "Janet Napolitano couldn't lead Tiger Woods to a free weekend at the Mustang Ranch." (He managed to hit nearly every so-con touchstone with that one.)

212 Pacificlady  Tue, Dec 29, 2009 11:19:13am

She should be fired because she is a moron. Plain and simple. I doubt those passengers or their families would have given a rat's ass that the system worked "after" if the terrorist had been successful. Can you imagine if someone on Bush's staff made that comment? I am not a Bush supporter but I'm beginning to miss him.


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