damnum absque injuria

December 27, 2009

DHS Pulls a Homer == The System Worked

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 4:56 pm

Jonah Goldberg is right, any head of the Department of Homeland (In-)Security who can cite Northwest Flight 253 as an example of the system having “worked” should be fired immediately, as should also be the case of the idiot who appointed her to that position in the first place. Lest anyone accuse me of taking Napolitano’s statement out of context, here is the context:

Q: So, uh, just to finish up on … on the question, I do want to talk to you about security measures but do you think that … has there been any evidence of the al Qaeda ties … uh … that this suspect has been claiming?

A: Um, right now that is … that’s part of the criminal justice investigation that is ongoing, and … um .. I think it would … uh … be inappropriate to speculate … uh … as to whether or not he he has such ties. Uh, what we’re focused on is making sure that … uh … the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel, and uh, one thing I’d like to point is that … is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The … the passengers and crew of the flight … uh … took appropriate action. Uh .. within …uh …. literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures … uh … in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight. Uh … we instituted new measure on the ground and at … at screening areas both here in the United States and in Europe … uh … uh … where this flight originated, so .. uh … the … the … the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively, went very smoothly.

In other words, issuing a suspected terrorist a visa and putting him on the terrorist “watch” list but not the no-fly list was not a failure of the system. After all, not all terrorists are meant to be stopped; some, like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, were merely meant to be watched. Nor was it a failure of the system that allowed Abdulmutallab to smuggle in explosives. All the system was supposed to do is to keep him from smuggling them in his shoes or a 4 ounce bottle, which he didn’t do. Nor was The System supposed to provide Jasper Schuringa with a safe flight from Point A to Point B; no, paying customers like Schuringa are unpaid volunteers of The System! As is Abdulmutallab himself, whose own idiocy was yet another example of The System working.

The one objective success, such as it is, that Napolitano identifies on the part of the federal government was the fact that all flights in the air were notified of the incident within 90 minutes of the attack. In other words, Napolitano’s DHS, a.k.a., The System, worked just as well on Friday as it did on September 11, 2001, when it did not exist.

Call me a conspiracy nut, but no one is that stupid. My money says Napolitano’s crazy talk is designed not to reassure the public that flying is safe, but to cut greenhouse gases by scaring the crap out of the traveling public so no one will fly. Cap and trade having failed, this is Plan B. If I’m right, Napolitano’s statements will go largely unchallenged. If I am wrong, and Napolitano really is as dumb as she sounds, then within two weeks’ time she’ll either get the “heckuva job” treatment from the Administration or have all the would-be “fact” checkers from Snopes, Annenberg Political (comically known as “Fact Check”) and Politifact on down will be furiously explaining away the “myth” slash “lie” that she said what she said. Stay tuned.

More here, here, here, here, here and too many other places to count.

UPDATE: I don’t know much. I don’t know too much. But I know this: stuff is messed up.

December 3, 2009

On the Crashers

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:26 am

OK, so the Salahis are attention-grabbing jerks. I get that. But last time I checked, attention-grabbing jerkery was not a criminal offense. Their real “offense,” as I see it, was exposing how embarrassingly weak our security was, while posing no threat themselves to anyone. Now that the Salamis made it through and embarrassed the hell out of Secret Service, we can all rest assured that security in the future will be as tight as we naively assumed it was before, and the next Salahis – whose intent may not be as benign as the original ones – will be rightly turned away. For that the Salamis deserve a medal, not the threat of criminal prosecution. Imagine that on June 11, 2001, Ashton Kutcher and a dozen of his punksters in arms had smuggled box cutters onto four U.S. airliners on a single day just to prove that they could. Would there have been a huge outrage and threats of criminal prosecution? Of course. But what, if anything, would have happened three months later?

November 22, 2009

Scottish Compassion

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:28 am

On August 20, 2009, Scotland released Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi on “compassionate” grounds because he had only three months to live. Those three months are up, but per Wikipedia he’s not dead yet. I say, Scotland has made this deal, so let Scotland enforce it.

August 31, 2009

Scottish Justice

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:51 pm

It sure is good to know that Scottish politicians agree that while Abdel Baset al-Megrahi served only eight years for murdering 270 people, it was all in the name of “justice” rather than any kind of quid pro quo. But what I want to know is, how on earth did Scotland get full jurisdiction over this matter, to the exclusion of all other interested parties? This was a flight from London to New York, whose only connection to Scotland was that the bomb happened to go off there. If the bomb had gone off a few hours later, while the plane was over the Arctic circle, who’d have had custody of al-Megrahi then? Santa?

January 23, 2009

Guantanamera, La Cárcel Guantanamera

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:53 pm

President Obama has ordered Gitmo closed. It’s good to know that no more human rights violations will ever occur on Cuban soil.

January 1, 2009

Free Advice for (Formerly) Great Britain

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:55 pm

If you think terrorism is passé, or that the date “9/11” was chosen at random, then don’t pay any special attention to anything suspicious that may happen in the days, weeks or months leading up to 9/9/9. If you don’t, do.

November 10, 2008

Change You Can Filibuster

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:59 pm

I rarely make mistakes, but as Fiorello La Guardia was wont to say, when I do make one it’s a beaut. Three and a half years ago, when the prospects of a Democrat President and Senate seemed remote, and the likelihood of Republicans needing to filibuster a nominee seemed remoter, I was furious at John McCain and six other Republicans (yes, it was the Gang of Fourteen, but I didn’t hold it against the other seven, who were Democrats and were therefore supposed to be wrong) for scuttling what some called the nuclear option and others called the constitutional one. After all, I thought, Republicans never filibuster Democrat nominations, so what on earth are these “extraordinary circumstances” in which that Democrat ratchet known as the filibuster should rightfully be employed?

Now, per the New York Times (h/t: Beldar) I may just have my answer. According to the Times, one of the leading candidates for Attorney General is Jamie Gorelick, the single most culpable non-al-Qaeda member in enabling the September 11, 2001 attacks. Between her infamous “wall,” her inexcusable decision to serve on the very 9/11 Commission she should have appeared before, and her five-year stint at Fannie Mae, is there anything that has gone catastrophically wrong over the past decade that Gorelick hasn’t had a hand in? Maybe Gorelick’s not really in the running for the job, and the paper with a record is just throwing random ideas out there, kinda like CNN did a few years ago when they suggested that Bill Clinton could be John Kerry’s Vice President. That’s the HopeTM. But if she actually gets the nomination, then we get ChangeTM and the only thing left to say will be thank God for John McCain and his fellow gangsters for seeing in 2005 what most Real ConservativesTM, myself included, couldn’t. And if the few Republicans remaining in the Senate won’t filibuster a nomination like that, then I’ll have to reluctantly agree with many of my fellow conservatives that the Republicans really did deserve to lose.

PREEMPTIVE UPDATE: Yes, I know the original Gang of Fourteen deal was about judicial nominations, not attorneys general. No, I don’t think that makes a tinker’s damn of a difference. If the Senate had abolished the judicial filibuster on the theory that it was unconstitutional, what on earth basis would there have been for treating filibusters of other appointments any differently?

September 11, 2008

Never Forget

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:46 am

July 17, 2008

Being Nice to Terrorists

Call me dense, but I cannot for the life of me understand what Israel hoped to accomplish by trading five living murderers for the bodies of two murder victims. Defense Minister Ehud Barak Obama non-explains this idiocy, assuring soldiers at the funeral by assuring them that:

If the worst will happen to any of you, Israel will make every possible and legitimate effort to bring them home. And failing that, we’ll make every impossible or illegitimate one to bring you home, too. And if more of you end up getting kidnapped and murdered as a result, oh nevermind, surely that would never happen.

May 28, 2007

Wayne Newton, Terrorist

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 2:30 pm

Via Patterico, it looks like someone owes Annie Jacobsen and Wayne Newton an apology.

UPDATE: Far from apologizing, Snopes has dug their heels even deeper:

In May 2007, the DHS released to the public its March 2006 review of the “Handling of Suspicious Passengers Aboard Northwest Flight 327,” which included the following statement from the TSA (Transportation Security Administration):

“Overall, a key element when considering the response to this incident should be noted, which is that the 13 Syrian musicians were not terrorists and that the law enforcement assessments made by the FAMS and FBI on June 29, 2004 were appropriate. The decision not to contact the HSOC was decided only after the FAMS and FBI leadership jointly determined that the subjects could be cleared. The reported suspicious activity was determined to be unfounded, and not a terrorist threat …”

Um… yeah, the DHS report did indeed include that line, but only in the sense that every good fisking “includes” the material being fisked. Here’s how it actually appears in the document in question, in context (scroll down to p. 19):

Other Comments
TSA noted in comments that it disagreed with our report language that there was a lack of coordinated action between the FAMS and FBI. Our audit identified examples where the Department’s investigators were interviewing individuals and taking other investigative actions without the direction or knowledge of the FBI. Because we also found activities where the FBI and the Department were clearly coordinated, we revised the report language to say the investigations were “sometimes” uncoordinated.

TSA also commented that it believed a referral of the suspicious activity that occurred on Flight 327 did not merit referral to the HSOC. TSA’s comments note, “The decision not to contact the HSOC was decided only after the FAMS and FBI leadership jointly determined that the subjects could be cleared. The reported suspicious activity was determined to be unfounded, and not a terrorist threat and therefore did not merit an HSOC referral.” We believe the HSOC clearly signaled a referral was merited by logging the Flight 327 matter into its database on July 26, 2004, following a July 22, 2005 Washington Times article, and an inquiry from the White House Homeland Security Council.

Yeah, that sounds like a ringing endorsement of TSA’s position, doesn’t it?

Allah has more.


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