As I wrote in my op-ed on the absurdity of unskilled workers who get their jobs off pizza boxes being the ones we supposedly count on to root out terrorists:
If the TSA’s actual mission were its stated one — “protect(ing) the Nation’s transportation systems” — checkpoints wouldn’t be staffed by low-wage, unskilled workers, and they wouldn’t be searching everyone. They certainly wouldn’t be waiting until terrorists get to the airport to root them out. Meaningful measures to thwart terrorist acts require highly trained law enforcement officers using targeted intelligence to identify suspects long before they launch their plots.
Of course the granny gropers at the airport didn’t find anything — it was (see above) “highly trained law enforcement officers using targeted intelligence to identify suspects long before they launch their plots” who reportedly foiled a recent plot.
From ABC News, Olivier Knox writes:
The CIA thwarted a suicide plot by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner near last week’s one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death with an upgraded “underwear bomb,” the Associated Press reported Monday. The White House quickly released a statement insisting “the device did not pose a threat to the public.”
“We had no specific, credible information about active terrorist plots timed to coincide with the anniversary and reiterate that this device never represented a threat to the public,” a senior Obama aide told Yahoo News Monday on condition of anonymity.
The AP, citing unnamed U.S. officials, said the CIA seized the explosive, an improved version of the weapon used in the failed Christmas 2009 plan to bring down a commercial airplane over Detroit.
The device did not contain metal, making it likely that it could have eluded detection by traditional airport security. But it was unclear whether controversial new full-body scanners would have located it.
Of course, as I wrote in my op-ed about the real mission of the TSA:
The TSA’s main accomplishment seems to be obedience training for the American public – priming us to be docile (and even polite) about giving up our civil liberties.
Little shows it better than how we leave the actual terrorism detection to people whose job options aren’t as follows: “Airport ball grabber or Home of the Whopper.”
(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Michael 1952)