Since network news has obsessed about the underwear bomber in recent days, I think it's time to offer my opinion on the subject. This -- in my opinion -- is the first major blunder of the Obama Administration. As the president said this weekend, it is an unacceptable failure by our intelligence community to let a man who we knew was being trained by terrorists to board an American-bound flight. This problem was supposed to be corrected after 9/11 when our intelligence agencies did not adequately share information that would have helped us stop the terrorist attacks. Clearly, that problem persists today.
But there also is concern that this is being turned into a politically hypocritical football.
FIRST: Any discussion about the need for full-body scans in the United States is bunk. The alleged terrorist boarded a plane in Denmark, so there is nothing the American-based TSA could have done to prevent the attempted bombing. Although I do not think our airport security is fully adequate, I do believe that a full-body scan is an unconstitutional intrusion of our civil liberties.
SECOND: It amazes me that Republicans are outraged that this 23-year-old joker (who burned his junk off while trying to light the bomb) will be tried through the American justice system. After Richard Reid -- a British citizen -- attempted to detonate a shoe bomb to blow up an American plane in December 2001, he was tried in American courts, convicted and given a life sentence in a U.S. maximum security prison. Where were all the haters back then? So, why are all of these conservatives afraid? Do you really think a jury full of 12 Americans are not going to convict this dude? If we lived by that system, then we should send Richard Popolawski down to Gitmo without trial, because we wouldn't want him to escape.
THIRD: It's becoming increasingly clear that if you enter any aircraft in our post-9/11 world, then you should be fully prepared to defend the plane and your life. The 32-year-old Dutch man who extinguished the bomb (and this Nigerian jackass) is a hero. He reacted immediately -- despite admitting to being scared -- and saved the lives of nearly 300 people. Each and every once of us should not trust any security measure. Whether it was this Dutch hero, or the people who stopped Richard Reid and his shoe bomb, or the 40 brave men and women on Flight 93, we must do everything in our power to care for ourselves and others.
And that is ultimately the answer to our safety conundrum. We must not wait for our government to protect us. We, the People, control more than we think.
(By the way: I would not encourage anyone to Google the words "underwear bomb" because it makes for several very disturbing photos)
4 days ago