Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beware of that Terrorism Thingy

A couple of years ago, I was trying to fly home from a vacation in Italy. I had a changeover in Paris for the flight back to JFK. My first plane was late, which caused me to miss my connection. The unexpected change in plans triggered me as a possible terrorist.

I was inspected, poked and proded. I was pulled out of the regular security lines for yet more inspections and reviews of my passport, and even tested once for explosives. It is inconceivable to me that after all of these additional checks that I could have gotten anything untoward onto the plane. The security agent in NYC even asked me what I had done to cause whatever tagged me as high risk.

I realize I must have looked pretty dangerous as a mid-40's, blonde haired woman who had not had a passport stamp in twenty years. In the aftermath of 9-11, I had no problem with this, though I thought that my change in plans could be readily verified as a matter out of my control, thus freeing up the security detail so they could inspect more likely suspects.

Fast forward to Christmas Day 2009: A young man, pays cash for a ticket on the flight date, is allowed to board with no passport, his father has notified authorities that he has become radical, and he has traveled to Yemen (OK, you got me...since he didn't have a passport, security would not have known this. Thus a really good reason why they check your passport when you first enter secure areas, and then again, just as you board the plane, which begs the question: how did he get through the initial screening to be allowed to enter the gate?).

I trigger a red alert for missing a connection that was out of my control, but this turkey, with several red flags manages to board a US plane with explosives.

Can someone please explain to me how it took security no time to flag me as a possible terrorist, but couldn't pick up that this guy needed a second look? I can only attribute the change in security to a new attitude and the inane political correctness that has been imposed by the White House.

Footnote: Why aren't they releasing the video of the man that talked the agent into allowing him to board without a passport? A witness describes him as approximately 6', well-dressed, with no accent (so he sounds American) that looked to be of Indian or Palestinian descent. Wouldn't the administration want to find and question this man, and wouldn't blasting his photo on the news and internet make identifying him a virtual certainty?

I am puzzled why the Nigerian with the panty bomb who wanted to kill hundreds of Americans was arrested only as a common criminal instead of as an enemy of the state which would let the military interrogate and handle him. No, the administration doesn't like to call him a terrorist...this is only another isolated incident. So now we taxpayers are paying for his lawyers and giving him rights like he is an American, including Miranda Rights, so naturally he's clammed up.

Let's do the math: Don't show us the video + Don't allow the military to handle the interrogation and prosecution = Doesn't look like the administration takes this terrorism 'thingy', as Bush might've called it, very seriously. But I bet Bush's team would've nailed him.

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