Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baaa, Baaa.

The TSA and the U.S. government (and governments worldwide?) received a nice little Christmas present as a result of the attempted terrorist attack/bombing/explosive device/whatever-it-was on a Delta/Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

[Please don’t think we’re saying the attack itself was a good thing. And don’t get us started on profiling and Islam.]

The gift? Once again our leaders have the opportunity to scare us into submission; to distract us from the partisan dealmaking going on with the “healthcare debate” spectacle; to try to make us forget Afghanistan; to allow Wall Street to destroy Main Street; yada, yada, yada. If we’re all turned into sheep because of scare tactics such as those created by the TSA, well, then we’ll all do whatever our government (“I’m from the gov’mint and I’m here to help”) wants.

Upon first reports of the airline bombing attempt, Republican gasbag Representative Peter T. King said in the NY Times: “‘This was the real deal,’ saying something had gone wrong with the explosive device, which he described as somewhat sophisticated. ‘This could have been devastating.’” This was said while the FBI and other law-enforcement professionals were still trying to figure how the bomber got his stuff on the plane (well, through airport security, of course), much less exactly what it was. Let’s put this guy in charge of the FBI, too.

Contemporary airport security is 90% theatre and 10% reality. The government also has been needing another reason to expand one of the world’s largest bureaucracies (the TSA), despite the fact that the TSA’s “threat level” has been constantly at Orange for more than three years. It’s never going to go away, is it?

(As a side note, we live in a “border” state – Washington – and the Border Patrol [a division of the Dept. of Homeland Security, as is the TSA] frequently sets up random highway checkpoints and boards transit busses looking for illegal aliens bent on creeping into the country and performing terrorist acts. Yep, we’re really concerned about those illegal Canadians coming over to get better healthcare.)

We’ve had to take our shoes off since Richard Reid in 2001. Now the TSA is making us remain seated for the last hour of a flight (and that helps how?) and not have anything in our lap during that time. There will be more restrictions, you can be sure.

Just wait until we have the underwear bomber.

UPDATE 12/30: The latest news says the bomb was in his underwear.