Sunday, December 27, 2009
Keystone Kops of the Air. The Christmas Day attempted bombing of a U.S. passenger airliner shows that the Federal Government has still not, more than 8 years after 9/11, gotten its act together. A news story hilited on AOL today says:
Abdulmutallab appeared on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database maintained by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, said a U.S. official who received a briefing and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation. Containing some 550,000 names, the database includes people with known or suspected ties to a terrorist organization. However, it is not a list that would prohibit a person from boarding a U.S.-bound airplane.What exactly is the purpose of the TIDE database if not to alert security agents at airports and such to pay special attention to people on that list? Even if a person is not on a "no-fly list" as such, shouldn't the TIDE list produce an automatic intense search, even strip-search (if not even a body-cavity search)? The Nigerian loon who set himself on fire in trying to kill hundreds of people — how can Islam smile upon mass murder? — had put a prefabricated bomb into his underpants. Are all air travelers now to be forced to take their underwear off, as they are (still?) required to take their shoes off because one other loon tried to kill hundreds of people with a shoe bomb made of the same explosive substance?
It's one thing not to have information upon which to act, and quite another to have the information but not use it. Do airports and airlines running flites into the U.S. not have access to the TIDE database? Are there no computer systems in place to check the TIDE database for every air passenger, or even just every international air passenger?
The news story quoted above states further:
U.S. authorities told The Associated Press that in November, his father, a prominent banking official in Nigeria, went to the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, to discuss his concerns about his son's religious beliefs.Wasn't it clear to U.S. embassy personnel that if a father felt so strongly about dangers that his son might pose to the United States that he made an in-person trip to the embassy, that this was a report to be taken very seriously, and the son's name, foto, etc., put into some kind of system that would cause him to be searched extra rigorously if he tried to board an airplane bound for the United States?
One U.S. government official said the father did not have any specific information that would put his son on the "no-fly list" or on the list for additional security checks at the airport.
What kind of incompetents do we have in U.S. embassies and security services that this could have happened?
One of the main concerns after 9/11 was that the Government's left hand doesn't know what the Government's right hand is doing. That was supposed to have been fixed. Plainly it has not been. The people of the United States, and other potential targets of anti-Western Islamist violence, need to demand of their governments, FIX THIS!
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,371 for Israel.)
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