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2009 Security Theater ScoreCard: Terrorism 1 USA 0
8 years, $950 billion, 4662 dead and 31582 (officially) wounded American casualties, more than 200,000 Iraqi and Afghani deaths later, someone can still scare the wits out of the United States by not even blowing up a plane.
Congratulations are in order for Al-Qaeda and anyone else bent on destroying the United States. New TSA directives that prohibit phone, internet access services, live television programming, and GPS programs prior to boarding and during all phases of flight mean that one no longer has to blow things up to become a successful terrorist. I do wonder how disallowing people from accessing the loo or using blankets and pillows less than one hour before the flight landing prevents acts of terrorism. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano might have an answer.
Over the past few days, Napolitano went from saying that the system worked to telling us that the system does not work and then issuing a notice that the new directives are supposed to be confusing so “passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere.” Yes, we are now thoroughly confused about why this has been made into an issue for TSA.
This could have been prevented if the Department of Homeland Security did its job since Abdulmutallab’s father had warned the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria that his son was planning something dangerous, yet even when his name was added to a ‘watch list,’ it was not put on a no-fly list. This actually is not an issue for airport security, but rather our ‘homeland security.’ DHS is apparently too busy with television gigs and worrying about detaining students to really care about the security of the United States.
Now Republicans and right-wing nuts are grabbing the opportunity to criticize Napolitano and calling for her resignation. Of course, it is Republicans who have under-funded TSA in the past, which could have prevented this debacle, and South Carolina Republican Jim Demint has held up the appointment of a TSA chief because he is more concerned about preventing the unionization of TSA workers than protecting the country.
Still, the extravagant focus on TSA when the person actually boarded the plane in Nigeria and then went through Amsterdam, tells us that in this security theater, the powers that be are about to make another run for crushing our precious civil liberties in the name of national security.
Welcome to 2010. In the coming months, you will bear witness to many more accusations, testimonies and Congressional hearings as part of this security theater. Americans will be asked to give up more of their freedom as a knee-jerk reaction that does nothing to make us safer and really address why people want to harm the United States of America.
(Photo Credit:ATIS547’s photostream)