Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is this terrorism?

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab didn't succeed in blowing up an airliner. 
He was caught, and if he is guilty, he'll go behind bars.
Meanwhile, the rest of us millions are now screwed even more when we go to the airport.
Already the song and dance with security is a pain in the ass. Remove your shoes. Get scanned 20 times. When I went to Vegas a couple weeks ago, I had to undergo what was, in effect, an interrogation, answering questions about why I was there, what I blogged about, what my complete agenda was, all while a line of passengers rolled their eyes and shoved my laptop out of the way, nearly breaking it, so they could grab their bags.
I suppose these measures are necessary, though they didn't seem that effective, did they? Abdulmutallah still got enough explosives on the plane to do some serious damage, if not make it crash, though all he managed to do was light a few firecrackers and burn a hand or two.
Thanks, man. Now we can't leave our seats during our flights, get anything from the overhead bins or carry any pillows or blankets on board. We're closer than ever to being treated like cows heading for slaughter. Though at least we get peanuts.
As I said, I seem to understand the need for such measures, and yet, well, the last two "attacks" on airplanes that seem to have affected security the most came from lonely, disturbed guys acting alone. When I heard about this attack, my first thought was there was no way this was planned by Al-Qaeda. It seemed too, well, unprofessional. I hate to put it that way but that was my first thought. 
After 9/11, a well-conceived, horrific attack that took years to plan, security measures tightened, and I was all for it. They were looking at bags more, enacting rules that quite frankly should have been enacted years ago (no knives in carry-on bags) and being more careful about liquids on a plane.
But since then, a guy tries to blow up a plane with a poorly made shoe bomb, and now we're not only taking our shoes off but dealing with antsy security officers. 
And now this. Now even stricter standards, and we're spending far more time in airports than we will on the plane itself, and no one trusts anyone, and everyone's a suspect, and traveling to see our loved ones almost really isn't worth it any longer.
I don't think, really, that either one was working for Al-Qaeda, but maybe they should sign those guys up.
Those nutbags may not have succeeded in their goals, whatever they were, but I can't help but think they're winning.


Anonymous said...
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The NL Wife said...

Like most things the government does, the "enhanced" security measures (like no pillows and blankets, or iPods, if they get that far) will make the agency feel better about having a visible response to the security breach, rather than actually addressing the actual breach itself. Being seated the last hour of the flight would not have been the thing to prevent some idiot with stuff taped to his legs. You need a good pat down or scan for that.

I felt the same when they outlawed pocket knives, especially the tiny ones. The 2 inch swiss army knife has nothing on the 4 1/2 stiletto heels on my Jimmy Choos. Not saying I'm going to stick them through someone's eye or anything. Just saying I could. :)