Monday, December 28, 2009

Acting White: Homeland Insecurity

The Nigerian who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound flight a few days ago surely got everybody’s attention, but now what? Homeland Czar Napolitano was correct when she said, initially, that the ‘system’ worked. Huh? Actually the system did technically work, however, a minor detail, the people, failed miserably. Bomb-guy did everything to draw attention except ask the flight-attendant to give him a match.

After boarding in Lagos, he flew to Amsterdam, and on to Detroit. Before landing in the motor-stalled city he attempted, but failed, to ignite an explosive device he had been able to smuggle onto the plane. Maybe they thought all that powder was just numbing drugs destined for needy Detroiters. Just as incredible, his father had, a month earlier, reported to the US authorities, in Nigeria, that junior had taken a turn to the extremist side, and should be profiled. Whatever assurance those authorities provided now turns out to have been worth squat.

Less than a month ago I went from Oakland to Denver, and back, on Southwest. On the return it took me nearly one half-hour from first scan to exit TSA/Homeland Security (DHS). Something about me got these folks mighty interested in my belongings. My carry-on was scanned three times, with a manual search between each scan. My physique was patted once, plus a healthy dose of wand-waving that surely doubles as a passive electro-vasectomy. My offense turned out to be deodorant, which they dismantled into a sweet-smelling/BO-killing mess. (Keep it guys, I’ll buy another one).

So what were the Dutch doing? Nigerian Dad says sonny-boy is off the deep-end, but the USA skips the no-fly list and a chance at one less black man. Then the Dutch miss the no-check bags and skimpy shoulder-bag on the way to freezing, busted-ass Detroit. What giveth?

The lesson here is that society is living, or trying to live, way above our pay grade. Inept bombers; Inept security; Inept politicians. Hey, even inept bloggers! Not to speak of inept pilots, who fly hundreds of miles past their destination while doing only God knows what in that thing called the cock pit. Never liked that term cock pit. Now I like it even less. Oh yeah - I checked Google, and for today, the iPhone does not have an app for this. But there’s always tomorrow.

James C. Collier

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5 comments:

Vijay Chakravarthy said...

The most inspiring blog I´ve ever read. Hope you will continue! Happy New Year to You!

I have added your blog in my blog http://spacestation-shuttle.blogspot.com/.

Will you add my blog in your blogroll

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Inept is a pretty harsh judgement for security when we don't know how many would-be terrorits (and plain crazies) were foiled by security.

James C. Collier said...

Anon 8:17, perhaps it has escaped you that very little happens w/o showing up on someboody's net radar, from keystone badguys to real threats. The question remains, how good is the net?

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back to this blog because I like the general idea but in keeping with your theme here I think you push the limits and often miss the target. But like I said I keep coming back:)

I don't agree with the lesson you suggest we take away from the incident. Not saying that people were not indept, just don't think that was "thee lesson".

Oh, and what's your beef with Detroit.

James C. Collier said...

Anon 10;22, Are you serious about Detroit? If and when Hertz rents cars with bullet-proof windows, the mean-streets of Detroit will have been the testing ground, as it was with cell phones and GPS. BTW, your thee's are always welcome here.