Free Markets, Free People

Is Janet Napolitano Living In An Alternate Universe?

Or am I?

From Politico:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the thwarting of the attempt to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit airline flight Christmas Day demonstrated that “the system worked.

Asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” how that could be possible when the young Nigerian who has been charged with trying to set off the bomb was able to smuggle explosive liquid onto the jet, Napolitano responded: “We’re asking the same questions.”

Napolitano added that there was “no suggestion that [the suspect] was improperly screened.”

Apparently he was screened exactly as he should have been according to TSA guidelines. Yet he got on the aircraft with explosive underwear.

The only reason the flight wasn’t blown out of the sky is he had a faulty detonator. And, as with the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, it took other passengers to subdue him.

So what part of the system worked?

Oh yeah, the “let’s overreact and make stupid new rules” part:

Among other steps being imposed, passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps. Overseas passengers will be restricted to only one carry-on item aboard the plane, and domestic passengers will probably face longer security lines.

The restrictions will again change the routine of air travel, which has undergone an upheaval since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington in September 2001 and three attempts at air terrorism since then.

As James Joyner notes, since 2001 there have been 3 attempts in tens of thousands of flights and our reaction is to make flight even more miserable than it already is for little if any security gain. Radley Balko points out:

In addition to keeping with its usually tradition of making policy on a reactionary basis, this one wouldn’t even have done anything to prevent the attempt over the weekend. The guy was in his seat when he tried to light the explosive device. And the passenger who confronted him got out of his seat to do it.

Ah, but that doesn’t matter. Our new rules will “ensure” that no aircraft inbound to the US will be blown out of the sky in the last hour. No word on what might happen the preceding 2 to 14 hours (depending on the origination of the filght) prior to that.

The last word from Balko:

For all the crap they put us through, this guy still got some sort of explosive material on the plane from Amsterdam. He was stopped by law-abiding passengers. So TSA responds to all of this by . . . announcing plans to hassle law-abiding U.S. passengers even more.

That is all that has “worked” in “the system”.

~McQ

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28 Responses to Is Janet Napolitano Living In An Alternate Universe?

  • Napolitano…as much of the Obama cabinet…and Obama himself…need to be removed from office and replaced by sentient creatures that give a crap.

    • For any other administration official, that comment would have been a career ender.  We’ll see.

  • Even the “Progressive” web sites are stating that this proves “the ‘Bush-era’ security measures failed” … Napolitano is running the ‘Bush-era” security system (with whatever ‘Obama-era’ changes).
    I see that Air Canada has now also restricted carry-on to one piece per person on flights into the US.

    • So that means 9/11 was entirely Clinton’s fault.  And Ms. Clinton is Sec. of State.
       
      Just sayin’.

  • THE US IS STILL LAUGHING AT SECURITY ALL THE WAY UP AND DOWN THE LADDER OF PROTECTION–THAT IS WHY PEOPLE STROLL INTO THE WHITE HOUSE UNDER THE NOSE OF THE SECRET SERVICE; WHY BOMBERS ARE STILL TRYING TO USE PERFECTED MINI-BOMBS TO BLOW UP AIRPLANES; WHY THE POPE GETS ASSAULTED BY THE SAME PSYCHO WOMAN YEAR-AFTER-YEAR; WHY CLIENTS DON’T TAKE GOOD PROTECTION ADVISEMENY OF THEIR SECURITY GUARD STAFF AND REWARD THEM WITH IGNORING THEM,REMOVING THEM, OR PAYING DIRT WAGES—–THE ENEMY ONLY NEEDS IO GET LUCKY ONCE—-AND THE PAIN AND DEATH WILL BE STAGGERING!!!WE AT RANDTHINK PRESENT THIS BECAUSE, WE ARE NOT UNAMERICAN, BUT RATHER, WE SEE A MAQJOR FLAW IN THE THINKING OF AMERICAN SECURITY—WE LIVE AND BREATH SECURITY-WE ARE ON THE INSIDE,YOU KNOW. JUST TO PONDER-NOT ANNOY…..

  • YOU MUST USE HIGHLY SKILLED INTUITIVE PROFILERS TO SCREEN CROWDS-IT IS USEFUL—BUT NOT THE FULL ANSWER. INFORMATION—LIKE WHEN A FATHER OF A TERRORIST TELL SECURITY PERSONNEL THAT THEIR SON IS AN OUT-OF-CONTROL TERRORIST MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE–THAT INFORMATION MUST,IN A TIMELY MANNER OF EXPEDIENCE, GET LISTED AND PASSED ON TO WHERE IT CAN BE USED IN A PREVENTATIVE USEFULNESS TO PREVENT UNTIMELY CATASTROPHIC EVENTS! ( ie-BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE WITHIN THE US;;AUGUST 6, 2001!!) PEOPLE D-O!!!! NEED TO BE EFFECTIVELY PRE-SCREENED AT HIGH-RISK VENUES, BUT LET US NO GRAB GRANDMA BY THE KNICKERS AND STRIP-SEARCH HER IN A NASTY ROOM AT THE AIRPORT–CATCH MY DRIFT???!!SOMEWHERE BETWEEN “WHAT-WE-GOT-NOW-AIN’T WORKIN’” AND ISRAELI AIRPORT MILITARY COMPLETE PERSON AND BAGGAGE SEARCHES, HAS TO YIELD A SOLUTION–THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS! WE ARE AN IMPATIENT, AND OFT VOCALLY WHINNING SOCIETY—OFTEN VIOLENT OURSELVES( MIAMI; ROAD-RAGE GUNMAN FLEES INTO PROMINENT MALL HERE, SHOT BY POLICE! ).WHAT ARE WE, AS A SOCIETY, DOIND TO HELP OURSELVES BY CHANDIND OUR”DEVIL-MAY-CARE” ATTITUDES TOWARD OUR OWN PROTECTION? AGAIN, NOT TO ANNOY, BUT TO PONDER–FROM US ON THE INSIDE!

  • The real credit to this fiasco, is that the passengers united to take this guy down. Everyone needs to learn from this. Passengers always outnumber terrorists. Every passenger on an airline has the responsibility to aggressively attack and subdue terrorists, even if it means they will be harmed or killed in the process. After all, the alternative of passivity is most certainly death anyway and a cowards death to boot.  There needs to be a united effort among all passengers, and I believe this mindset is now in place. Janet Reno needs to understand this and get on the right bandwagon!

    • I’ve long said that if a flight I’m on is involved in a terrorist act, it will be easy to identify both the cause and myself.
       
      the cause will have someone’s hands wrapped around their throat, and I’ll have my hand wrapped around someone’s throat.  :)

  • Just when I was finally getting used to taking my shoes off at the security bottleneck…

    • Now you will probably have to drop your drawers

      • I’m still waiting them to just issue you a bathrobe at the security check point, confiscate all your belongings and tell you they will be returned at your destination.

      • “Now you will probably have to drop your drawers”

        I thought we already had, at the last election.

  • I think the new rule about staying in your seat for the last hour is great! Everyone knows terrorists always obey the rules.

  • Coincidentally, I just returned from overseas (The Bahamas is, technically, overseas; they require a passport & everything) today. We had to take off our shoes in Freeport and go through the scanning machines twice. Two different sets operated by two different  organizations. Then, at the gate, the new security measures demanded by the TSA were done; hand searching all carryon luggage and a frisking. Since there were very few passengers at Freeport it wasn’t too bad, but I can imagine a place like London or Frankfurt was a real mess. The flight crew didn’t mention anything about nothing in our laps, or remaining in our seats, nor were we limited to only one item. Miami really wasn’t bad, but then again we didn’t have to go through Miami security. The flight to BWI wasn’t any different than before Xmas.

    I still don’t know what exactly happened, since I didn’t see any news while there and just got home 20 minutes ago. Ya know, ignorance really is bliss.

    • The Bahamas is, technically, overseas; they require a passport & everything)

      Pfft.  So does travel to Canada.  Are you suggesting that America’s Hat (aka North Montana) is a real country?  :)

  • “The system worked.”
     
    I really am speechless at this.  Calling Napalitano an idiot is an insult to idiots everywhere.  Saying that she lives on some other planet insults people (beings?) who actually DO live on other planets.
     
    But, upon further consideration, the real idiot here isn’t Napolitano.  I’m even going to let the American voter off the hook this time, too.  The real problem is (again) MiniTru.  Why?  Because between living 24-7 in the Washington bubble, where statements like “the system worked” are so routine that they aren’t worth challenging, and the single-minded effort to prop up their Manchurian Candidate and his idiot / gangster administration, MiniTru lets people like Napolitano, Geithner, Bernake*, etc, GET AWAY WITH IT.
     
    One wonders what Interplanet Janet would have said if the plane had been blown up.  “The system ALMOST worked”???
     
    —-
     
    (*) I know: Bernake isn’t an Obamabot, but he’s a perfect example of how “the right people” in DC can f*ck up on a cosmic scale and STILL be feted.  This doofus, who fiddled while the economy burned, was made Time‘s Man of the Year.  Sheesh.

  • All passengers who want them  should be issued baseball bats to take aboard for the event that some terrorist (or other nut job) wants to pull a trick like this.
    I wish I could take credit for this suggestion but it appeals to me on several planes (protection, prevention, vengeance).
    Of course, under  the new “Janet’s Rulz” one would get in trouble for first leaving his seat to bash the living daylights out of one these would-be bombers.
    Perhaps that rule will change when enough passengers wet the seats trying to hold off for the (scheduled) arrival
     

  • The guy was in his seat when he tried to light the explosive device.

    I seem to recall that Richard Reid was also in his seat also when he tried to set off his shoe bomb…
     

  • That is all that has “worked” in “the system”.

    For the most part, I agree with the post, particularly in regards to the utter futility of the announced response.  I think the statement above, however, is overbroad.

    Consider, for instance, why the terrorists are using PETN, which is normally used in fuzes and bursters as a booster:

    #1.  It is an extremely powerful explosive, one of the most powerful nitrate explosives.  The terrorists are using it because a very small amount can make a very big bang.   They need this characteristic because of the screening.  Anything bulkier would be too easy to detect visually.

    #2.   It is very stable and volatilizes very little.  Once again, they need this because of the screening.  Where RDX or TNT would be picked up by chemical screening, PETN can slip through (particularly if it is in a sealed container.)

    Unfortunately for the terrorists, the normal method of detonating PETN is with another explosive.  When detonated in such a way, it is extremely reliable.  That is why it is common in fuzes, bursters, and detcord.  It is not, however, easily detonated with a makeshift fuze that you have to light, like Richard Reid and the idiot that had it sewn into his underwear
     who tried to off the Saudi diplomat used, or a chemical trigger, like this most recent moron used.  The problem for the terrorists is that the other explosives normally used to detonate the PETN are easier to detect, thereby defeating one of the major reasons for using PETN in the first place.

    Once again, I’m not saying that Napolitano is right, that this is what she meant (I doubt that), or that all of the procedures put in place are just peachy keen.  All I’m saying is that I believe that the presence of screening influenced the choice of explosives and may be a major reason that all three of the major incidents using that explosive were stymied by “faulty” fuzes that resulted in either no detonation or an imperfect detonation.

  • Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.
    Kurt HaskellLori and Kurt Haskell
    Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.
    Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

    They claim that Mutallab got on without a passport which the aid of an Indian “gentlemean”.

  • I wish that she were living in an alternate universe so that we could have an adult in charge in our universe.