Monday, January 04, 2010

What a field day for the heat

Tourism is big business in Florida and in these weak-dollar days, much of it is from abroad. Of course it's not what it used to be and one of the reasons I've heard from regular visitors from Europe is the hassle of entry. Fingerprinting, revealing financial records, confiscation of computers are amongst the stories I hear and I've met people who have their Florida Winter houses and condos up for sale, because they're tired of being treated as insurgents.

Arriving on the Queen Mary in Queens' Grill class, you may feel in the lap of luxury, but one foot in the good old USA and you may feel that bad old cold war Soviet bloc vibe. It's going to get worse and yes, it's because the terrorists have won again without having to blow up anything.

General Thomas McInerney USAF (Ret.) said on Fox this weekend that we should strip search Muslim men entering the US and he may get his wish.
"every individual flying into the US from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening."
says the TSA. All passengers flying into the United States from abroad will be subject to random screening. Starting today, there will be a lot of patting down of brown behinds because although there are only four countries listed as "State Sponsors of Terrorism:" Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, an unnamed Administration official told Politico today that passengers from other countries like Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen will be searched as well. Think that's going to stop them? I don't either. One would-be attacker with a Canadian or UK passport will force us to put everyone up against he wall - and what about an American citizen with a surname like Jones -- or McVeigh? Think the TSA is relieved we won't be hosting the Olympics in Chicago? Me too.

Our policy of acting incrementally and only in response to specific provocation makes it all too easy and particularly when no plot need actually succeed in doing anything but costing us more and making us panic. Why not simply recruit some passionate fool and give him a defective device when there's less chance of retaliation and it still hurts us so much? Face it, terror is the objective of terrorism and they just won again.


tom sheepandgoats said...

Didn't this kid's dad tell the U.S. embassy or CIA or someone that he had gone over to the dark side? Don't we have computers? Isn't it possible to keep track of red flags like this? Isn't that cheaper than patting down EVERYONE? Should we reconsider the moniker Intelligence?

Capt. Fogg said...

I think the answer is yes to all of the above. It was a big failure to use the information we had - just like 9/11 was.

It makes the quest for more and more information seem quixotic when we don't do anything with what we already have.

I once got held up in Schipol and surrounded by commandos because my wife's middle name wasn't on the ticket but it was on her passport. This guy gets through. Just amazing.