The American Left and Islamic Extremism

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 25th, 2013

Politics 101

Osama bin Laden may be Dead but Islamic Extremism is on the Rise

It didn’t take long to blame America for the Boston Marathon bombings.  Before we knew who the bombers were those on the left were hoping and praying that the bombers were radical conservatives.  A rightwing militia nut.  Or a member of the Tea party.  Anyone but a Muslim.  And when we learned that the bombers were Muslim the Left found new ways to blame America.  For the left hates conservatives.  And for some reason has a soft spot for radical Islamists.  Radical Islam is not to blame for the bombings.  The War in Afghanistan is.  The Iraq War.  And all of those drone strikes.  In general it’s this imperial aggression of America that is to blame.  Not this poor 19-year old kid and his brother.  And until we learn this we are going to keep radicalizing innocent 19-year old kids.  Making them place bombs next to 8-year old boys.

The Americans helped liberate Libya from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.  Who had become an American ally in the War on Terror after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  Despite this we helped the rebels based in Benghazi overthrow Gaddafi.  Who they eventually caught.  And killed without a trial.  Since then Benghazi grew into a hotbed of anti-Western Islamic radicalism.  Despite the West having helped them overthrow Gaddafi.  It got so bad that after an attempt on the life of the British ambassador the British pulled out of Benghazi.  While the American ambassador asked his superiors for additional security.  Which his superiors denied.  Because President Obama had won the War on Terror.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive.  This was their campaign slogan.  We should reelect the president because he won the War on Terror.  By killing bin Laden.  It was just like President George W. Bush on that aircraft carrier.  This was President Obama’s ‘mission accomplished’ banner.  And he just couldn’t jeopardize his reelection chances by increasing security to protect the American diplomatic mission against a vanquished enemy.

So this is one reason why the left has a soft spot for radical Islamists.  To say we have a problem with radical Islamism would bring this horrible policy record to light.  Which they really didn’t want to do for it finally made the left look tough on national security.  For they have appeared weak on national defense since LBJ.  And they didn’t like LBJ being tough on national defense.  Which is why they emasculated the Defense Department afterwards.  Which was all well and fine with those on the left until our enemies started attacking us.  Giving the Republicans the advantage in elections during times when there were threats to national security.  But killing Osama bin Laden changed that.  Finally it was the left that demonstrated strength in national security.  For they won the War on Terror by killing Osama bin Laden.  Or so they believed.  Thus negating one of the Republican’s campaign advantages.  Which not only helped George W. Bush win reelection.  But it helped President Obama win reelection.  Despite one of the worst economic recoveries in U.S. history.  And a pretty poor foreign policy record.  He may have killed America’s number one enemy, Osama bin Laden, but he did nothing to help the Iranians overthrow their oppressive dictatorship.  America’s new number one enemy.  But he did help overthrow longtime American ally Hosni Mubarak.  And now Egypt is under control of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Who is closely allied with Iran.  And our thanks for helping the Libyans overthrow their oppressor?  We’re seeing al Qaeda gaining strength in Libya.  Who killed our ambassador.  And three other Americans.  So the president’s foreign policy is making the Middle East a less safe place.  And more anti-American.  But Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive.

The American Left fears American Conservatism more than Islamic Extremism

With the capture of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev President Obama was anxious to downplay the bombers’ religion.  That we shouldn’t rush to judgment just because the bombers were Muslim.  He didn’t even use words like ‘Islamist’ or ‘Islamist terrorist’.  For he has worked hard to convince the American people that there is no militant Islamist element still trying to kill Americans because of their religion.  And when two radical Islamists killed and maimed Americans because of their religion he lectured Americans sternly not to make anything of this fact.

“In this age of instant reporting, tweets, and blogs, there’s a temptation to latch on to any bit of information sometimes to jump to conclusions. When a tragedy like this happens, with public safety at risk and the stakes so high, it’s important that we do this right. That’s why we have investigations. That’s why we relentlessly gather the facts, that’s why we have courts. That’s why we take care not to rush to judgment, not about the motivations of these individuals and certainly not about entire groups of people,” he said.

And this despite Islamic extremism in the United States increasing during his presidency.  According to Wikipedia during the 8 years of George W. bush there were 5 Islamist terrorist attacks and 10 failed plots.

Islamist Attack or Foiled Plot 2001-2008

While during about 4 years of the Obama presidency things got worse.

Islamist Attack or Foiled Plot 2009-2013

*Not included on original source cited.  See Benghazi attack.

During the approximate 4 years of the Obama administration there have been 4 Islamist terrorist attacks and 18 failed plots.  So clearly Islamist extremism is getting worse.  Not better.  And yet all we hear from this administration and their allies in the mainstream media is that Islam is a religion of peace.  While the real enemy to fear is American conservatism.  Despite the record clearly showing that the thing to fear is Islamic extremism.  For it is Muslim terrorists killing Americans every chance they get.  Not American conservatives.  So why is it that the American left has such a soft spot for radical Islamists?

The Adage ‘the Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend’ has brought Radical Islamists and the American Left Together

During the 2012 presidential election the most important things to women were free birth control and abortion.  According to the Democrats.  Who advanced the idea about a Republican war on women.  When George Stephanopoulos asked Mitt Romney if he wanted to take birth control away from women.  The next thing you knew birth control and abortion were women’s health issues.  And if women didn’t vote Democrat they would die from an epidemic of cancer and never have sex again unless they were in some loveless marriage making babies instead of enjoying a career.  The ultimate goal of this strategy?  If the left can turn people away from Christianity they can turn people away from the Republican party.  For while a lot of people identify themselves as fiscally conservative a lot of these same people still identify themselves as socially liberal.  And the more they can drive a wedge between these two groups within the Republican Party the more socially liberal Republicans they can push into the Democrat Party.  Hence the relentless assault on Christianity.  Who they identify as controlling the Republican Party.  This Religious Right.  Who they paint as wanting to return women back to a time when they were obedient wives serving their masters.  Like they were in the Fifties.  This is what piety and morality was all about.  Controlling women.  And the only way to prevent this from happening was to allow women to have sex outside of marriage.  For if they can do that and have a career they would have no need for a husband.  This was real freedom.  And this was what the Republican Party and the Religious Right were against.  All the left had to do was to get these socially liberals to see this simple fact.  And they found a very simple way of doing that.  Sex.

The Left likes having their sex.  It’s what defined them in the Sixties when they kicked off the sexual revolution.  These baby boomers were so into personal gratification that they earned the moniker the Me generation.  During the Seventies they enjoyed their swinging life style.  Drugs.  And casual sex.  A lot of it.  With a lot of different partners.  Even married couples were getting into the action with open marriages and wife swapping.  It was a time of anything goes.  Whatever felt good they did.  No matter how much Christianity disapproved of it.  And were vocal about it.  Which fueled the left’s hatred of Christianity.  Who are always trying to judge them.  Telling them how they should live their lives.  Which just frosts their shorts on the left.  So they flaunted their lifestyles in front of Christians.  Mocked Christians.  Belittled them in television and the movies.  Insulting them with blasphemous images they call art.  Attacked their traditions.  And tried to remove any signs of Christianity from public life.  They removed it from our schools.  And banned Christ from Christmas displays.  When they weren’t trying to attack Christianity they were trying to change it.  By making Catholics hand out free birth control in their institutions.  Including the abortion pill.  And demanding that they changed church doctrine to recognize same-sex marriage.

So the left is no friend of Christianity.  Which brings us to why they have such a soft spot for radical Islamists.  For they hate Christianity as much as they do.  And you know what they say.  The enemy of my enemy is my friend.  So they relish radical Islam’s hatred of Christianity.  Despite radical Islam hating the lifestyle of the Godless left more than Christians.  And having a real war on women.  A brutal one at that.  Even condoning the honor killing of women.  But the left overlooks all of this and tells us we mustn’t rush to judgment whenever radical Islam kills Americans.  But we should be scared of conservative Republicans.  Because they may make us pay for own birth control.  Or may actually put the abortion issue up to a vote of the people.  Instead of leaving it to the whims of liberal Supreme Court justices.  A fate too horrible even to consider on the left.  So they attack Republicans.  And Christianity.  As well as make Faustian bargains with radical Islam.  But in radical Islam’s seething hatred of America it is the left’s lifestyle they hate most.  And while the radical Islamists are enjoying the free pass they’re getting from the American left it doesn’t mean they like them.  They may tolerate them.  Because the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  But that tolerance will be short-lived.  For radical Islam is about as tolerant as the American left.

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Like most Acts of Domestic Terrorism the Boston Bombings have a Connection to Militant Islam

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 21st, 2013

Week in Review

We’ve had some people with mental health problems obtain firearms and go on shooting sprees on soft targets.  Grade schools.  Colleges.  Theaters.  High schools.  The government’s answer to these?  Take guns away from law-abiding people.  As they don’t appear to want to track people with mental health problems.  Which would be easier.  Because there are a lot of warning signs.  Schools complain about strange and disturbing behavior.  Strange and disturbing enough to expel some people from school.  But it ends there.  And these people wander free amongst us.  Family members have even tried to get these people committed for public safety concerns.  But doing that today is so difficult that few can get people who are a danger to themselves or to the public committed.  Changing this would make grade schools, colleges, theaters and high schools safer than new gun control legislation.  For using guns is not the only way to kill soft targets (see Boston bombers: FBI hunting 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by Christopher Bucktin and Andy Lines posted 4/21/2013 on the Mirror).

The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to the Boston marathon bomb brothers.

Police believe Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were specially trained to carry out the devastating attack.

More than 1,000 FBI operatives were last night working to track down the cell and arrested a man and two women 60 miles from Boston in the hours before Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture after a bloody shootout on Friday.

A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.

“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come…”

Investigators have begun piecing together how the “well-mannered” brothers of Chechen origin were radicalised. Neighbours of the family said older brother Tamerlan had recently become obsessed with Islam. He mysteriously left the US in January last year to spend six months in Russia. Yesterday senior FBI counter-terrorism official Kevin Brock said: “It’s a key thread for investigators.”

It also emerged the Bureau interviewed Tamerlan two years ago, at the request of the Russian government, but could not establish that he had ties to terrorist radicals.

This was despite his worrying Russian-language YouTube page featuring links to extremist Islamic sites and others since taken down by YouTube.

One link showed an hour-long speech by an Islamic teacher called Shaykh Feiz Mohammed, while other videos are labled “Terrorists” and “Islam”.

The radical cleric, with links to extremist British Muslims, encouraged his followers to become martyrs for Islam. He said: “Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid…”

US Government officials have said the brothers were not under surveillance as possible militants. And an FBI statement said the matter was closed because interviews with Tamerlan and family members “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign”. But now they believe the pair, who emigrated to the United States from Dagestan about a decade ago, were part of a terror cell.

If there is a sleeper cell they may be able find a trail to them by exploring the past lives of the two bombers.  There were a lot of warning signs before the bombings we missed.  Perhaps we’ll be able to see them when we’re actually looking for them.

It almost appears that we have a problem looking at people.  Whether they’re people with mental health problems.  Or domestic terrorists.  It’s as bad as our airport security.  Where we’re patting down every grandmother and child.  We need to start profiling people.  Not so much by skin color.  But by behavior.  And with good questioning.  “Where are you traveling?  Who are you visiting?  Where does he work?  What’s his boss’ name?  Where does his wife work?  How good are you at making bombs?”  Depending on the answers to these questions security either moves on to someone else.  Or they pull this person aside for further questioning.

We need well-trained and highly skilled people.  So we don’t turn the country into a police state.  Observe everyone.  Question those whose behavior looks off in some way.  And read their body language.  Is he searching for answers?  Or do they appear too well rehearsed?  Does he seem nervous?  Is he avoiding eye contact?  Is he sweating?  Does he laugh at the bomb question?  Or does he flinch involuntarily?  Does he seem different from other travelers?  Is he carrying a large backpack and doesn’t appear interested in what everyone else is interested in?  Like a marathon?  If so perhaps security should approach this person.  Talk to him.  Ask what’s inside that backpack.  And search that backpack.  You can’t search everyone standing along a marathon course.  But you can have security mingling through the crowds looking for things that are not like other things.

Of course before you can do that you have to admit that there are people out there that want to hurt us.  That there is a War on Terror.  And not explain terrorist attacks away as workplace violence (the Fort Hood shooting).  Or say that al Qaeda is on the ropes and deny additional security requests in a hot bed of Islamist activity (Benghazi).  Just because it wouldn’t look good during an election campaign where a common refrain was Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.

To fight the War on Terror will require some in government to stop putting politics first.  The gun control debate is more about passing long-desired legislation than it is about making our kids safe.  To prevent the senseless slaughter of innocent people by people with mental health problems it would be far more effective to institutionalize these people that are a risk to themselves and to the public.  And to protect us from further acts of domestic terrorism we have to be able to say words like Muslim extremist.  Militant Islamist.  Islamist terrorist.  For even Bill Maher has said that Islam is the one faith that has a history of killing Americans.  Not all Muslims are terrorists.  But Muslims carry out the majority of terrorist attacks.  And until you accept that fact how are you going to defend the United States against militant Islam?  For you can’t fight this war with one arm tied behind your back because of political correctness.  Which means when we’re profiling people we have to look at those who are most likely to kill us in a terrorist attack.  People who travel to hotbeds of Islamist activity.  Those who are kicked out of mosques for being too radical.  People who have YouTube pages featuring links to extremist Islamic sites.  And what do these all have in common?  That word the Obama administration does not like to use attached to any acts of domestic terrorism.  Muslim.

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FT166: “Multiculturalism celebrates are differences while breeding anti-American terrorists.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 19th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Entrepreneurial Spirit gave America the Economic Prowess to spend the Soviet Union into the Ash Heap of History

Immigrants used to come to the United States with great enthusiasm.  They were excited that they were going to be an American.  They wanted to assimilate.  They learned their American history.  Better than most people born in the United States.  When they took the oath of citizenship a euphoric joy filled them.  For having fulfilled their greatest dream.  If they heard their family members speak the language of their birth country they rebuked them sternly.  And told them, “We’re American now.  Speak English.”

Yes, there was great pride in becoming an American.  As immigrants saw America as Ronald Reagan saw it.  A shining city upon a hill.  Whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.  People in the Old World yearned for the freedom of the New World.  Religious freedom.  Freedom from an oppressive government.  Economic freedom.  Where everyone had the same chance to be whatever they wanted to be no matter who their parents were.  For in America there was no privilege.  Just hard work.  And the ability to keep the fruit of all your labors.  This is the American dream.  This is why they came to this shining city upon a hill.

Immigrants wanted to assimilate.  They wanted to think of themselves as Americans.  For it meant something.  Something special.  It meant you were a citizen of the greatest country in the world.  For individual liberty unleashed great prosperity.  An entrepreneurial spirit.  American ingenuity.  Making America the leader in new technology.  Making work less tedious.  And life more enjoyable.  Giving America the highest standard of living.  Great food surpluses that let America feed the world.  And the military power to defeat Nazism and stand up to communism.  And the economic prowess to spend the Soviet Union into the ash heap of history.

Our Public Schools teach our Children that we Stole the Land from the Native Americans and got Rich on Slave Labor

People came to America to be Americans.  They remembered their culture.  But their culture did not identify who they were.  They were Americans.  Not hyphenated Americans.  As Theodore Roosevelt said, “In this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans.”  We were not Italian-Americans.  We were not Polish-Americans.  We were not Irish-Americans.  We were not German-Americans.  We were Americans.

Our public schools once taught our children about the Founding.  The abuses of European monarchies.  Unjust taxation.  And the perverse powers of privilege.  Things the Founding Fathers found abhorrent.  The Founding Fathers knew the history of Greece and Rome.  King John and Magna Carta.  And the English Civil War was not that distant from their time.  They were students of the Enlightenment.  They read Adam Smith.  Believed in laissez-faire economics.  And championed limited government.  When they formed a new country they drew from this vast pool of knowledge.  And made the greatest country in the world.  One with religious freedom but based on Judeo-Christian values.  A country so great that rulers of other nations wanted to hinder its ascension to further greatness.  While the people living under those rulers wanted to be Americans.

This experiment in self-government had some growing pains.  We were not perfect.  But we were far more perfect than any other government out there.  But our public schools don’t teach that today.  Instead, they teach our children that the Founders stole the land from the Native Americans.  That we stole our southern land and California from the Mexicans.  Who gained their independence from Spain who colonized these lands.  Land they had stolen from the native people who were living on it at the time.  (Interestingly, when the Mexicans gained their independence from a European power the land belonged to the Mexicans.  But when the Americans gained their independence from a European power the land belonged to someone else.)  That we stole Cuba and the Philippines from the Spanish.  Who stole it from the people living on these lands when they arrived and stole it.  Yet it is the Americans who were an imperialist power stealing land.  Never the Mexicans or the Spanish.  And, of course, that America grew rich and powerful thanks to free slave labor.  Despite that very same economic system causing the South to lose the American Civil War.

The American Educational System failed to make Dzhokhar Tsarnaev NOT burn with a Seething Hatred of America

Then the attacks on capitalism came.  The system that made America great.  All of a sudden it was unfair.  It was unjust.  And it exploited the poor to help the rich get richer.  A better system was socialism.  For it was fair.  It was just.  Because it put people before profits.  (Just ask those who lived in the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China under Mao, North Korea, Cuba and the people who lived behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe how wonderful it was to live where they put people before profits.  Here’s a hint.  A lot of these people were shot while trying to escape their social utopia).  Unlike the most evil thing in the world.  The corporation.  Who underpaid their workers.  Raped the land of its natural resources.  And polluted the environment.  So not only were they evil for pursuing profits they were evil for exploiting both people and the planet.  So we needed more government to regulate capitalism.  And those evil corporations.  So our children learned the evils of capitalism and the goodness of government in our public schools and universities.  Where their teachers and professors taught them all of the badness of the United States.  While glossing over all of its goodness.  Imbuing some shame into our students for being American.  Even making some burn with a seething hatred of the United States.

And so began the diversity movement.  And multiculturalism.  If America was so shameful we should not celebrate what unified us as Americans.  But we should celebrate our differences.  We no longer celebrated the things people immigrated to the United States for.  But the things they fled in the countries they emigrated from.  We are no longer Americans.  We are now hyphenated Americans.  And it was the thing preceding the hyphen that made us great now.  Not being American.  Because America had a shameful past.  And had a long way to go to atone for her sins.  Making a lot of hatred of America now home-grown.  Especially in the American universities.  Where radicals from the Sixties who wanted to overthrow capitalism and replace it with socialism now write the curriculum.  And these radical professors disparaged judgmental Christianity every chance they could.  For they liked the sex and drugs of their Me generation.  Mocking the Judeo-Christian values that made America great.  Something those who were not Christians ate up.

So the American university system is a hotbed of anti-American sentiment.  Perhaps explaining why some of the greatest terrorist attacks on American soil were perpetrated by people educated in the United States.  Such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  Architect and mastermind of a series of terrorist attacks.  Including the attacks on 9/11.  Who attended college in North Carolina.  Earning a degree in mechanical engineering.  And Anwar al-Awlaki.  Who earned a degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University.  He also studied education leadership at San Diego State University.  And worked on a doctorate at George Washington University.  Then moved to Yemen and became the Osama bin Laden of the Internet.  And then we have the Boston Marathon bombers.  Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  Who immigrated to the United States about a decade ago.  With Dzhokhar being so young he probably has no memories of his native Chechnya.  A hotbed of radical Islamist terrorism.  Locked in a bitter war with Christian Russia.  Where barbarous acts in that conflict have rivaled the atrocities of the Eastern Front in World War II.  Yet he burned with such a seething hatred of an America founded on Judeo-Christian values that he could place a bomb next to an 8 year old child.  A seething hatred he learned from someone while living in America.  Either directly from the American educational system.  Or indirectly as that educational system failed to make him NOT burn with a seething hatred of America.

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The TSA’s Obsession with our Genitals Borders on the Ridiculous and Threatens our Security

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 20th, 2010

You don’t Touch a Stripper’s Genitals because it’s Wrong and Could Spread Infectious Disease

When I was a younger man I visited a strip bar or two.  And one thing about young men when they consume vast amounts of alcohol, they get handsy.  They’ll do things that can get the men with the thick necks over to you and bounce you out before you know what’s happening.

Back then (and probably now), you looked but didn’t touch.  Mostly.  Sometimes you could touch.  But there were limits.  Butt cheeks.  Some boob.  But no naughty bits.  Well, maybe some naughty bits.  Some strippers would let you bury your face in their breasts while you did the motorboat.  But you kept your mouth shut.  Because some other guy might have just been where you are now.  And you don’t want to swap spit with strange men. 

Some rules were a little more lax than others.  Depending how slow the night was and how drunk your stripper was.  But one thing you didn’t do was make genital contact.  If the guys with the thick necks caught you doing that, they’d ask you to leave.  And I don’t mean in a polite way.

Why?  Strippers could spread some nasty diseases that way.  One stripper with Chlamydia could infect a lot of men who could in turn infect a lot of women (wives, girlfriends, one-night stands, etc.).  That’s why bouncers will throw you out.  Because genital contact in a strip bar is like a flashing neon sign that says, “Shut us Down.”

Don’t Put that Gloved Hand Down my Pants.  I don’t Know Where it’s Been.

So genital contact with strangers is not a clean thing to do.  Infectious disease-wise.  Even strip bars that have nude or semi-nude women dancing in dark rooms with loud music systems and smoke affects will police any genital contact with extreme prejudice.  Because strip bars are responsible.  Unlike the TSA (see Woman says her Lambert security screening was sexual assault posted 11/18/2010 on KMOV St. Louis).

Moroney explains “Her gloved hands touched my breasts…went between them. Then she went into the top of my slacks, inserted her hands between my underwear and my skin… then put her hands up on outside of slacks, and patted my genitals.”

The TSA wears gloves.  Because they don’t want to catch anything when they run their fingers through our naughty bits.  But the question that begs to be asked is this: are they changing those gloves between searches?  I mean, how do we know where that gloved hand has been?  Looks like catching a cold on an airplane may be the least of our health worries when flying now.

Water Boarding an Enemy Combatant is Wrong but Hitting a Lady in the Vagina is Okay?

You don’t dare touch a stripper’s genitals.   Or do this (see Enhanced pat down leaves Grand Rapids airline passenger in tears posted 11/18/2010 on WZZM 13 Grand Rapids).

“The female officer ran her hand up the inside of my leg to my groin and she did it so hard and so rough she lifted me off my heels,” she says. “I think I yelped. I was in pain for about an hour afterwards. It just felt excessive and unnecessary.”

You do this in a strip bar and not only will they bounce you, but the guys with thick necks may take you out back.  For a good ‘talking to’.  It’s one thing for a drunken guy to cop a feel, but it’s another to hit a lady in the vagina.  That just ain’t right.    At least the 3 terrorists we water boarded were caught trying to kill Americans.

Profiling isn’t Racism if it’s Anecdotal

A lot of people are asking if we’re any safer from all of this genital groping.  Well, no, we’re not.  But we’re being politically correct.  And our government apparently feels that is more important than our security.  But the people are ready for some politically incorrect profiling (i.e., stereotyping).  Hey, if we can laugh about it in the movies, we ought to be able to handle it in real life when our lives are at stake (see Don’t touch my junk by Charles Krauthammer posted 11/19/2010 on The Washington Post).

In “Up in the Air,” that ironic take on the cramped freneticism of airport life, George Clooney explains why he always follows Asians in the security line:

“They pack light, travel efficiently, and they got a thing for slip-on shoes, God love ‘em.”

“That’s racist!”

“I’m like my mother. I stereotype. It’s faster.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, Clooney’s character clocks more air miles than most people do in a lifetime.  The point being that observational experience may NOT be stereotyping.  It may just be anecdotal.

That riff is a crowd-pleaser because everyone knows that the entire apparatus of the security line is a national homage to political correctness. Nowhere do more people meekly acquiesce to more useless inconvenience and needless indignity for less purpose. Wizened seniors strain to untie their shoes; beltless salesmen struggle comically to hold up their pants; 3-year-olds scream while being searched insanely for explosives – when everyone, everyone, knows that none of these people is a threat to anyone.

The ultimate idiocy is the full-body screening of the pilot. The pilot doesn’t need a bomb or box cutter to bring down a plane. All he has to do is drive it into the water, like the EgyptAir pilot who crashed his plane off Nantucket while intoning “I rely on God,” killing all on board.

If you want to stop terrorists, we should try to stop people as well as bombs.  But not all people.  That would be grossly inefficient and divert resources.  We need to observe the behavior of those who are similar to those who have actually carried out terrorist attacks. 

We should treat them like people returning from Canada into the United States.  Talk to them.  Observe their body language when they answer.  Listen to the sound of their voice.  Are they breathing rapidly?  Sweating?  Avoiding direct eye contact?

We need to ask them questions.  Start general and get specific.  Is the person you’re visiting married?  What’s his wife’s name?  What color is her hair?  Their children names and ages?  Where do they shop for groceries? 

We need to ask questions based on their previous answers.  If they say they’re visiting friends from college and are going to the ‘big game’, ask some questions about the team that’s playing.  Or the college.  Or the city.  If this person is up to no good, a good questioning will out him.

During WWII, we caught a lot of Germans wearing American uniforms.  They spoke clean English.  No hint of an accent.  But they didn’t know American slang.   Or who won the World Series.

The TSA and their Advanced Body-Imaging Systems are no Match for a Determined Suicide Terrorist

With the tightening of Security, the bad guys are resorting to more and more suicide attacks.  This requires less sophisticated bombs and timers/detonators.  And a suicide bomber can hide a bomb where no one or nothing can find it.  Up the rectum (see Convergence: The Challenge of Aviation Security by Scott Stewart posted 9/16/2009 on Stratfor).

One of the most recent suicide attacks was the Aug. 28 attempt by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to assassinate Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. In that attack, a suicide operative smuggled an assembled IED containing approximately one pound of high explosives from Yemen to Saudi Arabia concealed in his rectum. While in a meeting with Mohammed, the bomber placed a telephone call and the device hidden inside him detonated.

In an environment where militant operational planning has shifted toward concealed IED components, this concept of smuggling components such as explosive mixtures inside of an operative poses a daunting challenge to security personnel — especially if the components are non-metallic. It is one thing to find a quantity of C-4 explosives hidden inside a laptop that is sent through an X-ray machine; it is quite another to find that same piece of C-4 hidden inside someone’s body. Even advanced body-imaging systems like the newer backscatter and millimeter wave systems being used to screen travelers for weapons are not capable of picking up explosives hidden inside a person’s body. Depending on the explosive compounds used and the care taken in handling them, this method of concealment can also present serious challenges to explosive residue detectors and canine explosive detection teams. Of course, this vulnerability has always existed, but it is now highlighted by the new tactical reality. Agencies charged with airline security are going to be forced to address it just as they were previously forced to address shoe bombs and liquid explosives.

Advanced body-imaging systems such as backscatter and millimeter wave systems?  Why, these are the imaging systems that produce the nude images that have infuriated the flying public.  The very machines that they say are imperative to our safety.  But what good are they if they won’t detect a bomb in a rectum?  For that matter, what good is an aggressive pat down that won’t detect a bomb in a rectum?  You know what would probably give this guy away, though?  His behavior (see the same Stratfor link).

A successful attack requires operatives not only to be dedicated enough to initiate a suicide device without getting cold feet; they must also possess the nerve to calmly proceed through airport security checkpoints without alerting officers that they are up to something sinister. This set of tradecraft skills is referred to as demeanor, and while remaining calm under pressure and behaving normal may sound simple in theory, practicing good demeanor under the extreme pressure of a suicide operation is very difficult. Demeanor has proven to be the Achilles’ heel of several terror plots, and it is not something that militant groups have spent a great deal of time teaching their operatives. Because of this, it is frequently easier to spot demeanor mistakes than it is to find well-hidden explosives.

In the end, it is impossible to keep all contraband off aircraft. Even in prison systems, where there is a far lower volume of people to screen and searches are far more invasive, corrections officials have not been able to prevent contraband from being smuggled into the system. Narcotics, cell phones and weapons do make their way through prison screening points. Like the prison example, efforts to smuggle contraband aboard aircraft can be aided by placing people inside the airline or airport staff or via bribery. These techniques are frequently used to smuggle narcotics on board aircraft.

Obviously, efforts to improve technical methods to locate IED components must not be abandoned, but the existing vulnerabilities in airport screening systems demonstrate that emphasis also needs to be placed on finding the bomber and not merely on finding the bomb. Finding the bomber will require placing a greater reliance on other methods such as checking names, conducting interviews and assigning trained security officers to watch for abnormal behavior and suspicious demeanor. It also means that the often overlooked human elements of airport security, including situational awareness, observation and intuition, need to be emphasized now more than ever.

Profiling will work.  And has worked.  The Israelis use it.  And they should know a thing or two about keeping bombers off of airplanes.  From the ticket purchase, to the security line to the boarding gate, someone should be asking questions and observing.  And only those they flag should we pull aside for enhanced security screening.  And then and only then, should we violate their naughty bits

It’s Better to Offend a Few than Sexually Batter Everyone

Sexually battering our women and children may seem like tough safety precautions.  But it’s humiliating.  Unclean.  And most important of all, ineffective.  It reminds me of a MAD Magazine cartoon I read long ago as a child. 

A banker was explaining their impenetrable vault to a prospective depositor.  It had every possible advanced security feature you could imagine.  Then the prospective depositor asked what the unplugged electrical cord lying on the floor outside the vault was for.  The banker cleared his voice and said meekly that it was the plug for the super-secure vault.  And that someone must have tripped over the cord and pulled it from the outlet.  But to assuage any doubts the customer had, he assured him that they normally secured that plug to the outlet with a piece of scotch tape.

And this is what the TSA has given us.  A super expensive, complex and invasive security program that some guy with a bomb up his pooper can easily defeat.  Instead of studying behavior, the TSA plays with our genitals.  And tries not to offend people who ‘look’ similar to past terrorists.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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