The Blame Game, Reversed

I return for this evening with a short article giving my thoughts on the recent terrorist attempt on Christmas day. I certainly appreciate everyone’s patience as I spend the holiday week with my son. Time with him these days is so very limited, so it is nice to be able to appreciate it while I can. Before I know it he will be married with a family of his own, and spending time with dad will become a secondary priority. It seems to me that the Republicans are too eager to jump on both the President and his administration, along with the security agencies, in respect to this failed attempt to bring down another plane. I am not sure that I can get on board with that assessment. I don’t blame the President for this breakdown. And I don’t think the calls for his head because he is on vacation are warranted. So I figured I would weigh in…

As most of you know, the story is that a Nigerian national who was a member of Al Qaeda brought explosive powder of some type on to a plane heading from Amsterdam to Detroit. Towards the end of the flight he attempted to ignite the explosives and bring down the plane. Fortunately the detonator malfunctioned and he was unable to carry out the attack in the way that he had hoped. In the end, no one was injured on the plane. And that was simply a matter of luck.

My disgust began yesterday, when I was listening to John Gibson on the radio. He was dedicating the majority of the program to lambasting the President for not immediately hopping onto Air Force One and flying back to Washington DC to deal with a possible terrorist attack. I find this line of reasoning simply ridiculous. Gibson was also harping on the fact that because of the time difference, the President’s handlers were reluctant to wake the President, and he thus did not find out about the attempted attack for a whole three hours after it occurred. Finally, the main statement I heard again and again from callers was there anger that the President was out playing golf while people out there are planning attacks on the United States.

I have to say that I find this line of reasoning childish. What exactly would be the purpose of canceling his vacation and flying back to the White House? Does anyone actually believe that by being in the White House as opposed to being in Hawaii would somehow change the course of action or make us safer in some way? If anyone here feels that way, I would be interested in hearing the logic behind such a belief. The fact is that the President is just as connected and informed while in Hawaii as he would be in Washington. He still gets briefings each morning on intelligence. He still has the ability to do whatever needs to be done should we find that this was not an isolated incident.

And, as I have said before, the job of being President of the United States is a tough gig. Constant scrutiny, long days, daily major decisions, and the massive responsibilities that go with the position all come together to make being POTUS one of the toughest jobs that I can imagine. To that end, he needs a break every now and then. He needs to recharge his batteries just like everyone else. Despite the fact that so many see him as the Messiah, the fact remains that he is just a man, nothing more. He has earned a vacation. That he didn’t immediately cancel it and come home is not an issue for me. Should that be the expectation, I fear that the President would never be able to enjoy his family or take a vacation. There is always a crisis looming, and certainly having Rahm Emanuel back there to ensure that any crisis is not wasted means that the country is just fine without the President coming out and giving an address from the Oval office.

There is even more criticism on this topic for the President with the belief that these terrorist attacks are happening because the “world believes that the Obama administration is weak on terror and will do nothing in retaliation.” I say more hogwash. I don’t see the President doing anything different than his predecessors that would embolden terrorists. To think that a plan like this was enacted because of the perceived weakness of the US Government is like blaming the owner of a Ferrari when the car gets stolen. It makes no sense and has no thread of sanity to it.

The fact is that the President has done nothing different with national security that should open him up to these kinds of accusations. In fact he has done nothing but apologize for the US over and over. The reality is that the radicals in the muslim community could care less what he said to a gathering at the University of Cairo. Apology or not, they see troops in their region, a lack of respect from America in general, and a President that simply continues the foreign policies of the previous administration that he is so keen to blame for everything. He can’t blame Bush for this one, and the reality is that conservatives cannot blame Obama either. The radicals are just that; radical. And they are going to attempt to attack the United States or her interests abroad.

Tonight’s news discusses that we had credible information that an attack was forthcoming and the agencies were powerless to stop it because the red tape and turf mentality of those organizations. I agree that this is an issue, but it is one that we have seen played out over and over throughout the last three administrations. This is, however, an area where the US needs to do a better job with handling the intelligence and ensuring that other agencies are alerted and empowered to act on that intelligence.

Unfortunately, I think that this failure to communicate is there because of the witch trials that have gone on surrounding the FBI, CIA, and NSA. When acting on intelligence is viewed by the American people based on the actual outcome, I can certainly understand the reluctance to deal with the issues. To have acted pre-emtively would have simply started a war of words, as those opposed would attack the administration for profiling or hastily infringing on another’s rights. It was a no win situation, that fortunately ended up with the best possible outcome that could be hoped for.

I guess the point for me is that there are going to be times where I will call out the President for moves I disagree with. But not here, and not now. Conservatives that are reaching the desperation point where they begin to criticize these silly claims and assumptions are somewhat pathetic at this point. There is not a single reason that I can see to place the blame for this incident on the Obama administration. So the conservative radio, print and TV need to get a grip and stop acting like children. Remember how outraged you were when people were so critical of Bush’s actions the morning of the 9/11 attacks. Now they are doing the same thing. And it sickens me to the point where I realize that the Republicans are so lost right now, I am not sure they will ever get out of the maze. Too bad we can’t lose the rest of the Congress in that maze.

Bottom line for me… Enjoy your vacation Mr. President. Ignore the childish ramblings from the conservative radio jet set. They are simply showing themselves to be petty and whiny at this point.

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Comments

  1. Posting for comments. Just one thing this early, I think political correctness will cost lives in the future, as well as continue to erode liberty.

    G!

  2. Buck the Wala says:

    USW: Haven’t been on the site in a few days due to work; great article to come back to. Hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays with your son.

    Will be reading along today, commenting where possible.

    Have a great one!

    –Buck

  3. I agree that the man deserves a vacation. There’s not much he could have done. But then he went and said this was an isolated radical. According to the media, al Queda in Yemen says there are many others willing to do the same thing. Let’s go back to calling these scum bags “terrorists” and stop the PC nonsense.

    • The president initially tried to down play the incident and pretend it was not terrorism. As Wasabi pointed out, he tried stating the man was an isolated radical. The president deserved criticism for that position and he has now changed his stance because it did not match reality.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Yes, there are hundreds, thousands, of others willing to do the same as this guy. He is a terrorist. He may not be an isolated radical, but this was clearly an isolated incident.

      • Luckily this guy failed, but it only takes one successful attack to change everything.

        • It wasn’t luck that made him fail.

          He could not succeed.

          The best he could have done is what he did – caught himself on fire and burn himself badly.

          Downing the plane – not a chance.

          • So are you saying that he didn’t have the potential to destroy the plane? Asking an honest question here, please enlighten me.

          • As was done, I would agree. But placed in the right spot, yes, you can bring down a plane. Timing can have a significant impact as well, during takeoff or landing, reaction time is critical. A loss of control for a few seconds could be fatal.

            • Wasabi,

              That is exactly what I am saying.

              The greatest threat he had was to himself. And he succeeded.

              LOI,

              He could have placed it anywhere he wanted and it would have done…nothing.

              People have interesting ideas about airplanes. People make planes fragile where they ar not. They are not fragile in the manner most think they are – they can hit a bird at nearly the speed of sound and… it causes a dent.

            • 65 terrorist attacks since 1921 – if that (depending on definition)

              Of those, 7 are air related.

              And over this, such nonsense as a response….

              It is more important to put on your seat belt than worry about this dribble.

      • Sorry Buck but you’re in denial too.:)

        • Buck The Wala says:

          How is one guy boarding a plane with an explosive device not an isolated incident?

          Yes, he is working with others. Yes, he is a terrorist. But let’s be real, this was an isolated incident: one man attempting to bring down one plane on one day. This was not, as far as I know, a coordinated event.

          • Would it be something different if there were three more with him with boxcutters?

            Just sayin

            • Buck The Wala says:

              yes and no.

              Not completely the same, but take a group of 3 guys. They rob a house – isolated incident. They rob 5 houses – not so isolated. Or 3 guys rob a house – isolated. Another 3 guys rob another house (both groups are affiliated) – not isolated.

              I’m not trying to make light of what happened or argue that it was not terrorism. It was. But it was also an isolated incident.

              • You’re contradicting yourself Buck. You cant have it both ways.

                What’s your solution?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                How am I contradicting myself?

                A terrorist attack can easily be an isolated incident. This was such an incident.

                In the end, it really doesn’t matter though — either way, there was a terrorist attack. Thankfully it failed.

              • So you’re saying he thought of the Jihad concept all on his own?

              • I think your arguing about a different definition here-the point to me is the fact that the President keeps downplaying the importance of these attacks, such as Fort Hood and this recent plane incident by using words like isolate incidents. -My question is why? What is his motivation?

              • One attack is isolated. This started years ago. How many more incidents do we need?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Look, its all about semantics and honestly I don’t think it matters much if this is classified as an isolated incident or not.

                Either way, it demonstrated a terrible failure of our security systems and should (hopefully) come as a wake up call.

              • Buck:

                You have created a definition of “isolated” that precludes the existance of anything but an isolated terrorist attack.

                Each suicide bomber kills himself in the act. Thus preventing that individual from performing another attack. Your definition appears to require multiple attacks by the same person or persons. Thus it can not happen with the use of suicide attacks. Thus it is “always isolated”.

                This was not an isolated attack. It was one of many attacks perpetrated by an organization of people who wish to do us harm. The attacks are conducted for similar purpose and are not random or individual in their nature.

                It appears you are falling into the trap of helping POTUS play the word game of determining what the meaning of IS, IS.

                He misspoke, plain and simple. It reveals something about either his inexperience or personal value system. We still don’t know which.

                Hope you had a great Christmas with your new bride.
                JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                It was a great first married Christmas –went to a movie and ordered in Chinese food! Hope you had a great time with your family as well.

                My definition does not preclude a terrorist attack from being anything but isolated. I would not define 9/11 as an isolated attack and dont’ see how it could be construed as an isolated attack.

                This is not the same though. Obama did misspeak in labelling him an isolated radical. I thought he had called this an isolated incident, which I would agree with. Clearly I heard wrong.

                But at the end of the day, it is irrelevant.

                Any big plans for New Years?

              • Matt:

                Everything matters, if you wish to live a full and flourishing life.

                That includes what appears at the moment to be a semantic argument. For what is semantics except the use of language in a manner to convey a specific message.

                So, please explain why you view this as an “isolated attack”. How does your definition address the factors of time and space, as well as the number of players.

                No plans for New Years. Been very quiet since the big kids left home. We used to torch our Christmas tree and whatever other woody debris we accumulated over the year, on New Years Eve at the stroke of midnight.

                On the eve of 2000 we torched what had been a chicken coop and a pig barn. It was most grand for the millenium. But after 18 years of tradition, that one drew in the fire department.

                Then the govt stepped in and outlawed burning at night and burning in the winter.

                Next year my young fellow, do not order chinese or anything else. Fix your young bride a fine meal with all the trappings. It doesn’t matter what the cuisine, just that you take the time to prepare it and make it very special. It will serve you well when later the little ones start to appear.

                Best wishes
                JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Come on JAC, you know better than to confuse me with Matt!

                As for ordering Chinese, that’s what we Jews do on Christmas – its our tradition!

                By isolated, I mean just that – it was one single incident. It doesn’t matter whether or not he had the backing of an entire group of people. I understand your point that this was one of many terrorist attacks perpetrated by an organization. This is true as well, but it doesn’t take away the fact that this was not a systemic, coordinated attack (as 9/11 was). It was an isolated incident by a terrorist who belongs to a terrorist organization.

              • Buck:

                You are NOT Matt, sorry. A Freudian slip of the fingers I guess.

                Jewish or not, start cooking. You will find it a great “family” builder.

                And your young wife will cherish you even more.

                So as you describe it, an “isolated” attack is a single attack on a given day. But can it involve more than one person?

                If such an attack requires planning by more than one person does it remain an “isolated” attack?

                It seems to me that we usually apply “isolated” to those things which stand alone. Unrelated to other things with respect to intent.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                haha — I love cooking; cook practically every day for the Mrs. But Christmas is that special time of the year for Chinese food. I will take your advice to heart though; its very true from my own experiences!

                I’ll have to give some more thought to my definition of ‘isolated attack’. But briefly put, yes, an isolated attack can involve more than one individual acting in concert. If this is not an isolated incident, how would you describe it?

              • Buck:

                I would call it just one more attack, or a single attack, in a series of related attacks.

                Part of a concerted and organized effort by those who planned it and trained the idiot to try and pull it off.

                The problem with the word “isolated” is that it leads one to think of a single event that will not be repeated. While it is a single event it most certainly is part of a larger coordinated effort.

                So lets call it a “single” attack.

                By the way, which movie did you and the missus see over the holiday?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I think I can get behind calling it a ‘single attack’. One caveat though: I don’t know how much this guy was actually trained to pull off this specific attack, if at all. Seems to me pretty ridiculous.

                Went to see Nine – very different, but very interesting movie. Had no idea what it was about when I went to see it, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

              • Buck:

                You mean Area 9? Alien Prawns!!!

                If so, yes it was very strange. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I expected from the promo’s.

                I am guessing the bomber had some training. But obviously not enough. Someone had to put up money for the flight and select the flight. Guessing it wasn’t this character, but that is just guessing.

                Anyhow, the whole thing of the donkeys and elephants yelling back and forth over this added a little humor to the radio the past few days. I get a kick out of listening to them call each other names spit at each other.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Nope, not alien 9, just Nine — by the same guy that did Chicago.

                I wouldn’t be surprised if it later comes out this guy had some ties to Al Qaeda but put this whole thing together largely on his own. Didn’t he pay for the ticket, one way, in cash?

              • Buck:

                I vaguely remember some promos for another Nine. What was it about?

                If you haven’t already, take Mrs. to see The Blind Side. A great story, told well.

                Have you seen Invictus yet? Looking for feedback before I drop $20 to take the Mrs. to the movies.

                Oh yeah, the guy did pay cash for the ticket. Which of course is supposed to be a prime trigger of suspicion. That and the “one-way”. He claims he was trained by Al Qaeda. They claim him as one of theirs. Guess time will tell just to what extent they were all in cahoots with each other.

                Not sure it matters though. These guys are trying to recruit folks like this to conduct further attacks. So that is why I say NOT ISOLATED but for sure SINGLE attack.

                Perhaps you and I would make better Press Secretaries that the one Mr. Obama has currently. Careful and precise use of words does matter at times, especially in the political world.

                Something along “There is no reason to panic as this appears to be a single attack. We have no evidence of other impending attacks. We are concerned that the attacker was able to skirt existing security and have odered an in depth review of procedures to see what changes are needed. We will make no further comments until we know the actual facts surrounding this person and the events that led to him being on that flight. Thank you for your time and patience.”

                Have a great evening
                JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Words and labelling definitely do matter in politics. When I said it was irrelevant, I meant solely between you and me. I’ll sign on to your statement though – much better than what these clowns are coming up with!

                Nine was an old broadway show turned into a movie — Italian director who is unable to write up his next movie due to all the women in his life (deceased mother, wife, mistress, prostitute, actress, etc.) Very well done.

                I’ve heard good things about Invictus, but haven’t seen it myself. Hard to justify that $20 these days! I’ll take a look into the Blind Side.

                Have a great night.

  4. From what I have read, this sounded like a total failure. The terrorist was on a watch list. He was denied a visa from England. His father, a leading Nigerian banker informed the U.S. Embassy that his son was a risk. He paid for a one-way ticket with cash. He had no luggage. Tell me what I’m missing? http://www.MDWhistleblower.blogspot.com

    • Mkirschmd,

      Matches my thoughts. The state dept. has fought to keep the authority for screening, but does not use it? Visiting the US is not a “right”, it is a privilege we allow at our discretion, and can withhold to anyone, anytime.
      So why would the state dept. issue him a visa, or not revoke it after his father reported his son’s condition. Bureaucratic incompetence.

      As for Obama, he carries the blame for his choice of Homeland security director. I agree on his vacation and the conservative media attack is bulldookey.

      I think Janet Napolitano needs to be fired. First, why are we allowing foreigners on OUR terrorist data base to make multiple visits to the US?
      Do we supply them with brochures on the best spots to commit a terrorist attack? Second, her stating the “system worked” is so idiotic and incompetent that its beyond any defense. A frigging Danish passenger saved everyone, where our “government” proved it could not find its @ss in a bucket, with a hundred “agencies” looking.

      And USW, how dare you defend Obama? Turn in your “right wing extremist” membership card at once!

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/25/AR2009122501355.html

      Plane suspect was listed in terror database after father alerted U.S. officials

      The failed plane bombing in Detroit

      A Nigerian man, claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, allegedly tried to set off an incendiary device aboard a trans-Atlantic airplane on Christmas Day as it descended toward Detroit’s airport. The White House called it an attempted act of terrorism.

      By Dan Eggen, Karen DeYoung and Spencer S. Hsu
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Sunday, December 27, 2009

      A Nigerian man charged Saturday with attempting to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day was listed in a U.S. terrorism database last month after his father told State Department officials that he was worried about his son’s radical beliefs and extremist connections, officials said.
      This Story

      The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was added to a catch-all terrorism-related database when his father, a Nigerian banker, reported concerns about his son’s “radicalization and associations” to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a senior administration official said. Abdulmutallab was not placed on any watch list for flights into the United States, however, because there was “insufficient derogatory information available” to include him, another administration official said.

      Abdulmutallab was granted a two-year tourist visa by the U.S. Embassy in London in June 2008. He used the visa to travel previously to the United States at least twice, officials said.

  5. Good Day Everyone. I hope you are enjoying your time with your son USW!
    I agree with you that him flying back in a moment to DC would not have changed anything. I shake my head when I see people complaining on how it was handled and that this is all Obama fault. I will have to throw a BS flag on that one.
    Yes there was failures in the system, no question. People are not sharing information again. But the system is what has been for 8 years. So pointing fingers now is a little whiny to me.
    And my question is what would they have changed?

    Lets be serious and get over the BS that politicans are trying to throw at us. I get tired of hearing from either side.

  6. Interesting topic today since I live 1.5 miles from Detroit Metro Airport. as I commented the other day, Metro Airport is not located in Detroit but 30 miles SW of Detroit in a small community. Even though Detroit is falling apart my town is small town USA and shares the same ideals as middle America.

    I agree that it’s unfair to blame the POTUS for this one but I think the pressure is on simply to keep the president’s eye on the ball. Everyone is aware how he has softened the blow on terrorism but the reality is the terrorist aren’t letting up. His most important task is to keep the country safe. Personally, I dont think his comments on the attack were harsh enough. Matter of fact he called the terorist and isolated extremist. Gimme a break. Home many things have to happen before he comes out of denial.

    There is enough blame to go around. The guys father threw a warning out about his own son. Who dropped the ball there? Security in the Amsterdam Airport should have been better too. Then on our side of the pond Janet Napolitano’s flip flopping hasn’t helped either. Staying alive trumps political correctness.

    • Anita

      The father reported his son’s behavior to the US Embassy in Nigera if I am not mistaken. I would start there and let the heads roll as needed. Each department trying to keep their own secrets. Again.

  7. The People should boycott the airlines for one month.

    The passengers have no power. The TSA is there for the airlines, not the people.

    Thus, the People get stripped, poked, villianized, abused and no one cares.

    Hit the airlines with a boycott. The airlines will get TSA to change.

    • Sell the TSA to the Israelis ! Whats their record on airline terrorist attacks?

    • Totally agree BF. No blanket, no bathroom breaks, $ charged for luggage. They should just put us all in boxes on a FedEx plane and knock us out with drugs so we sleep the whole way. What an inhuman, comfort-less way to travel. I don’t mind the 6-hour road trip to Houston that I have to make 5-6 times a year.

    • BF

      I am with you on this one. A good long boycott of the Airlines would really start to put the pressure on people.

      Right now they want us to believe that they are in charge of everything. Really now. Stupid thought it was the people paying $600 for ticket, $50 for a bag etc.

  8. LOI,

    There is a huge difference in scale.

    USA Cities (2000); 10,016
    Israel Cities (2005); 78

    USA airline flights per DAY: 156,000
    Israel airline flights per YEAR: 82,000

    What works there, will most definitely not work in the USA.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      BF, in your opinion could it work if the US instituted such a policy only on international flights to the US?

      I know El-Al does a massive screening of all passengers – taking them aside one by one to question them, etc.) – on international flights to Israel. Not sure if they mimic that level of security on domestic flights within Israel though.

      • I’ve visited Israel only once a very long time ago (and it was a short vacation trip) – what they do today, I have no idea.

        There is an excellent strategy that the Germans use – its called “Look and Watch, and don’t annoy the passengers”.

        They have well-trained security that looks for anomalies, like the case where a French Algerian was wearing a British Soccer team sweater. The French security knew no self-respecting Frenchmen would ever wear a British soccer team sweater. Guess what? He was a terrorist.

        • Sorry, I meant “German” security, not French.

          The guy was French….

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I’m all for ‘look and watch’ so long as security is specifically trained for that purpose, as they should be.

          Israel goes a step further though. They have agents actually interview each passenger (at least on international flights to Israel). They don’t ask idiotic questions like “Did you pack your own bag?” but just chat with the passengers. Some may argue that it is intrusive and why subject the innocent to such interviews, but the system works extremely well and it is a known ‘cost’ of flying to Israel.

          • It is easy to interview passengers like Israel does when you are facing 2 million a year.

            When its 712 million a year… you believe they can interviews is a viable process???

            I think people do not understand the massive size of US air travel.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              No, I don’t think its viable or even possible to interview every single passenger on an international flight to the US.

              I agree with your classification of the problem as a human problem and not technological in your post below.

              What I would argue needs to be done is a combination of the German and Israeli systems — train agents to walk around, look and watch. At the slightest hint of anything, interview them Israeli style. The current system we have is a joke, everyone knows that including the TSA. Sadly, most Americans are content with the current system because it makes them feel safe.

      • Buck

        I was in Isreal in 2002 several times, and their security was no joke. But I see our scale being much bigger with alot more people.

        I am all for a bunch of new stuff in the way of security. Body Scanners, dogs etc

        • Ellen,

          I am absolutely against such things like body scanning.

          The biggest problem with approaching security in this manner is that it creates a philosophy that security is a technology problem.

          Security is not a technology problem

          It is a human problem.

          As evidenced by this current example, a human bypassed all the technology in place.

          Human engineering attacks will always confound the technology. Technology means you know every attack vector. But such a theory is false. You cannot know every FUTURE attack vector, only those ones that have been used in the past.

          Break out of the stupidity of technology as an answer. It is a tool – a weak one at that.

          Start using humans – humans are keenly aware of what humans do or would do.

          Machines are not.

          • BF

            I would agree with that if we would train and put the accurate number of humans needed at the airports. But I still believe in machines mixed with humans. Because we make mistakes, that is what makes us human. So I figured a mixture of both would be a great help.

            • Ellen,

              But that is not people work.

              People are lazy. This is why we invented machines.

              When a machine is used to do a job, humans stop doing that job.

              Technology provides “theater” security. It looks good, but isn’t real.

              If you want real security, we should listen to Kent.

              Come armed on the plane. Good luck to any “hijacker”.

              PS: When I was working in Switzerland – too many life times ago – I flew a lot all around the country.

              We would go to board a commercial jet. We’d pull out our sidearms, lay them one the ‘coin tray’, walk thru the detector and pick up our sidearms on the other side. No questions, no fuss.

              I wonder why there has been only one hijacked Swiss Air flight (in 1970)??? (and it was well before my time in Switzerland) – hmmm….

              • just make sure everyone on the plane uses rat shot, that way they can’t puncture the cabin and depressurize it, but it will still take an attacker down… 🙂

    • And their population is over seven million, while ours is around 300 million.
      Can’t never could, good sir. My point, look at what works, see if all or parts of it can be applied here.

      I at least expected you support of selling TSD and making it a private company.

  9. OK, let me play devils advocate here…It is the POTUS’s fault. Janet Napolitano is his choice for the Homeland Security Director, and he is the captain of this ship. US, you should know that the man in command is the one at fault, or will assume the blame…even if he has no direct interaction with the particular failure.

  10. Kristian Stout says:

    I was watching the news this morning as I was getting ready for work and I heard some talking head saying something about the “Crotch Bomber” (give me a break) being depressed and lonely and that’s why he tried to blow up the plane. Are these people serious?

  11. @Black Flag, don’t agree that difference in scale between Israel and us is relevant. We also have a different scale with regard to available resources. Do you think that if Israel were 5 times as large as it is, that they wouldn’t still have the safest air travel in the world? They have the right process, which we have not adopted. What have we accomplished since 9/11? Locked cockpit doors? Taking our shoes off? How much confidence to you have in the TSA folks? Have you ever flown El Al? I have and it’s in a different security orbit. http://www.MDWhistleblower.blogspot.com

    • mkirschmd,

      Scale is important.

      Almost everything in reality is a curve – imagine a snowball down a slope. The velocity at the bottom is not the same at the top.

      The availability of resources may be larger – true. However, getting the resources to vastly disperse areas is also larger.

      They do not move parallel. They are two, different, curves – and the “size of the nation” curve is steeper than the “allocation of vast resources” curve – that is, you may have the resources, but it won’t reach their necessary locations in time or in quantity.

      Another way, think of an army. It is far easier to move a company (~200 men) than a division (~15,000 men). The logistics are profoundly different.

      The risk is the square of the number of entry points. So if we use “security risk quotient” as the square of the cities, Israel’s is 6048.

      The USA is: 100,320,256 or about 16,000 times greater.

      So, no, if Israel was 5 times larger, their security arrangements would be wholly different.

  12. “There was a mix of human and systemic failures that contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security,” These are not my words. President Obama said them yesterday.

  13. V. Holland and others,

    The Prez downplaying these incidents is precisely the correct thing to do.

    “Terrorism” is a facade.

    These are simply “crimes”.

    Making them some sort of global war-based ‘thingy’ creates the consciousness that the USA needs to invade the world.

    Making these things acts of people who are criminals – one simply calls the Police or FBI.

    These are acts of criminals. Deal with it at that level.

    • I just don’t think it is that simple-we are currently in two wars about this “thingy”, so I can’t help but put most of these attacks as a continuation of those wars here.

    • Sorry BF….flag here….. The Somali Pirates are criminals…terrorists are not. They are an organized army no matter what spin you put on them and what ever criticism you wish to level towards me. These are not isolated incidents…it is a plan. It is also a plan that will not go away no matter what policy the US adopts:

      As quoted by Kalbe Sadiq, a noted Shia cleric and senior vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). “There is only one way to secure peace in the world and that is to be Muslim. It is the only true peace loving religion. While I may not support certain tactics, I will be the first to say that whatever tactic converts the non-believer is appropriate.” ( Taken from speech given to graduating students in Egypt, 2006.)

      Hmmmm. wonder what that means?

  14. USW:

    While I agree that the carping about Mr. Obama’s vacation is childish I disagree that he gets off scott free here. But the justification for criticizm comes primarily from Mr. Obama himself.

    If not for his stinging rhetoric against everything Bush and his claims of a “better way” for just about everything, we wouldn’t be hearing the loud attacks. Mr. Obama has provided us further proof that what goes around comes around. BF’s law of mutuality, or the simple do unto others what you wish done unto you.

    Ms. Napalotano has had a year to find and fix problems in the system. That after all was what the Dems claimed would be their priority, along with their fearless leader. She obviously failed. He appointed her tot he job. He is responsible for that action.

    And to compound the situation both she and Mr. Obama jumped out there with stupid statements about everything worked and it was an isolated individual. So I go back to my comment above. Their public statements display something about either their level of experience (ability to do the job) or their actual attitudes about the issue.

    If it is experience then someone needs to find a new job. If it is the latter, then we may be in serious trouble.

    Best wishes to you and your family.
    Enjoy your son to the fullest while you can.
    JAC

  15. USW….. I agree that requiring the CIC to jump on AF One just to come to the White House to “look” Presidential would serve no purpose whatsoever. Hell, leave him on vacation…he can do less damage that way. As a Colonel once in charge of 5500 men/women, there was no way I would know all possible problem areas. There are procedures for such and no matter who is in charge, the procedures are designed, or should be designed, to keep the CIC, commander, or whomever is in charge….properly informed. The SOP should be to handle the problem and just inform the CIC. This is the breakdown.

    Please observe: As you know, I am currently under part time DOD contract for 2.5 years and assigned to the National Guard Army. My contract calls for 20 hours per week but that has increased. My level of expertise is combat tactics and combat logistics. My area of concern according to the contract is the Texas border areas and coordinating civilian and military units patrolling the border and coordinating logistic control between civilian and military units. ( Unit defined in the civilian world as department ). ( We have to use National Guard and not Federal troops, according to law. )

    Consider this: (1) The Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol) does not use the same radio frequencies as the military or other civilian authority. They do not use the same phonetic alphabet either. (2) The DEA does not use the same radio frequencies as the DPS or the military and uses an even different phonetic alphabet. (3) The Immigration Service, likewise, has its own frequencies different than the previous three but uses the same phonetic alphabet as the DPS. (4) The Border Patrol does not have the same frequencies as the other four and uses an bastardized version of the military phonetic alphabet. Get the picture?

    Now consider this, each one of these Departments and Units have their own intelligence system, not tied to the same computers as the United States or Customs Service nor are they tied to each other. In short, they do not have access to the same lists as the Feds and there is no coordination between the Feds and the State and no coordination between the state and locals.

    Keep considering here….the National Guard is a patrol only force that supports the others. While patrolling, they come upon a group of illegals crossing the border. In this group of illegals, there is an armed drug runner. Since the National Guard is not on orders from the governor to use deadly force unless fired upon, their job is to separate and detain. The poor Sgt in charge of the patrol has radio contact with his TOC (Tactical Ops Center) and calls it in. The TOC, in turn, must pick up a phone and call, INS, FBI, DPS, and the Border Patrol and the local police. Each is an individual call. There is no ONE number to either call or radio and no monitoring of the Sgt’s frequency because each department is its own autonomous department with jealousies beyond belief. No one is focused on the mission. Each individual department, then has the responsibility to determine if it is even worth responding and if so, each department wants the credit and the full say so. In the meantime, that SGT still has a group of illegals, a drug runner, and weapons under arrest not to mention the drugs. What should be a 30 minute operation turns into a quagmire….each civilian agency not wanting to take partial responsibility and there is no full responsibility to take charge. The National guard cannot verify identities because no one carries identity crossing the border and so we fingerprint them. However, we are not allowed to run the fingerprints through the system because there is no coordination between agencies. The computer systems for these departments are obsolete or do not “talk” to each other and when the fingerprints are sent in to see if there is a wanted “criminal” among the bunch….it cannot be accomplished. In the meantime, the poor Sgt is still sitting there with a bunch of illegals, a drug runner, and drugs and weapons while the “SYSTEM” is working. ( That is more of a contradiction in terms than Obama is worthy)…..

    Get the picture? It is the failed system that we have and the failure and petty jealousies of each department. It is a system that is NOT working. AND IT DOES NOT MATTER IF MUSLIMS ARE CAPTURED AT THE BORDER. It is the same damn thing. Nobody is working and everybody is blaming the other.

    And this is just at the Texas Border. In the meantime, we tell the ranchers to arm themselves and patrol their own fences. Do not shoot until they are on your land. Order them in ENGLISH to stop and if they do not, assume they are unfriendly and protect your property however you see fit. Deadly force if necessary. If they are killing cattle, cutting fences, stealing water, or breaking into line shacks…defend your property. If the ranchers need help, they call the National Guard now and not the local or state police because they argue jurisdictions. It is INSANE.

    This is how government works….UNBELIEVABLE.

    So, in short….it is the system that allowed this to happen on that flight. Not the POTUS.

    However…I will disagree with you that this was an isolated incident. These are not isolated at all. These people are trained (albeit poorly)and they have a mission. Pure and Simple.

    • Street gangs in LA have a mission and are trained.

      Mafia in New York have a mission and are trained.

      The Boyz in the ‘Hood have a mission and are trained.

      With such a weak definition, we end up making everyone a terrorist, resulting in war tactics upon the citizens.

      • Have no problem with the four definitions as you have espoused.

      • BF:

        I will have to disagree with your use of definitions today.

        “With such a weak definition, we end up making everyone a terrorist, resulting in war tactics upon the citizens.”

        Your assertion is only true if employed by a weak minded people. The definition should stand by itself and not be dependant on what the weak minded do with it.

        Criminals have financial motivations or control of territory for financial purposes.

        Terrorists have political motivations and use their tactics to affect the economic or political decisions of others (both citizens and politicians).

        I agree that the word terrorist and terrorism is overused. And there is merit to the point that yelling constantly and in a loud voice gives these characters global credibility, but lets not ignore the differences between the two types for purely political reasons.

        That would make us no better than the progressives who have been slowly changing the meaning of our words for decades.

        Warmest thoughts to you and your family this chilly day.
        JAC

        • Criminals have political motives as well; hence the bribes of civic officials, etc.

          Terror is a tactic of war. That is a vital component to the “Shock and Awe” strategy of the USA.

          The other side uses terror as a tactic of war.

          But to confuse that with some nut wearing flammable underwear causes two, dangerous, consequences:

          (1) over-reaction to crimes with tactics of war.

          (2) failure to recognize criminal acts and put in place process to spot CRIMINALS, instead of putting in place process that victimize everyone.

          • BF:

            It seems to me you are still trying to use the meaning of words to prevent the foolish actions of fools. It will not work.

            A fool acts in a foolish manner, regardless of the definitions applied.

            And the criminals who bribe officials are not motivated by political goals, control of politics is simply a means to their financial ends.

            That is why most politicians should be prosecuted as criminals.

            So I ask you. What should the definitions be for these various activities and perpetrators? How do we delineate War from some other act, and what do we call that other act?

            Perhaps it is time WE here propose our own defintions that will clearly describe those we are dealing with.

            • JAC,

              I, myself, couldn’t care less about the labels applied.

              However, these labels seem to cause other people to react bizarrely.

              It is this reaction that is disturbing, and since it comes from the labels, it is at the labeling that my complaint is drawn.

              When one paints an action as “Terrorist” – the response is military force.

              When one paints an action as “Criminal” the response is police force.

              So the question really is… do you want the military to respond or do you want the police to respond?

              There is great danger in invoking military force to deal with individuals and small groups.

              The military are not organized for such minuscule work, since their tools are made to deal with scales of magnitude up to destruction of entire populations. It is using a chain saw to deal with a sliver.

              Police force is organized to deal with individuals and small groups. It the needle to poke out the sliver.

              The military is properly used in response to an attack by another military.

              D13 claims he lives in reality, yet fails to recognize the reality.

              The military drops bombs on one man called a “terrorist leader”, killing him and 25 other innocent people around him. “Poof”, another few hundred enraged people gunning for the US.

              vs.

              Police arrest terrorist leader.
              ….
              ….
              ….

              No innocent people dead. No hundreds of enraged people.

              • Perhaps MY analogy is wrong, BF….but I liken it to someone riding in a car who is smoking Marijuana….both are guilty. You made a choice to ride with someone smoking an illegal substance and if the police stop you…you are guilty. In my analogy, the driver of a bank robber is just as guilty by association as the man who pulls the trigger in the bank robbery both guilty of murder. Again, the choice was made.

                If a group of “innocents” desire to hang out with a terrorist leader or gang leader….poof, as you put it, all are gone. It was a choice you are who you associate with….but that is the analogy of D13.

                I know that you disagree.

              • You’re right I disagee.

                Your analogies all require a positive choice.

                Your example with the terrorist-killing is a ‘negative’ choice.

                You do not differentiate a mother and her child walking down the street doing their own life and business and being suddenly obliterated.

                And that is the evil – creating the two scenarios as you present to be the same.

                You end up justifying the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent people simply because “they were there”.

    • D13:

      What you describe I would call a FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP at the highest levels.

      Your comments regarding radio protocol brought back some memories. When I first worked for US Forest Service we used the military protocol for everything. But as the agency’s culture changed, due to change in recruiting, hiring and emphasis, someone decided it was too “military like”. We were told to use simple sentences and keep it short. No more codes to describe multiword situations in a “clear” manner.
      I used to get a kick out of hearing some guy on the radio start using old code because I knew he was as old or older than me, and a rebel.

      Many of the problems you describe were supposed to be solved with FEMA’s efforts to organize and train. Remember all that federal money for “radios”? That was to give everyone access to the same set of emergency frequencies. Looks like that effor was just another case of pissing in the wind.

      Hope your Christmas was warm and full of joy my dear Colonel.
      JAC

      • JAC,

        They more confused government force is, the better.

        Heck, I’d suggest they all unify their communications to be only smoke signals.

        • Ahhh… but BF…I am working heartily to do the opposite…coordinate under one banner.

          Off story…try to convince me or any person on the business end of a weapon that a high speed projectile meant to poke holes in the body and deprive one of life…is not war. Even the police will tell you…when bullets fly…it is war….even with the gangs.

          • I posted a while back about what is called:

            “Revolution within the Form”

            …a process where words have their definitions changed into a wholly different meaning for the original meaning of the word.

            This way, things that are not what the word originally meant are suddenly thrust into that meaning.

            Going around and calling all violence “war” then makes the use of war tactics justified against all acts of violence.

            Thus, we use fighter jets to shoot down drug runners – ending up shooting down missionaries instead.

            Whilst using merely police force and arresting drug runners and thus avoiding the killing of flying missionaries – but now its a “War on Drugs”, thus a military response.

            When you begin to pervert the meanings of words – purposely – so to invoke a far greater and harsher response than what would have been reasonable is an act of evil.

        • BF:

          I was thinking just that as I typed out my comments to the Colonel. Perhaps it is best if they stay disfunctional.

          That and what we are seeing is the inevitable outcome of very large government. It provides an avenue for territorial and power struggles at a smaller scale within the confines of govt rather than between adjacent villages. Those who would seek power in the old days and then invade the village next door, now just seek out govt jobs where they can control their own little empires without fear of retribution by those they harm.

          • JAC says: That and what we are seeing is the inevitable outcome of very large government. It provides an avenue for territorial and power struggles at a smaller scale within the confines of govt rather than between adjacent villages. Those who would seek power in the old days and then invade the village next door, now just seek out govt jobs where they can control their own little empires without fear of retribution by those they harm.

            D13 Says: Righto…my friend….but much deeper than this…not just power…but power and money. They are not liking the scrutiny right now and, hence, even more reluctance for cooperation. Would not surprise me someday to have a shot thrown at me or a car bomb. I will admit to it being a two edged sword and not a braod one at that…but it is reality. Have to deal with reality.

      • Yo JAC….Christmas at home for a change was great. Enjoyed the “White Christmas” even if it was only 2 inches of snow…it was still white.

        Yes, it is a leadership problem and from the top down. If the SOP is not working, it must be changed and that takes leadership. You cannot have this wrangling about and political correctness has no place in National Security.

        Tip o th hat to you ,sir.

        • D13:

          Further proof the world is upside down. You get the white Christmas in Texas and I get the warm brown one in northern Idaho. Go figure.

          Tip o’ th hat back at you sir.

    • This brings up the idea of treating terrorist attacks as a crime instead of war crimes-if there is so little communication between different arms of our system-wouldn’t this make stopping these acts even harder if the wrong organization is handling and trying to stop these attacks.

    • Oh, and before you ask, sir….I once had some hair on the head. Dealing with this in a part time basis is hard enough. (Part time is relative now days)…hard to keep my other business going but managing so far…even being a political activist as well.

      I am trying to establish combat coordination between the civies and the military. It is exasperating but we are making headway and we have managed to decrease the number of illegal border crossings from Eagle Pass to El Paso by 81% ( These statistics are derived from the number of arrests and detainees )….Eagle Pass to Brownsville…well that is another story. There is so much corruption in city of Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville, it is pretty tough. Our intelligence is passed to the other side. Trying to correct that now.

  16. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I am going to SOMEWHAT play devil’s advocate here.

    The media and the left made such a stink about GW Bush playing golf that he had to pretty much give it up for the majority of his Presidency.

    And yet, when a “criminal” (as BF calls him) attempts to bring down a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, BH Obama can drive the golf cart to where the cameras are, address the public for two minutes, and drive the golf cart back to the next tee and continue playing.

    I agree that EVERY president deserves a vacation, but I am surprised that USW didn’t make it more clear in his article that this is clearly payback to the left for how they treated Bush and his love of golf 🙂

    Let’s not have double-standards here. Either ANY President is entitled to a vacation, or NONE are.

    Also, remember that at this point most people in the US are no better than whiney children, so hearing them say, “Bush got lambasted for golf being “more important” than national security, so by God we are going to lambaste Obama for the same thing, at least to point out their hypocrisy!” is not surprising.

  17. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    On the “crimiinal” vs. “terrorist” definition thingy we have going here:

    Let us say (for the sake of argument) that places like Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, perhaps Iran, and maybe other places as well do actually have training grounds for people like this guy that attempted to blow up this plane. As an aside, I believe that if he was not totally incompetent he probably could have done it. PETN combined with a glycol-based explosive is powerful stuff. I am not certain (and we may never be certain) if he had SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES to severely damage the plane or not, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of that stuff to create a pretty big explosion if detonated properly. So, I am curious… is BF saying that he did not have sufficient quantities to do serious damage, or that the explosives which he had were not sufficiently powerful, or that his proposed method of detonation never would have worked?

    Ok, back to my main point:

    1. IF “terrorist training camps” exist in Yemen and other places

    and

    2. IF people that are trained there are taught to use whatever opportunities present themselves to perform some sort of attack on the US or on US “interests”

    and

    3. IF they are taught that in most cases it is better NOT to attempt to coordinate with each other and at least appear to act independently, except in the rare case when a coordinated attack might be called for by leadership somewhere.

    and

    4. IF there is a leadership/organizational structure involved, even if it is not a “government”

    THEN

    These are not merely criminals.

    Of course, if some of those IFs are false, then it is much more likely that they are simply criminals.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State-sponsored_terrorism

      After the 1953 death of Stalin and subsequent destalinization, according to defector Ion Mihai Pacepa, the KGB continued its policy of supporting a number of terrorist organizations. KGB General Aleksandr Sakharovsky said that “In today’s world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon.”[50] He also claimed that “Airplane hijacking is my own invention”.[50] In 1969 alone 82 planes were hijacked worldwide by the KGB-financed PLO.[50]

      Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa also described operation “SIG” (“Zionist Governments”) that was devised in 1972,

      to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the United States.

      [50] According to him, KGB chairman Yury Andropov explained him that “a billion adversaries could inflict far greater damage on America than could a few millions. We needed to instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews throughout the Islamic world, and to turn this weapon of the emotions into a terrorist bloodbath against Israel and its main supporter, the United States.”

      • v. Holland says:

        I would say they were successful. I just have to wonder if they will be happy about it, when WW3 starts.

        • WW3 is highly unlikely. Part of the liberal movement in the US was instigated by the USSR, including their virtual take-over of the universities,
          which led to the media
          and the politicians.

          Look at their agenda,
          open borders,
          tax every producer,
          reward the non-workers.
          Tax and spend until the economy collapses.

          There will not be a “country” for anyone to wage a war against. We are being “conquered” from within.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            LOI,

            Notice that the method used to destroy an entire nation uses almost no actual “force” whatsoever!

            All it takes is a lot of patience, and the ability to take ideas (freedom, liberty, capitalism) that were once “mainstream” and replace them with radical ideas to the point where the radical ideas are now “mainstream” and ideas like freedom, liberty, and capitalism are called “radical”.

            • Peter,

              Yes, I have noticed them using “ideals” to bring about change. Ideals can be a great force, “from each according to his ability, to each, according to his need” sounds great, until reality comes into play.

              And the “pen” seems to be making the “sword” obsolete. I wonder how avoiding calling them terrorists plays into this? Change the name and re-define the argument.

          • v. Holland says:

            I agree with everything you say, I actually do see their agenda, but I’m just not convinced that they will succeed in our generation. I think that they are pushing so hard and so fast, that their plans may well backfire and hold off the one world government nightmare that I do believe is coming.

    • How about an appropriate response….Let us assume that all is correct and the “ifs” are true.

      Instead of military response…simply cut off trade and money….completely…totally…and if our banks and business’ are doing business with these countries and go bankrupt….let them.

      But we know that will not happen…. so let them exist…or make the country flat, black, and glow in the dark……nah….I am not a nuclear option sort of guy….

      I would much prefer to close off the country…completely…and then close off anyone who deals with them….but that will not happen either…..sigh.

      Got it….how about we leave everyone alone, sit around the campfire, roast marshmellows, and sing Kumbaya….and hope they will leave us alone…..nah….that won’t happen either…no one will leave us alone…and I will never get invited to the White House for a beer….damn….what is left Peter?

      • I always smirk at those that say “they’ll never leave us alone” all the while they’re the side that does all the poking and jabbing in other countries.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          Maybe it is just my cynical side coming out, but I think that even if we adopted the no-government people following the ZAP way of life, there are evil people in the world that would hate us simply because we did that.

          There is no way to eliminate every threat, and no way to ensure that everyone is going to play nice, even if you do leave them alone.

          Of course right now, we do a horrible job of leaving everyone alone, which does indeed make us more of a target. However, if/when we do finally wise up and start leaving everyone else alone, we would be naive to believe that absolutely everyone else is going to leave us alone 100% of the time. We are not the only source of evil in the world… there are PLENTY of others!

        • Wow…I get a laugh and a smirk…all in one day.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I am very interested in this topic actually. This is a very real issue where I would like to see actual opinions from BF and Kent especially. Specifically I am interested in the following:

        Let’s say that we decide to go the route that a truly free people would choose, and leave everyone else alone. Trade is allowed, of course, but we make the concious choice not to meddle in the affairs of other people/countries and we most certainly do not initiate violence against other people/countries.

        One could then ATTEMPT to make the argument that we would not be attacked, because other countries would not see us as a threat, and would be LIKELY to treat us in the way that we treat them.

        HOWEVER, this may not end up being what happens in reality. Other people and other countries, most especially any that still had GOVERNMENTS, would probably be able to drum up a whole bunch of reasons to attack a land of free and non-agressive people.

        Perhaps they would want our land, perhaps they would want our resources, perhaps they would simply hate us for our true freedom… who knows? As we all know, countries who have governments are VIOLENT.

        So, even assuming that we reach the ultimate goal of an organized, civilized society which has transcended government, what can/can’t we do to defend ourselves against those that might attack us?

        Yes, it is true that we have a pretty big geographic advantage here that makes it very difficult for any other country to mount any sort of large-scale attack on our soil short of launching ICBMs (at least at this time), so it is extremely unlikely that we would have to be prepared against a large-scale invasion. Large-scale invasion of the US really isn’t practical, at least the way things are now.

        It seems like for the most part, leaving everyone alone is certainly the best option (and if you wanna sit around a campfire roasting marshmallows and singing Kumbaya have at it I suppose :))

        However, us leaving everyone else alone DOES NOT GUARANTEE that we will be left alone. It only gives us the BEST OPPORTUNITY of being left alone. If someone decides to NOT leave us alone, we need to make sure we have the ability to respond promptly and appropriately, no matter what the scale of the attack on us.

        • How would a free society that spans a large geographic area be defeated? There would be no government that would be authorized to surrender, and no bureaucracy to be co-opted by the invaders. There would be no “Capitol” to take over and rule from. Instead you would have to get each and every individual to either die or surrender (or at least enough make any hold-outs irrelevant). You would need an awful lot of occupying troops to accomplish that.

          Not saying it would be impossible, just more costly than it would be worth.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Kent,

            Yes, indeed it would be more costly than it was worth, but that would not necessarily prevent some megalomaniacal nutjob from giving it a shot 🙂

            I agree that defeating a society of free individuals would be nearly impossible provided that the society of free individuals was appropriately armed for their own defense though.

          • Kent:

            It would not be costly at all.

            We did it with free blankets to the plains indians. Blankets infected with small pox of course.

            We didn’t need to attack the people, just kill off their primary food source.

            We set tribe against tribe, expanding on already existing jealousies.

            • Of course, we now understand the germ theory of disease, and in a free society we would have machine guns.

              We also (well, most of us here) understand that if the government “gives” you something, it is always VERY costly.

          • Cropdusters and a biological weapon tailored to the genome of whatever group of people you wanted to kill would do the trick. Would be very cheap and very effective.

    • “So, I am curious… is BF saying that he did not have sufficient quantities to do serious damage”

      Correct.

      ” or that the explosives which he had were not sufficiently powerful ”

      Like medicine vs poison, the measure is in the dose.

      “or that his proposed method of detonation never would have worked?”

      Yes. This rates the same as that ‘liquid in the bottle’ scare.

      Let’s try to do a chemistry lab experiment, using your underwear as the mixing container, in a moving turbulent plane, CAREFULLY (and not spilling) the contents, least you cook yourself…opps…cooked yourself again!

      If this is the best plan these guys come up with…..

      These guys remind me of the villains of James Bond.

      Not content with simply putting a gun to 007’s head and pulling the trigger, they have to come up with some elaborate, complex, diabolical, death ray that takes a hairpin to cause it to self-destruct and blow up the bad guy instead.

      It would be a comedy except for the reaction of the People and the Government.

      Bin Laden was successful because he was smart.

      He didn’t do elaborate plans.

      Pack a ton of explosives in a truck or a boat and drive up or sail it up adjacent to the target
      and hit the trigger.

      He operated within his region.

      Lots of local support; easy to hide and run ’cause everyone looks like you; lots of logistics and supplies from people you know.

      Your enemy is out of their support mechanism, in foreign territory, few friends and “glow in the dark” obvious who they are.

      These ‘bomber’ guys are total idiots.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        BF,

        Thanks, that clears it up a bit. I know that it doen’t take a whole lot of PETN/glycol based explosive to make a pretty darn big bang, but I am not really an explosives expert.

        • And, again, let’s review strategy.

          Bin Laden would not attack USA on its own home land and civilians. He knows it would enrage the people – who’ve used nukes before – to go nuclear, figurative (or not!).

          Bin Laden attack military or government targets in his region.

          These guys are brainless. They want to attract US meddling, not repulse it. They are very confused.

          War will not bleed America dry. There will always be money for war – even if they have to print the stuff on toilet paper, enforcing rationing, draft every single man woman and child into war production.

          Thinking that making the US engage in more war will somehow cause the US to fall is an idiots plan.

          Attacking military targets has shown to be a very successful plan to cause America to retreat. It worked in Beirut and it worked in Somalia and it worked in Vietnam.

          Attacking American homeland has shown to be a horrifically terrible plan. Ask Japan or Mexico or the Confederacy.

      • Idiots…yes. TOTAL idiots….but they still follow ideology and still bark when the master speaks. These are not simple people deciding at the last moment to do this…it is diabolical and it is planned. Criminal or terrorist…it is a simple definition. The result is the same.

  18. Off topic but I watched an interesting video called “The Incredible Bread Machine” at the site below. It’s about individual rights versus government. I thought it was pretty good.

    http://mises.org/media/4274

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    If our goal is to be a truly free country AND a place of reasonable safety for those that live here or visit here, here are some questions: (Remember, giving up freedom in exchange for safety and security is not a valid option, nor is using force or coercion against the non-violent).

    1. Can you prevent an attack before it happens? If so, what level of security is appropriate to prevent attacks? What measures can be taken that are non-coercive, do not employ force, and yet are still capable of preventing attacks? If we discover someone who was planning an attack of some sort and manage to foil the plan, what then is the appropriate response? How do we deal with the person/persons who can be shown to have been planning to do violence (even though they did not succeed)?

    2. If an attack actually happens, obviously we have the right to defend ourselves. What is the appropriate level of our defense?

    3. After an attack has occurred, especially if it was successful, what is the best recourse against the attacker? What if the attacker has died in the attack? (Is there no recourse against an attacker who has died in his attack (for example suicide bomber)?

    4. If there is somehow a large-scale attack against us, how does a free society ensure that it has the ability to defend against such a thing? (I know right now that the likelyhood of Canada or Mexico mounting a huge military invasion of the US is vanishingly small, but lets say in 100 years that Mexico becomes highly industrialized and is run by a megalomaniac… then what?)

    I am sure I can think of lots more, but that is enough for now 🙂

  20. Peter,

    I’m actually writing an outline for a fictional book that addresses your question – whether I write it or not (shrug). Kent’s recent book writing has got me thinking, though.

    All conjecture, of course:

    – the economic prosperity of free men is huge. The American experiment – which was only men believing they were free – represents the largest explosion of human prosperity in history.

    Imagine what might happen if they were really free!

    – freedom of mankind is directly proportional ratio of defensive to offensive capability. The higher the ratio – that is, a ratio over and greater than “1” (favoring defense over offense) the more free men are; the lower the ratio – that is, a ratio less than “1” (favoring offense over defense) the less free mankind becomes.

    The ability of a man to defend himself increases his freedom; the lesser that ability to defend himself decreases his freedom. There is no surprise to why government demands gun control.

    A nation of free men, to be able to repel a nation of government conscripts, would require a ratio greater than “1” in the def/off calculation. Defense must be able to overcome offense. Nuclear weapons and MAD is a defensive strategy, and thus, has prevented the outbreak of global war between all the superpowers. It is preventing the war between India and Pakistan, between China and Russia,between China and India,between China and Taiwan, China and Japan, Europe and Russia, Russia and the USA.

    It is also why Israel does not want Iranian (or any Arab nation) to have a nuke. It will prevent Israeli wars in Lebanon et al.

    I am not saying that nuclear capability is required for a free nation – but it helps. I am saying that as long as defense can outfight offense, they will remain free. Advance Surface to Air or Surface to Surface missiles may suffice as well, etc.

    – such economic prosperity would allow free men to design, build, and buy the best self-defense weaponry in the world.

    At a very marginal cost, substantial defensive capability could be created to deter all but the most insane attacks. Add in the ‘free trade’ – rogue nations would find the strategy of warfare as a means for political ends unprofitable in every sense.

    Conjecture, of course.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Conjecture maybe, but an interesting answer.

      However, in a society of free men, how do we ensure that the nukes are not used for evil purposes, or the advanced non-nuclear missles?

      In a society of free men, who pays for them? Do local areas get together and take up a collection for a local-area ICBM for protection?

      In virtually every case (unless a few people were to become INSANELY wealthy), it is highly unlikely that an INDIVIDUAL would possess an ICBM. Therefore, it would have to be on some sort of community level, correct?

      • Since they are all responsive, not initiator, weapons – keeping them under ‘tabs’ would be probably quite easy; it would take an attack, first, for a response to happen.

        Any attempt to initiate an attack in this scenario would stick out like a sore thumb – and be shutdown by the People.

        Who pays? Whoever wants to pay. If it is worth defending,, people will pay voluntarily.

        People and entities already shell out more money ($52 billion in 2007) for their own private security than the budgets of the police force (there are approximately 18,760 separate police agencies in the U.S. with approximately 940,275 employees and a combined annual budget of about $51 billion).

        Somehow, I have a feeling that funding a proper defense force by free men won’t be a problem at all.

  21. Judy Sabatini says:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100020934/barack-obama-gets-an-f-for-protecting-americans/http://www.ft.com/cms/s
    _________________________________________________________________

    ttp://online.wsj.com/article
    __________________________________________

    /SB126212276274109385.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories/0/a9747974-f49c-11de-9cba-00144feab49a.html
    _______________________________________________________________________http://apnews.myway.com/article/20091229/D9CT6TE80.html

    ___________________________________________________________

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.0b9d18298e2dbb867621b1953baa5023.01&show_article=1

    _______________________________________________________________

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/12/column-us-will-find-and-fix-systems-vulnerabilities-.html

  22. Judy Sabatini says:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a9747974-f49c-11de-9cba-00144feab49a.html

    ________________________________________________________________http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126212276274109385.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

  23. Judy Sabatini says:
  24. Judy Sabatini says:

    See, miracles do happen, whether you believe in God or not. I’d like to think so after reading this.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,581444,00.html?test=latestnews

    • v. Holland says:

      Wow-when my husband was a young boy, he fell off the garage and busted his spline-doctors came out and told his parents he was dead, then returned a few minutes later and said he wasn’t-can’t imagine the emotional roller coaster this would create in a person.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi V

        See, that’s what I mean about miracles, they do happen. I was pretty close to death when I was 7 years old. Had a drowning experience, and if I was in the pool a minute or two longer, I wouldn’t be here today. My brother was about to jump in, when he saw me floating, my uncle jumped in and pulled me out. The next thing I know, 3 firemen were over me, and I had an oxygen mask on me. They told me I was as blue as blue could be, and I was lucky that my brother saw me.

        Hope you’re doing well today.

  25. Judy Sabatini says:

    >
    Totally off topic, but wanted to share this with all.

    Enjoy the ride. There is no return ticket.

    George Carlin on aging!
    (Absolutely Brilliant)
    IF YOU DON’T READ THIS TO THE VERY END, YOU HAVE LOST A DAY IN YOUR LIFE. AND WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED, DO AS I AM DOING AND SEND IT ON.

    George Carlin’s Views on Aging

    Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

    ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m four and a half!’ You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key.

    You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

    ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m gonna be 16!’ You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life! You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony.YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

    But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

    You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50, and your dreams are gone…

    But! wait!! ! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!

    So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50, and make it to 60.

    You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that, it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

    You get into your 80’s, and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; ‘I Was JUST 92.’

    Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100 and a half!’
    May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

    HOW TO STAY YOUNG
    1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

    2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

    3.Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever, even ham radio. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s family name is Alzheimer’s.

    4. Enjoy the simple things.

    5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

    6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

    7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.Your home is your refuge.

    8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

    9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

    10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
    AND, ALWAYS REMEMBER:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    And, if you don’t send this to at least 8 people – who cares? But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!!

    Life’s journey is not to
    arrive at the grave safely
    in a well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in sideways,
    totally used up and worn out, shouting
    ‘…man,what a ride!’

  26. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/a-universe-from-nothing-lecture/

    I have often referred to things about our universe and the laws that govern our existence.

    This documentary is funded by atheist scientists – so they ridicule religion often in the lecture.

    But don’t let that put you off – what he does speak about our universe is mind blowing.

  27. Judy Sabatini says:

    This could be very interesting, and I wouldn’t mind seeing how it would look like. I wonder what to cost would be to do an entire home. If it’s cost effective, then it might be worth doing, who Knows. Sure would save on buying light bulbs.

    Glowing walls could kill off the light bulb
    Ben Webster, Environment Editor

    Organic LEDs could kill off the light bulb, first created by Thomas Edison

    Light-emitting wallpaper may begin to replace light bulbs from 2012, according to a government body that supports low-carbon technology.

    A chemical coating on the walls will illuminate all parts of the room with an even glow, which mimics sunlight and avoids the shadows and glare of conventional bulbs.

    Although an electrical current will be used to stimulate the chemicals to produce light, the voltage will be very low and the walls will be safe to touch. Dimmer switches will control brightness, as with traditional lighting.

    The Carbon Trust has awarded a £454,000 grant to Lomox, a Welsh company that is developing the organic light-emitting diode technology. The trust said it would be two and a half times more efficient than energysaving bulbs and could make a big contribution to meeting Britain’s target of cutting carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020. Indoor lighting accounts for a sixth of total electricity use.

    The chemical coating, which can be applied in the form of specially treated wallpaper or simply painted straight on to walls, can also be used for flat-screen televisions, computers and mobile phone displays.

    As the system uses only between three and five volts, it can be powered by solar panels or batteries. Lomox, which will use the grant to prove the durability of the technology, believes it could be used in the first instance to illuminate road signs or barriers where there is no mains electricity.

    Ken Lacey, the chief executive of Lomox, said that the first products would go on sale in 2012. “The light is a very natural, sunlight-type of lighting with the full colour range. It gives you all kinds of potential for how you do lighting,” he said.

    Although organic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been available for several years, Mr Lacey said that concerns over cost and durability had prevented further development. He said that Lomox had developed a much cheaper process and discovered a combination of chemicals that were not vulnerable to the oxidation that shortened the operating life span of other types of organic LEDs.

    Mr Lacey said the technology could be used to make flexible screens that could be rolled up after use, or carried into a presentation, for example.

    Mark Williamson, director of innovations at the Carbon Trust, said: “Lighting is a major producer of carbon emissions. This technology has the potential to produce ultra-efficient lighting for a wide range of applications, tapping into a huge global market.

    “It’s a great example of the innovation that makes the UK a hotbed of clean technology development.”

  28. Hi Ya’ll!

    Just thought about alittle humor about the whole thing. According to the left wingers, guns kill people and should be outlawed, how come they are not calling for the outlawing of mens underwear? Apparently they can be used to kill, if properly deployed. Ofcourse it’s only briefs, because boxers can be retrofitted to contain an anti-explosive to counteract the deadly destruction of men’s tighty whities.

    I just read that Nancy Pelosi is sponsoring a bill to do just this, outlaw all mens briefs and thongs, thongs would be in the spirit of political correctness, but would still be available with a 1000% tax. Briefs however would be gone. Hanes INC is already preparing for a lawsuit, and Micheal Jordan is on suicide watch with Charlie Sheen! 🙂

    G!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi G

      That’s just ridiculous. What about women’s underwear, they can be just as explosive.

      • Oh Contraire my dear! Mens underwear have been known to contain the explosions of men forever, primarily when the men are sleeping. In fact, womens underwear, when properly deployed can initiate and unexpected explosion of mens underwear at a moments notice, especially during the teen years. 😆

        G!

    • v. Holland says:

      Your kidding about this Pelosi bill.

      • Yes vH, This is all in jest. Thought I might lighten things up alittle as we say good riddence to 2009. It was meant as humor, nothing more.

        G!

        • v. Holland says:

          I was about 99% sure it was and it’s sad to say but these days I simply can’t rule out anything-I mean really-you were talking about Nancy Pelosi.

          • The best comedy is the stuff that is believable, at least somewhat. I wouldn’t be surprised if my original post ends up in my E-mail box in two weeks, the way things get spread around. 🙂

            Be glad you don’t work with me, I have mastered April Fools jokes, and get the victim (s) hook, line and sinker everytime.

            😆

            G!

  29. Isolated Incident? Isolated Jihad? I question the persons thinking abilitiy in regards to the term “applied critical thought” that would believe these outright white-washing attempts.

    Just like the Fort Hood incident, 9/11, D>C> Sniper and the THOUSANDS of other terrorist attacks against non-muslims all over the globe; it only takes ONE person (Jihadist) in One place with a common cause (Jihad) to kill innocent people. Don’t be daft folks.

    Wanna get right with security to stop these attacks? The TSA should place containers of pigs blood in the overhead storage racks of airplanes.

    BlackFlag stated:”It wasn’t luck that made him fail.

    He could not succeed.

    The best he could have done is what he did – caught himself on fire and burn himself badly.

    Downing the plane – not a chance.”

    TC:”I beg to differ sir!”

    PETN was the explosive he was trying to use and he did indeed have enough to cause the plane to go down if he would have detonated it in the correct manner.What happens to an aircraft that has a hole blown in its cabin under pressure sir?At the correct altitude and aircraft speed, explosive decompression would have ripped the planes fuselage apart.

    • My knowledge of PETN is short. It is powerful and requires an initial explosive devise to set it off. Had the man been able to detonate a blasting cap in the chemical, it couls have been catasrophic. However, this was done by amateurs, and they may have thought a simple flame of chemical reaction would serve the purpose, they were wrong.

      BF was right that he could not succeed, he didn’t have the right materials to do the job. If I was a sick twisted extremist, I could have gotten the job done, but, I’m not!

      Besides, I would do it without explosives, much simpler.

      G!

      • I believe you gentlemen have a over estimation in both the quantity and the effect of the explosive.

        PETN is a virulent explosive – no question.

        However, the amount he carried would certainly dismember him – but not much more than that.

        • Having thought about it awhile, most of the energy would have been expended through him and the seat, with maybe 20% hitting the wall. It may have caused a problem, but not enough to be that bad. I’ve seen planes land with huge holes in the body, and they managed ok.

          He lacked many things, including directional charge for the best effect, I would agree that your assessment was correct, he could not bring the plane down. But the Libs could still try to outlaw Tighy Whities, 😆

          G!

  30. trying to link a video on here dun know if it will work or not.

  31. Radio Report!

    A tractor trailer hauling hydrochloric acid crashed on to it’s side in Pennsylvania on Interstate 80 in the Westbound lane about 40 miles from the Ohio line. The chemical spilled onto the roadway, and cars that past through prior to the closing of the freeway didn’t go very far, the tires melted a short distance down the road. This is only several hours old, so there is no link yet, but I travel this road often, I wonder what the chemical will do to the road itself? Ugly times there.

    G!

    • Full liquid tractor trailer would contain approximately 45,000 lbs. of acid.
      HCL evaporates very quickly so it will not do much actual damage to the road itself if any at all.

  32. Judy Sabatini says:

    Well people I’m going go for the night. Youngest son is here and want to spend time with him. He is leaving for New York in a few days for a week and I want to spend time with him, haven’t seen him for the last 3 days. Oldest is leaving for Utah for 2 weeks for school for the Army and haven’t seen much of him lately either so right now, my boys are in front of the line.

    Hope to see you all here tomorrow. Have a great night and a great tomorrow, the last day of the year.

    Love you all and take care.

    Judy

  33. I get that the conservative crowd is frustrated because their guy Bush got ridiculed for his response to attack, and the media is not doing so with Obama (suprise suprise). It is still a whiney “its not fair” tho, so I would say I agree with your overall assessment USW. There is a part of me that likes to point out the discrepencies in treatment of leaders over the same exact situations, but then, it can easily be too much of a distraction. In the world of so many battles, one must choose wisely, and this is a pissing match I have little interest in wasting energy on. Good article USW,
    Cheers all, and since I am in the middle of moving and am therefore less active online, happy new year, perhaps this coming one will bring some change we actually like.

  34. How many people have to die before it stops being an “isolated incident”? The main thing that should have set off alarm bells was that he had no passport. It begs to ask how many others are allowed to board planes with no ID. Although Obama cannot be directly blamed for this, his policy of bringing charges against anyone that is not PC in regards to Muslims and other groups do contribute to this lack of sharing of information. If someone is afraid of losing thier job or being charged of profiling or some other ignorant law, then he will not pass on anything that might get him in trouble. Just remember that Hitler and Stalin had laws legally passed and see how many people died because of them. Just because they are law doesn’t make the right or senseable. I personally think that Obama has the potential to do good things if he starts to take charge instead of letting so many factions around him make policy. For a man with his gift of speech, he has done a terrible job of communicating with the people.

  35. Oh my god. This freakin’ is solely awesome. I just found some mafia wars cheats. 😛 They definitely work unlike 95% of the other crud out there! It’s really cool too… Check my website for it …

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