Wednesday, July 21, 2004

What Will They Call the Next Commission?

The 9/11 Commission report is out tomorrow. They will blame both the Clinton and Bush administrations, the Congress and various agencies. Woo fucking hoo.

What they almost certainly will not blame is the larger American culture. That's right Mr. and Ms. Blogreader, you and I and our neighbors share a lot of the blame.

The FBI had several of the hijackers on various terrorist watch lists but they were not put onto the "No-Fly" list because merely "suspected terrorists" were not forbidden to fly without evidence that they were interested in hijacking aircraft. Oh the outrage, right? Except that if the FBI had been forbidding suspected terrorists from flying they would have been sued. And they would have lost, plain and simple. The 19 jihadists had committed no crime until the morning of Sept 19. Forbidding people from flying without some administrative or criminal procedure would have lead to a lawsuit. Now you, loyal Rant Wraith reader, would never sue or represent someone who would. But your neighrbor, on an in-law or someone at your church or community center would.

Why were they allowed to take flying lessons? Same reason.

Why were they allowed to receive money transferred from suspicious accounts abroad? See above.

Why didn't the military shoot down the planes? No one had the authority. Now that we have authorized the military to shoot down stray planes it's only a matter of time before we shoot down a plane full of innocent people. Then all the pencil-necks on the 9/11 Commission can sit on the 'Flight 1056 Commission' and act all self-righteous that we could do such a thing.

When al-Qaeda drives a truck filled with explosives over the border, we'll have to sit through hearings about how the terrorists evaded our inadequate border defenses - when we as a nation have purposefully created these weak borders and we all know it. How much would a head of lettuce cost if the farmer had to pay minimum wage (and benefits) to lettuce pickers? Do you want a secure borders and $40 salad or cheap produce and an open door? We already have the answer.

I fly a lot. My friends fly a lot. Tonight the media is agog about the video tape of hijackers going through airport security but you and I know how ineffective and random and silly airport security is now, three years later. People with orthopedic shoes, thick metal shoes, are not required to remove them. Passengers are not required to show ID when boarding a connecting flight. Airlines cannot stop more than two 'Arab' men per flight without paying a fine to the FAA. You can't discriminate against any group. We are more concerned with expediting the boarding process and keeping the wheels of commerce moving than almost anything else. Even now.

Plastic explosives in the rectum. Ceramic knives. Mace. Flameable liquids. Weapon components embedded in laptops and cameras. There are dozens of ways that determined and organized suicide killers can board aircraft or get by security anywhere. And the icing on the cake: Syrians, citizens of Syrian , a known terrorist supporter and haven, can still travel freely in America.

As a culture America is not prepared to implement the security measures necessary to minimize terror risks, on airplanes, in buildings, anywhere.

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