Judgment and the burnt weeny terror plot

Did anyone expect this Obama character to be such a card? I seem to remember speeches and quips about judgment and its importance in leadership. No quibbles about that, it’s true and i would take a man of good judgment over one of ossified, bureaucratic experience in most cases but especially situations of threat or upheaval. As an American, i should be well-trained in this game; i’ve eaten enough Big Macs to know that they look nothing like the advertising picture used to entice me. Lukewarm, grey “meat.” Ah yes, move over Big Dog, Big Mac is running the show now.

I think that i’m supposed to be comforted by his “surge” of federal air marshals. What is it with this guy and surges? See that problem, a surge will fix it. Hell, only a surge will fix it. I feel the same way about hammers, but i don’t act on it.

There’s also a time for duck tape and plumber’s strap. And as fun and challenging as doing a job with the wrong tools is, if money’s no object it’s stupid. Buy a router, a set of fine chisels or even one of those 1000-tool Dremel sets.

Nope, hammer it is. We don’t have time for anything but a hammer – fuck, man, we’re in a “race against time” itself. Do you know how many billions live in hovels on this planet? Every one of them is a possible suicide bomber heading into the pipeline. They’re coming to get us, those damned tired and poor huddled masses are after us…yearning to make us eat halal!

Our only hope is to covertly militarize civilian air travel.

This is the “judgment” we got. Just what are these air marshals going to do in the event that another underwear bomber strikes, or there’s an irritated man of Middle-Eastern descent complaining in row 27? Start shooting in crowded airplane? Go all Chuck Norris on some bitches? Wait, i’ve got it. They’ll be armed with box cutters. Everybody knows that a few hundred people in an airplane are no match for a couple of guys with razor blades.

Let’s take stock of Obama’s first big test in the War on Terror®:

Hapless, depressed Nigerian attempts to blow off his own legs in the hopes that it will kill the few people around him and maybe pop a hole in the side of a plane. Media and power players have a collective freak out. President plays it cool. Media and power players throw a collective tantrum. President freaks out. We must have new regulations to prevent another “systemic failure.” We must black-list certain nationals. We need undercover gunslingers.

Christ, what would happen if al Qaeda actually scored a hit? Oh yeah, they did. They killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan. Double crossed the masters of deception, walked right up to ’em and and boom. Maybe the President needs to send a surge of air marshals to protect American lives in Afghanistan. Frankly, the Afghan event looks far more dangerous to our prospects in the War on Terror® than the burnt weeny terror plot.

In that we have a double agent who had built his credibility with several pieces of actionable intelligence. Drone targets. Theoretically, this guy gave up al Qaeda baddies, which probably amounts to settling Afghan scores on the CIA’s dime. I wonder if he ever sent the drones to a wedding party? From the sound of it — though it might just be institutional pit fighting — the CIA doesn’t really know what’s going on in Afghanistan; ergo the agency probably relies on local sources. Exactly how reliable are these local sources and “allies”?

I’m trying not to worry, because our man of sound judgment has a surge for that, too.

Maybe we’ll have better luck in Yemen, but until then we need to do everything we can to stop another near-tragedy. There are innocent lives at stake that can only be protected by agents of the Commander-in-Chief (who reserves the right to indefinitely detain and torture whomsoever he pleases). Thank god we’ve got a guy with good judgment keeping us safe. Yessir, a steady hand at the wheel…at least until a bunch of cowardly Republican pundits and politicians start yelling. Then he screams and runs like a little girl.

Why doesn’t the Big Mac drop a surge on the Republicans?

8 replies »

  1. As a curious aside. I’ve been through Schiphol Airport a few times. Every single departure gate has its own security check point which includes those “see you naked” scanners I love so much.

    I.e. the Dutch already have as sophisticated, antagonistic and humiliating a security system as it is possible to get. Yet the dude went straight through. So how do any of these new security measures improve security? Or is it really just to offer maximum inconvenience to those of us who like to travel?

    Oh, wait… it’s a global warming thing, isn’t it?

  2. Sir, you’d be wise not to question the organs. They never make mistakes, except when they do…in which case you’ll pay the price so that they never make that mistake again.

    Been a while since i’ve been through Schiphol, back in the day though i always found the security there to both efficient (from a traveler’s perspective) and good. I didn’t realize that they’d fully implemented the perv-scanner system.

  3. There is a reason that Mr Abdulmutallab had strapped his bomb to his gonads. On the belief that said perv-scanners usually block out the testicles. Guess where security is now going to focus?

    However, you’ll be pleased to know that in the UK the government has just published a POLICY!!! related to victims’ – excuse me – travellers’ privacy rights regarding their experiences in the porn machine. That makes me feel much better.

    My experience at Schiphol was that woe betide you if you happen to have any shampoo or soap on you, no matter how small, it will be taken from you and disposed of as if it were biological waste – bombs, no problem, but hygiene is something Europeans still struggle with…

    I keep wondering whose incompetence will be worse … our governments, or the terrorists?

  4. I read somewhere that the perv scanners don’t pick up PETN because it isn’t dense enough to reflect the rays. I thought that crotching it was a means to elude pat-downs.

  5. I think that Obama is becoming overwhelmed. I believe that he thought the job of president would be easier than it is. Increasingly, he looks to me as if he is confounded that his oratory skills aren’t enough to win him acclaim – and acclaim is a really big deal to Obama. Think about all the references he has made to making history with respect to the health care “reform.” I suspect that it took him two-and-a-half days to respond after the underwear bomber was foiled because he had to get over the shock that those nasty terrorists would show such ingratitude after all of his reaching out.

    You know sometimes candidates tell us all about themselves, and we elect them anyway. Consider these two bits: 1) on national TV, he asked Joe the Plumber if he didn’t agree that wealth should be taken from those that have it and spread around – that takes no explaining; 2) tales of his Harvard Law days have it that he could talk to opposing groups at the same time, and each side walked away thinking that he sided with them – since when is duplicity and indecision an attribute to be admired.

  6. Frank, in regards to number two, i think that it could be an admirable attribute. What i found disquieting about reports from his Harvard Law Review days was that he seems incapable of making a decision. It’s one thing to point out the positives of each side’s argument. It’s another thing to lead a disparate group through the process of building a consensus and acting on it. A consensus building leader must eventually say, “Ok, time to make a decision,” and do it.

  7. Oh come now, you’re criticizing the One. Don’t you know it will all be resolved if we spend your money on it? Or believe that merely talking will evoke change and hope? I can’t believe that you would actually think that the President should be held in any way accountable. Truth from a politician? You’ll be expecting honesty from bankers next.

    The real truth is that all this airport security is to make everyone feel like their money is being well spent, when in reality, the people traveling on airplanes were so horrified and angry about what happened on Sept 11 2001 that they would rather kill a threatening person on their flight than have that sort of thing happen again. Check out how many deaths have happened on flights since to verify this.

    Idiots think we’re children, and only politicians can be our parents.