The Fruit Of The Boom

A few days ago over at The Corner, Jonah Goldberg posted a simple blog post titled “Fire Napolitano.” He’s right, of course. Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano has been singularly unqualified for her office from the beginning. Michelle Malkin has an excellent post on Napolitano’s year-long record of idiocy and incompetence.

The new outcry for Napolitano’s head is because of her insistence that the “system worked” because a plane didn’t explode on Christmas day (she later retracted the statement when she found out that people were paying attention). The fact that Homeland Security had nothing to do with stopping the bombing, and that the very fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was allowed to board a plane in the first place demonstrates a clear failing of the system is lost on Napolitano. From her insistence that acts of terrorism be officially referred to as “man-caused disasters” to her smearing of conservatives and returning veterans as potential terrorists down to this asinine insistence that the system operated as expected on Christmas Day, Napolitano has demonstrated time and again that she is simply over her head. Homeland Security is not the department for political buffoonery, and Napolitano’s continued position as the head of that department can not help but reflect a lack of seriousness on Barack Obama’s part when it comes to protecting the nation.

But there is also a larger truth here, which is that the War on Terror has been infected with the poison of politics since September 12, 2001. While George Bush was right in prosecuting the war, there have been too many concessions in the name of political correctness.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab apparently had his bomb sewn into his underwear, in a style similar to Richard Reid’s shoe bomb. Because of Reid, all passengers boarding planes are required to take their shoes off. Because of a thwarted bombing plot a few summers ago in London, we can now no longer carry more than three ounces of liquids, shampoos, soaps, perfumes, colognes, etc. One wonders whether people will now be expected to drop their pants or lift their skirts in the aftermath of the attempted Christmas bombing. The usual suspects in Congress are already talking about how we need to make more widespread use of the X-ray machines that see right through your clothes and display your naked body on a screen for the security people at the airport to peruse. Arlen Spector was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace suggesting that passengers all be frisked with a simple pat down.

Again, this is idiocy borne of the simple refusal to publicly acknowledge what we all know to be true: the terrorists are dark-skinned Muslim men, single, in their 20s and 30s, and traveling alone. Instead of doing the rational thing and casting more suspicion on those who fit the profile, we are insisting that little old ladies and young children be inconvenienced in the name of almighty political correctness.

Will this approach inconvenience some perfectly well-intentioned, law-abiding Muslims? Yes, it will. They should deal with it, and save their anger for those jihadists who brought this down on their heads.

The fact is that profiling was a commonsense tool used by police until someone thought to attach the word “racial” to the technique, and brought politics and heated issues of race to the mix. But racial profiling goes on all the time. Ask any cop in Harlem 30 years ago if they were on the lookout for white drivers at certain street corners and after a certain time of night.

The current school of thought is that when bad people do bad things, everyone needs to be held under suspicion so that we don’t single out any particular group or ethnicity. Because of this latest attempted attack, airlines are now forbidding people to use the plane bathroom with less than an hour to go in the flight, and are also forbidding people to cover themselves with blankets during that final hour. One can’t help but wonder what the result will be if one of these dark-skinned, Muslim men, between the ages of 20 and 40, traveling alone, manages to insert a pound of C4 into his rectum. We’ll all be submitting to cavity searches so that we can continue to feel really good about not profiling potential terrorists.

And that’s the really dirty secret of the whole charade: we are refusing to use commonsense profiling techniques so that we can prove to ourselves that we are not racist, and that everyone has the same equal chance of being a terrorist. We’d rather feel good about ourselves than protect national security.

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