So a known jihadist (he’d been turned in by his own father) sews explosives into his clothes and waltzes onto a Northwest flight bound for Detroit — with no flight ban or even comprehensive search — because he’s on the “long list” of threats and not the “short list.” This is so staggeringly stupid it makes my head hurt. I can’t tell if this is the triumph of political correctness over the respect for human life, or if it is merely a bureaucracy behaving like a bureaucracy. Probably both.
Look, I know that no security system is perfect and millions upon millions of people fly every year, but for all the times I’ve had to basically disrobe to board a plane, I’d love to see the screeners catch a terrorist before he starts lighting his bomb at least — I don’t know — once. As much as I appreciate Jasper Schuringa, I don’t want to depend on unarmed Dutch film producers as our front-line defense.
When faced with the horrific consequences of political correctness at Fort Hood, and the near-disaster in Detroit, I’m reminded that not all political leaders place sensitivity over safety. Here’s a blast from the past:
Governor Mitt Romney raised the prospect of wiretapping mosques and conducting surveillance of foreign students in Massachusetts, as he issued a broad call yesterday for the federal government to devote far more money and attention to domestic intelligence gathering.
In remarks that caused alarm among civil libertarians and advocates for immigrants rights, Romney said in a speech to the Heritage Foundation that the United States needs to radically rethink how it guards itself against terrorism.
”How many individuals are coming to our state and going to those institutions who have come from terrorist-sponsored states?” he said, referring to foreign students who attend universities in Massachusetts. ”Do we know where they are? Are we tracking them?”
”How about people who are in settings — mosques, for instance — that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror,” Romney continued. ”Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what’s going on?”
Good questions, Governor. Then and now.