Despite all of the hand waving and blame avoiding after the foiled Christmas Day terrorist attempt on Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, we should take some solice in the existing airport security measures.
Terrorists are down to stashing bomb-making materials in their underwear. If these body-scanning devices become ubiquitious, will terrorist be limited to inter-body stashing means?
After all is said and done, the airport security means work for the most part. The problem in this case is that the information regarding this terrorist was not properly correlated by the agencies that should have correlated it.
A father sharing his opinion about a son is a rare event and one that merits further investigation. It seems the CIA did its part in communicating this to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). (I am sure the NCTC claims they did not get it soon enough.)
Connecting the dots is tough to do. It goes against each agency's natural instincts. The agencies have done a decent job protecting the nation against terrorist attacks since 2001. Do they have issues? Certainly. Is it perfect? Far from it. But the men and women mean well and seem to be heading in the right direction. They can anticipate most of the means of a terrorist attack but they cannot stop them all.
Their task is to understand the risks and to make conscienious efforts to minimize them. It is unworkable to eliminate all risks -- the costs and delays would be enormous if attempted.
Although many say it was 'systemic failure' that allowed the Christmas Day airline plot to occur, one dilligent man acted and stopped it. Sometime the policies cannot address everything and it comes down to seat-of-the-pants action by people not employed by a government. Thank goodness for the ability to think and act freely, without being told what to do.
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