No TV allowed or else it might … drown out the sound of a guy using a syringe, maybe? I don’t get it. Neither does Jeffrey Goldberg:
Next item: “Passengers must remain seated for the final hour before landing. During that time, they may not have access to their carry-on baggage or hold personal items on their laps.” But what about their underwear? Can they have access to their underwear, which is where our latest would-be Muslim martyr apparently hid his bomb? And why can’t we have access to our laptops, if they’ve already been screened?
By the way, these rules, the Washington Post says, are in effect only until December 30th. In January, you see, the jihad is over.
Hitchens is a little hazy too:
In my boyhood, there were signs on English buses that declared, in bold letters, “No Spitting.” At a tender age, I was able to work out that most people don’t need to be told this, while those who do feel a desire to expectorate on public transport will require more discouragement than a mere sign. But I’d be wasting my time pointing this out to our majestic and sleepless protectors, who now boldly propose to prevent airline passengers from getting out of their seats for the last hour of any flight. Abdulmutallab made his bid in the last hour of his flight, after all. Yes, that ought to do it. It’s also incredibly, nay, almost diabolically clever of our guardians to let it be known what the precise time limit will be. Oh, and by the way, any passenger courageous or resourceful enough to stand up and fight back will also have broken the brave new law…
It was reported over the weekend that in the aftermath of the Detroit fiasco, no official decision was made about whether to raise the designated “threat level” from orange. Orange! Could this possibly be because it would be panicky and ridiculous to change it to red and really, really absurd to lower it to yellow? But isn’t it just as preposterous (and revealing), immediately after a known Muslim extremist has waltzed through every flimsy barrier, to leave it just where it was the day before?
ABC has pics of the Crotch Bomber’s explosive undies, which, as near as I can tell, wouldn’t have been caught or neutralized by any of the new security measures now in place. One thing that might have caught them is a whole-body imager, which the House is actually trying to ban right now for routine passenger screening due to privacy concerns. How invasive is the technology really? Danger Room breaks it down:
“Facial features” (and, presumably, other body parts) “are blurred when our officers see the images,” the TSA insists. Nor will the agency “keep, store or transmit images. Once deleted, they are gone forever…. For additional privacy, the officer viewing the image is in a separate room and will never see the passenger, and the officer attending to the passenger will never see the image.”…
“Yes, there is some brief violation of privacy with a full-body scan,” Rep. Peter King, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, told Face the Nation. “But on the other hand, if we can save thousands of lives, to me, we have to make that decision, and we have to come down on the side of saving thousands of lives.”
But that logic makes about as much sense as the TSA’s new rules forcing passengers to stay in their seats for the last hour of a flight, says security guru Bruce Schneier. “It’s the same magical thinking we’re used to getting from the TSA,” he tells Danger Room. “Descend on what the terrorists happened to do last time, and we’ll all be safe. As if they won’t think of something else.”
Yeah, they’ll think of something else, but how does that justify not doing anything about something they’ve already thought of? It’s like arguing that we don’t need metal detectors because jihadis have already thought of smuggling guns and knives onto planes and have moved on to ever more clever and nefarious schemes. Cover the points where you’re exposed and then try to anticipate their next move. They’re not all geniuses, you know: This nut, like the 9/11 hijackers, flew under his real name and was stupid enough to buy a one-way ticket and check no baggage. It’s just that we were … a little more stupid.