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Finally! Norm Minetta has made us feel so much safer…
[Gordon Cucullu] 8/17/05
thrilled I was that our crack Transportation Security Agency
bureaucrats have decided to reform our nation’s highly-touted,
but grotesquely complex security system that has been criticized
as horrifically expensive, drastically hampered by rampant
political correctness, and designed to thwart yesterday’s
threat. Now that’s good news, I thought.
will young, brown-skinned, Central Asian and Middle Eastern
men be able to slide through the system while elderly Northern
European women have their brassieres frisked. Gone will be
the mindless system of “random inspections” triggered
by an irascible computer that pulls out families with small
children to shake down their carry-on baby seats. At last our
tax dollars will focus on the identifiable human threat: Islamic
men, especially those with close-cropped hair, doused with
flower water, and mouthing Koranic verses.
very beginning the very intent of the security system – to
stop airline hijackings and suicide bombing before they take
place - has been fatally impeded by a lethal dose of political
correctness force-fed from DoT leadership. Transportation Secretary
Norman Minetta, put in place in a first-term Bush administration
with the purpose of scoring a political two-fer (Democrat and
Asian-American appointee), has been draconian in forbidding any
kind of profiling, whether based on ethnicity, race, nationality,
or proclivity to commit terrorism.
The genesis for Minetta’s obsession supposedly is that
he spent time in the Manzanar detention camp as a young Japanese-American
in the early WW II days when the country feared – as we
have later discovered with some justification – that Japanese
spies and enemy agents were hiding in their community. Could
it have been handled better? Probably, since most things given
the opportunity of hindsight could be improved. Has the country
apologized? Profusely. So is the national mistake of 1942 sufficient
justification to commit an even greater error in 2005? I don’t
If it makes the troubled Secretary feel better
perhaps we could recast the terms of inspection. Instead of
dreaded, un-PC racial
or ethnic profiling we could call it “potential terrorist
profiling” that includes carrying weapons, mumbling of
Islamic prayers, big coats, and some Arab-like features as part
of the package. But it is not likely that Minetta would buy it.
When asked on national television if a group of Muslim men were
seen prior to boarding a flight praying profusely on rugs near
the gate area, dousing themselves in a ritual cleansing manner,
and writing notes that they left behind, deserved a second look,
or a serious inspection, Minetta answered, “No, why should
they?” Such an obtuse PC pinhead deserves the sack but
it is unlikely that the President who seems reluctant to dismiss
staff, will hand it to him. So, Granny, get ready for that full
body search. That way the Secretary can sleep better at night
even though we’re no safer.
What other reform would be welcome? Perhaps a
greater focus on bombs. By a single act – pilots securing the cockpit
door and refusing to open it under any circumstances – the
modus operandi of the 9/11 hijackers has been permanently thwarted.
Could hijackers still smuggle weapons aboard, kill scores of
passengers, and commit mayhem? Yes, but they would be unable
to steal the aircraft and convert it to a missile unless they
could crash through barred steel doors, an unlikely scenario.
On the other hand a bomb – particularly if detonated when
the aircraft is over a densely populated area such as LAX, O’Hare,
LaGuardia, JFK or scores of others, could be a WMD of sorts.
But imagine my excitement when TSA did not announce
any of the above suggestions but said – hold your hats! – that
I might be able to keep my shoes on during inspection. That was
a biggie. Then came the announcement that we could carry “throwing
disks and bows and arrows” on board the flight. Oh, the
unbounded joy of sharing your seating row with the nutball who
brings throwing disks and bows and arrows on board.
Or perhaps the good Secretary was simply assuring us that neither
Ninja warriors nor Ted Nugent would be discriminated against
at airports ever again? It would be so like him to care. tRO
about North Korea? Learn more in Gordon’s
best-selling book Separated
at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin became
the Evil Twin, Lyons Press available at bookstores now.
Gordon Cucullu 2005