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Relief just a Bow-shot Away
Finally! Norm Minetta has made us feel so much safer…

[Gordon Cucullu] 8/17/05

Imagine how 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.

No longer 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.

Gordon Cucullu

Former Green Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist, author and a popular speaker. Born into a military family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work, Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is based in large part on his extensive experience in Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman. [website] [go to Cucullu index]

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From the 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 think so.

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

Curious 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.

copyright Gordon Cucullu 2005




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