A Contract on Terror

On January 5, 2010 HM penned a blog entitled High Noon for Obama.  Posted shortly after the underwear bombing fiasco, we noted that the time had come for Sheriff Obama to put politics aside, take the blanks out of his six shooter, step into the dusty street, and show all Americans that he really cared about their security.  We also noted, that if he failed, there would likely be a new sheriff come 2012. Well, it appears as if President Obama has chosen not to heed HM’s sage advice because…well…he doesn’t have any idea that we even exist….but that is still no excuse for his inaction on the home front.  Having learned nothing from the great underwear debacle, he still prattles on about trials in New York City, continues to let Holder pontificate on Miranda Rights, insists on closing Guantanamo, focuses on prosecuting CIA agents, and does nothing to secure one of the most porous borders in the free world.   All told, it appears as if Sheriff Obama has loaded his six gun, stepped into the street, and emptied the cylinder into his foot.

The good news for Obama is that Lady Luck is not a quitter and, with the Times Square incident, she has given our shaky sheriff yet another opportunity to show us what he is made of.   We must not forget that, once again, this attack on the American People failed solely because the bomb did not detonate. Nothing any agency did (or did not do) stopped the plot from playing out.  So, it is more critical than ever for our sheriff to show all would-be terrorists that he is in the street waiting.  The reason for this urgency is quite simple.  Right now, the message that every aspiring bomber is taking away from the Times Square attack is:

“Terrorist be warned, you only have one chance to blow us up, so get your bomb right the first time!”

Instead of deciding that such attacks will be fruitless and rethinking their strategy, terrorists around the world are improving their detonators, rewriting their training courses, and making sure that their operatives know what type of fertilizer to buy. They know from watching the Underwear Bomber and the Times Square Bomber that if they get the bomb right – they are home free. And the sad fact is, the only person that can stick a cactus in the middle of their trail is our reluctant sheriff.  So, in our never ending effort to be proactive, HM has decided to help our derelict defender out one more time with a simple 10 point plan for protecting his town folk.

A Contract on Terror

1. Be intellectually honest with the American People and call Illegal Immigrants what they are – ILLEGAL. When our sheriff refuses to use this word, he sends a message to the bad guys that he really ‘condones’ their actions.  This encourages more illegals to cross over and fuels their sense of entitlement.  By not calling them what they are – Illegal Immigrants – Obama is weakening our laws and putting America and its institutions at risk.  This is not only immoral and opportunistic, it is unconstitutional.  Abraham Lincoln himself noted:

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap — let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; — let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.
–January 27, 1838

We are a nation of laws, and if we start letting political expediency decide which ones we will enforce, we have destroyed our very foundation.

2. Immediately allocate  unspent ‘stimulus dollars’ to complete the border fence between the US and Mexico. Border Patrol and ICE officers regularly find Korans and prayer blankets in the desert.  To my recollection, the Catholic Church requires neither of these for Mass.  Islamic extremists are using the drug cartels and Mexican gangs to sneak across our border and infiltrate our cities.  This is a known fact in law enforcement, and has been for several years.  By not completing the fence our government is telling us that, when it comes to their constitutional duty to provide for our common defense, they simply do not care.  The sad fact is that one day another terrorist will be successful, and I would not want to be the sitting president when it is discovered that they had crossed the Mexican border to conduct their attack.

3. Take unreasonable restrictions off of the fine men and women of the US Border Patrol. Give them, the tools and rules that they need to properly defend our borders against thugs, drug runners, and sub-humans that shoot innocent American ranchers. We have put them into the field with both hands tied behind their backs. As it stands today, they are out manned and out gunned.

4. Cease all inbound flights from countries that do not meet minimum acceptable airport security standards. On a recent trip to Kuwait I went through three security check points, setting off the metal detectors at each one.  The ‘security’ guards at each gate just waved me through, barely looking up from their magazines. This type of ambivalence is a problem around the world, and nations that do not crack down should be barred from having direct air routes to US cities.

5. Institute the automatic death penalty for anyone convicted of terrorism against the United States of America. Make no exceptions for any reason…citizen or foreign national.  This will not dissuade those already brainwashed into martyrdom, but will send a powerful message to all the wannabe’s out there that, if they do not kill themselves, we will help them finish the job.

6. Send a clear message to our adversaries that, if they sponsor terror on American soil, we will consider it a declaration of war. Obama must also immediately retract his statements on the use of nuclear weapons, especially in response to biological attacks.  The fact that he made this statement in the first place is troubling.  A well placed nuke could kill a few hundred thousand folks, maybe more.  Nuclear devastation, however, would pale in the face of a well coordinated state sponsored biological attack. Such an attack could kill a third (100,000,000) of all Americans. To say that we would not use a nuke to retaliate against such an attack on our people is quite frankly…stupid.

7. Have industry develop a low cost system for scanning 100% of all air cargo transported on passenger airlines. Today, even with the terrorist threat, the vast majority of all air cargo transported on US passenger airlines goes unchecked.  There is no excuse for this gap in security.  Each day that we let our airlines leave the ground full of unchecked cargo, we are gambling with American lives. This is unacceptable and must be stopped.

8. Partner with industry to develop a process for screening 100% of all cargo entering US shipping ports. Though a small percentage of these containers are randomly screened, we largely rely on importers to tell us what they are shipping. The Government Accountability Office reported in December that only about 5% of all inbound shipping containers are scanned at major US ports of entry. Critics say that such a solution will be far too expensive. When I hear this argument I have to wonder what the price of a nuke going of in the Port of Los Angeles would be?  This must be fixed.

9. Appoint a new Director of Homeland Security. We need a hawk in this position, who places security over political correctness.  Ms. Napolitano continues to demonstrate that she is not that person. If you think I am being overly harsh here, let me remind you of three little words:

“The system worked…”

10. Lose the cowboy hat. It makes you look more like a member of the Village People than a sheriff, and it’s only scaring Broke Back Mountain fans.

There you have it Sheriff! Follow these very clear steps and you will establish yourself as the Wyatt Earp of anti-terrorism.  Heck fire,  just pick 5 of them and you will have done better, in many respects, than George Bush!  That should spin yer spurs!  Not only will history label you as the “Homeland Security President,” but you will also be able to hold your head high knowing you have met your constitutional obligations.  This is it Sheriff Obama; you have been handed a second chance!  Get out in that street and show ’em all that we have a real sheriff running this town. The bad guys are over in Pakistan right now improving their bomb designs, and even Lady Luck runs out of aces sooner or later.

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The Secret

Matt felt groggy and disoriented as he began to regain consciousness.  The first thing he noticed was a violent freezing wind hitting him in the face like a thousand needles.  It stung badly and made it almost impossible for him to catch his breath. He was extremely light headed, and every cell of his body begged him to slip back into the darkness.  He was lucid enough however, to know that something had gone terribly wrong.  Just a few moments earlier, he had been safely buckled into seat 27D as his flight from London prepared to land in Chicago.  It had been a very smooth flight, and he had spent most of the journey either sleeping or chatting with the very attractive young lady sitting next to him.  She was a sales representative for a British company, and was making her first trip to the US for a sales conference.  She had been quite excited about the trip and had asked him dozens of questions about the city. The last thing Matt remembered before blacking out was telling her where to get the best Italian beef sandwich in town.

As his vision began to clear, he noticed that bright light was pouring into the cabin.  His first thought was that someone had blown a hole in the front of the aircraft but, as he regained his sight, he discovered to his horror that the front of the plane was no longer there.  All he could see through the freezing wind was twisted metal and blue sky.  He also realized that he was no longer looking forward, but rather looking up.  Apparently his Airbus had been severed in two.  His mind began to sharpen as adrenaline surged through his veins. They were free falling vertically.  He looked out the window and saw the unmistakable shape of the Sears Tower jutting out of the ground, but it spun out of sight as quickly as it had appeared. He could not tell if he was upside down or right side up, his heart was beating in his throat, and he felt himself beginning to slip into shock.  He looked to his left across the aisle.  The man and woman sitting there were wide awake, the woman was screaming with her arms stretched out trying to reclaim the infant that had slipped from her grip. The baby was gone however. Matt watched in disbelief as her husband dutifully unbuckled his belt, telling his bride that he would go get their son and be right back.  Almost instantly, he hit the overhead and bounced along  the fuselage until he was sucked outside into the sky. Matt looked helplessly back a the woman.  Her screaming had stopped, and she was sleeping peacefully,  perhaps reunited with her husband and son.

They were very low now and Matt knew that they would be hitting the ground any second.  He looked to his right for the young sales rep.  She was still there, staring forward  and clutching her arm rests. Matt thought that she looked amazingly calm.  Tears were streaming down her face however, with the realization that there was nothing left.  There would be no sales conference, no Chicago, no career,  and no Italian beef with hot peppers.  She turned slowly to look at Matt.  He reached over to her and she grabbed his hand tightly.   He fixed his gaze on her and tried to smile.  “It’s okay,” he reassured her, “it will be fast.”  She smiled and squeezed his hand even tighter. “I hope so,” she whispered back. Matt took a deep breath as he gazed into her face. “What beautiful blue eyes,” he thought to himself, “what beautiful eyes.”

Moments later, news alerts interrupted morning programming across the country.   So far, 10 planes had fallen out of the sky, but there were still others out there. Low on fuel, many of them would have little choice but to continue toward the US mainland.  The Air Force had scrambled F-16 fighters to intercept these aircraft and escort them to military airfields away from populous metropolitan areas.  If the airliners could not or would not comply however, the fighters had orders to shoot them from the sky before they made landfall.

In the span of about 2 hours almost 2,000 innocent people had died violent deaths.  Flights around the world were grounded, airports were closed and evacuated, and daytime curfews were put in place across the US.  In a special address to the American People, from an undisclosed location,  President Obama vowed to find the perpetrators, and bring them to justice.  He also urged Americans everywhere to stay calm.  Later in the afternoon, as anticipated, Al Qaeda released a statement to Al Jazeera News taking responsibility for the attack.  No one had any idea how so much explosive material had been smuggled onto so many planes without detection.  One thing was clear to everyone though, this had been the biggest tragedy since 9/11 and, almost 9 years later, commercial airliners were still the terrorists’ weapon of choice.

In the days following the attack, forensic analysis began to put the picture together.  The explosives had apparently been concealed in shrink wrapped pallets of cargo.  The terrorists had calculated that, since the underwear bomber incident, airline security agencies would be focused on screening random passengers  for concealed weapons and explosives.  They would be far too busy looking for PETN strapped to peoples’ boxer shorts, to worry about checking air cargo. They were right.  Al Qaeda knew that US air carriers transported nearly 12 million pounds of commercial cargo on passenger planes every day,  and almost all of it went completely unchecked. This was the chink in America’s armor that they had been praying for.  It was a huge lapse in security and, sadly enough, one that had been well documented for years.  The fact is, neither  Bush nor Obama had done anything to fix the problem, even though they were well aware of it.  Industry pressure, political correctness, and bureaucratic incompetence had conspired to make the problem ” just too hard.” So, once again, our government had decided to take the politically expedient way out, and play the odds with the lives of innocent American travelers. Reaction to the attack was visceral.  Thousands took to the streets calling for Napolitano’s resignation and a congressional review of  TSA security policy.  America was furious, and rightfully so.  Lawmakers, and security leads hit the airwaves trying to justify their inaction and point the finger elsewhere, but the public would have none of it.  They wanted heads to roll.   Things were bad for Obama as well.  Despite a number of well written impassioned speeches, he had watched his popularity ratings nose dive.  The people were angrier than anyone could remember, and it was about to get much worse.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, woke up for morning prayer in his supermax cell.  He swung his feet out of bed and placed them into his slippers.  Still full from dinner the night before, he pushed his breakfast tray toward the wall and unrolled his prayer blanket.  He was still sore around his upper thighs, but the skin grafts he had received compliments of the United States were taking well and starting to cover his wounds.  As he prayed,  he thanked Allah for giving him strength while in American captivity.   Umar had fully expected to die in glorious martyrdom, and when his bomb did not explode properly he was terrified at the thought of what the Americans would do to him.  But they had not water boarded him, or even really interrogated him.  Instead they fixed his wounds, gave him a clean cell and, after an hour of questioning, told him that he had the right to not speak to them anymore if he did not want to.  They even sent him a team of lawyers to ensure that he had a fair trial.  He could not believe what they told him at their first meeting.   As he lay in his hospital bed with his wounds from the underwear bomb still burning, they explained to him that he was innocent until proven guilty. This had truly amazed him.

Umar continued to pray, thanking Allah for these men, for his chance to serve, and for not being sent to Guantanamo.  When he had heard of the airline attacks from his lawyers a few days earlier,  it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He had done his job, and no longer needed to keep the secret.  His Christmas day bombing attempt had been little more than a diversion.  It had been carefully designed to draw American attention away from the bigger mission, and it had worked perfectly.  Thousands of infidels were now dead, and he was a hero.  Umar got up from the floor and looked around the room.  The sun was coming through his small cell window and he felt better than he had in weeks. He felt proud.  He could now tell the world how he had fooled them all.  Perhaps he would do it at his trial when all the cameras were rolling.  Perhaps they would even find him not guilty!  He picked up his breakfast tray and took a big bite of his toast. He was hungry after all, and no one made breakfast like the Americans.

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