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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Where Were You on 12/25?

I have always resisted the urge to blog about September 11, 2001.  Over the past 8 years, there have been so many beautifully crafted and well thought out essays and documentaries on the subject, that  I have always been at a loss as to what I could contribute.  History has clearly documented the chain of failures that allowed 19 radical jihadists to purchase first class one-way tickets in cash, with no luggage.  All of the tripwires were triggered that day, but the hijackers boarded their planes without a hitch and…well…the rest is history.  In just a few hours thousands of innocent Americans were dead or missing and our country had changed forever…or so we thought.

Just three days ago, all bets went out the window as news began to break about the failed (not foiled) attempt to bomb a Delta/Northwest Airlines aircraft on its way from Amsterdam to Detroit.  A young Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, boarded the plane in Amsterdam with the intention of blowing it up using an explosive chemical mixing apparatus he had taped to his leg.  Apparently the concoction did not explode as planned however, and passengers were able to subdue him saving the flight.   According to the latest Wall Street Journal report on the incident, Mr. Abdulmutallab was able to smuggle the explosive device from Nigeria, where he boarded his KLM flight in Lagos, all the way through his connection in Amsterdam to the skies over Detroit. It was there that he attempted to explode 289 innocent travelers in the name of Allah.

At first, like many, I watched the events unfold with interest but was clearly distracted by the white noise of the holidays.  There was family to entertain, friends to visit, presents to unwrap, fresh baked ham to eat. “What exactly was this latest skirmish in the air all about?” I thought to myself. “I will have to listen more closely later.”  As the rumble of the holidays subsided however, and events began to unfold, my interest began to shift to anger.  “That could have just as easily been my flight from Kuwait a couple of weeks ago,” I thought to myself.   My anger seethed as new reports pointed out that, just like the 9/11 hijackers, this Nigerian man had purchased his tickets with cash and had checked no luggage.  It was as if the world had learned nothing from the 9/11 attack.  But then the news got even worse.  Apparently young Mr. Abdulmutallab’s name had already been added to a UK immigration watchlist, as well as a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) person of interest data file.  If that was not bad enough, we then learned that  his own father had actually warned Nigerian authorities that he was fearful his son could be engaged in some type of suicide plot.   Once again all the tripwires had been triggered and the appropriate authorities had been alerted, yet Mr. Abdulmutallab was allowed to board his KLM flight in Nigeria with concealed explosives without so much as a secondary screening.  “Certainly heads would roll,”  I thought to myself.

Shortly after the news broke however, things began to get surreal.  First Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN that the system worked well and actually praised our international security screening process. She also noted that though Mr. Abdulmutallab’s name was on a watch list, it contained nearly a half a  million names and was only advisory in nature.  Now let me get this straight… a major airline affiliated with Delta just let a known person of interest paying cash for a one-way ticket, with no checked luggage, board a flight for the United States of America and Janet Napolitano thinks that the system worked just fine. I would rather drink Rev. Jim Jones’  kool aid than this vile crap. We then find out that the explosive substance he smuggled on board was  something called PETN ,  a well documented easily detectable high explosive.  It is in fact, the very same substance that Richard Reid (alias – The Shoe Bomber) had attempted to use in 2001! Guess we just weren’t expecting that one….clever!

Soon the facts surrounding the Detroit incident became so damming that  Secretary Napolitano was forced to retract her earlier praise of  “the system.”    But in the same breath, she had the nerve to look into the camera and tell Amercans that it was still safe to fly!  Let’s see Janet, the system does not work by your own admission, but nothing to worry about – just remember not to try and stand up during the last hour of  your flight!

<Insert Scream Here>

My head was  now spinning with a mixture of anger and well…anger. “Where is the White House on all this?” I wondered.  “Why is our Commander-in-Chief not flying back from Hawaii to make a statement from the oval office to reassure the public that our government is taking decisive action?”  This should have happened immediately, but as of Monday…nothing but hula music.

If you have not been able to surmise by now, Head Muscle is angry.  Something stinks here, and  it smells like a stale cocktail of incompetence and bureaucracy with a chaser of political correctness. And make no mistake – it is lethal.  When is our leadership going to get serious about airline security?  When are we going to take off the gloves and decide that protecting American citizens is more important than being politically correct?  When are “We The People” going to throw open our windows stick our heads out into the street and scream to all the bobble heads in DC that:

“WE ARE MAD A HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

The safety of Americans, whether traveling domestically or internationally, is a bi-partisan issue and needs to be dealt with decisively.  Congress needs to quit worrying about the fate of Polar Bears in the Arctic and start worrying about the safety of their sons and daughters!  They then need to be held accountable when things like this happen.  If you are a commissioned officer in the Armed Forces, one DUI will relieve you of your career.  We need to set the same standards for these idiots we have put in charge  –  regardless of party.  We also need to hold our airlines accountable for clear lapses in their internal security processes. There is no excuse for KLM letting this lad onto their plane.  If we have databases with half a million names in them, we need to spend our stimulus dollars wisely and develop the data mining tools necessary to search for the name of every passenger that checks onto a flight – whether it is Smith or Abdul.  This is not rocket science and the fact that DHS and the FAA have not been able to implement such as system in the 8 years since 9/11  is inexcusable. Where is the outrage?

If you think my demands are unreasonable and impractical, I refer you to the venerable El Al Airlines of Israel.   One would think that El Al flights would be a prime target for terrorists, and in fact they are, but when did  the last El Al flight to fall from the sky in flames?  When was the last bomb scare on an El Al flight?  You will have trouble finding one because there are not any.  The reason for this is that Israel and El Al Airlines have placed the life and safety of their passengers above all other things.   I invite you to read a USA Today article from October, 2001  that elaborates on their process.  They have been doing it right for years. I have flown with them once personally and can attest to the exhaustive searches and interrogations one must go through prior to buckling into your seat. One thing is certain however, once you are seated, you know that there are no bad guys on board.  Why can’t Delta, United, US Airways, and Continental do the same? Why can’t the FAA demand it?  Why do we not cease flights to countries who do not uphold security standards?  Would it be inconvenient?  Absolutely.  Would people be offended? Without a doubt.  The result however could be hundreds if not thousands of lives saved, and our leaders would be doing the job they were elected to do – provide for the common defense of our nation.

Head Muscle is tired to ranting, and is ready to take action.  Over the next several weeks we will be calling our congressional leadership and demanding that they take this seriously and overhaul our travel security procedures once and for all.  We also strongly urge our readers to do the same.  Just follow this link to get the appropriate numbers.  It is time to stand up and hold our leadership to account. Please help Head Muscle by making your voice heard.  Remember, it could have been you on that plane.  The bomb could have functioned correctly, and the picture of the World Trade Center at the beginning of this post could have just as easily been of bodies and aircraft fragments crashing into the Detroit GM building.   Instead of asking, “Where were you on 9/11?” we could be asking , “Where were you on 12/25?”  The time for action is now.

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