or will we still listen to politicians who lie to themselves and to us?
I do not believe that the security provided in our airports really does much to help make the airlines actually secure. Airport security is the least of our problems, though.
"We know that organizations like al Qaeda are in the process of trying to secure a nuclear weapon -- a weapon of mass destruction that they have no compunction at using" --Obama: April 11, 2010
When Al Qaeda gets a nuke, they will put it on a boat, and drive it into NYC. At which point many of the nay-sayers about national security will be silenced. I believe we will survive as a nation, but I also believe that the resulting backlash will be extreme. A little bit of nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan has been about as effective at eliminating the Al Qaeda threat as inspecting the shoes of little old ladies in airports has been at actually securing our skies.
One thing that we should have already done is put the world on notice. Freedom of speech is gold, but yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater is still illegal. If you want to speak out against the US, fine, but if you chant 'death to America' that needs to be taken seriously. By seriously, I mean that there were nearly 3000 innocent civilians killed on 9/11, and this should have made us realize that the 'death to America' chanters were not kidding. It needs to be known world wide that if you join this chant there is already blood on your hands, and you face incarceration, same as if you yelled 'fire' in a crowded theater. These people are in foreign countries, but their governments must cooperate, for if they do not, they are complicit.
I have known many Muslims, and most are good people. Still, it seems obvious that we could ask a few pointed questions of every emigrant who is Islamic. We have outstanding testing research in our country: design a test that includes lots of control questions which identifies at risk individuals versus those who wish to be part of our culture. At risk individuals should be asked to go through further screening. And if a screener is not able to determine that an emigrant is not a risk, then no flying on US airlines. Maybe no entry visa. Maybe referral to the CIA.
Does this sound extreme? I admit it does. But it will not seem extreme at all on the day the bomb explodes in the city. I pray that day never comes, but I am certain it will. We are not doing nearly enough to forestall this tragedy, and what we are doing seems as comically pathetic as what goes on in our airports every day. Watching TSA fail to identify the real issue is not just funny, it is frightening. This is what our leaders are doing to protect us. This is their idea of a good solution.