Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day-Late, Meet Dollar-Short...

Continued fallout from the Undi-bomber: Barack Obama emerges from seclusion to, finally, admit what everyone with the same sense God gave a retarded Irish Setter already knew.

The System Failed -- despite Janet Napolitano's insistence to the contrary, and it needs to be fixed.

The man who famously attacked George W. Bush as being too stubborn to admit mistakes, and too slow to do the right thing has, four days after a near-major disaster, decided to admit a mistake and, indeed, pledge that he will take corrective action. But only because he had to; Apparent inaction and a seemingly-lackadaisical attitude on terrorism made him look bad on TV.

Now, in this instance, I can't (completely) kick the crap out of Barack Obama for anything except poor leadership. He didn't create the Department of Homeland (In-)Security, and he doesn't personally maintain the Watch Lists, nor does he screen luggage and passengers. Be fair. His sin was to not interrupt his vacation to let the public know he was on the job with this thing, and that he was going to get to the bottom of it all, while the Keystone Kops (Gibbs and Napolitano) made the whole Administration look more stupid and rudderless than it usually is. He delivered a terse press-release-disguised-as-a-serious-Presidential-moment, and then left...only to have to correct himself, his people, and his position, all within three days, and then he had to try to spin this cluster-fuck as a victory for the good guys, somehow, with a straight face. All without making reference to terror, terrorism, terrorists, War on Terrorism, Islam, Radical Islam or them Al'Qeada people, because that would undermine his whole rationale for the non-War on non-Terror.

That's a really hard juggling act, and he couldn't do it -- and it showed. If Barack Obama deserves a swift kick for anything, it's for his stubborn refusal to face reality. In the meantime, we find out that TSA and another Border agency don't have people in charge. The TSA top job is open because the person nominated has not been voted on by the Senate. The Democrats claim that Sen. DeMint (R) is holding the nomination process up, all by himself, despite the fact there's 60 democratic senators who could vote for this guy in a heartbeat, because DeMint is concerned the guy would unionize all TSA employees. Must look to the safety of the unions before the safety of the citizenry, right?

In light of what we've just seen, that would be a singularly bad idea. We need efficiency, professionalism and dedication from the TSA... not more coffee breaks and shorter working hours. So, even after the security of an airliner has been compromised, the democrats are still playing politics with the security of other airliners, and blaming a republican for it. Go figure.

The truth is that passing a National Eyedrops and Band aids plan was considered such a priority that it has apparently brought all other business before the Senate to a screeching halt. Not that having a head at TSA would have stopped this particular douchebag, but it's kind of stupid that a year after Obama takes office, he can't fill cabinet posts with a democrat-controlled Congress because of Healthcare.

Now, the truth about Homeland Security.

I've said it before, and I must say it again; this is an amalgamation of several government agencies under one roof. If you thought the mayhem and stupidity of a single government organization could be bad, wait until you see what happens when you merge several into a Super Agency -- and make it a cabinet-level post.

The DHS was never designed to do the things we expect it to do. It's not designed to protect the homeland (what is this, Soviet Russia?), it's not designed to deliver disaster relief, it's not designed to screen luggage, it's not designed to share information. It is the creation of bureaucrats and politicians in panic mode, and as such, it's main purpose is to give people the impression that someone is doing something.

This is why FEMA failed during Katrina. It's why TSA failed to catch Undibomber. It's why the State Department and CIA each had a file on the dude that one else ever saw. DHS is very good at taking knitting needles, nail clippers, shampoo and cigarette lighters from people who offer grudging co-operation. It absolutely sucks at finding terrorists. It has, instead, decided that American servicemen returning from overseas are more of a threat than Islamic Fundamentalsts. Identifying and catching terrorists is like... hard... and like any good organization drawn up the Senate Men's Room and lavishly-funded, it does so badly -- when it even bothers to. Doing that might mean an application of common sense, which would lead to profiling, which pisses Je$$e Jackass off.

DHS's response in the aftermath of Pantybomber was classic Washington nonsense: first it claimed a victory that it had not earned ("The System Alert and Courageous Citizenry..."), and then it overreacted after the metaphorical horse had defecated and bolted the barn (No Blankets, No Bathrooms, No Breathing for the last hour of a flight). That's how politicians and bureaucrats behave -- and DHS is the brainchild of politicians and bureaucrats, so no surprise there.

Which means that, ultimately, the safety of the American Public rests with...the American Public. As always. You have been ill-served by your government, and will continue to be, until there is a hue and cry and heads roll, starting with Janet Napolitano, and then with Obama -- if his nominee for TSA has been held up for 11 months, then nominate another. If 60 democrats in the Senate can't find the time to vote for him (basically just going through the motions), then you don't have the time to go to Hawaii. I guess Barack is finding out, the hard way, that this President thing is a 24/7 job.

Make sure you take out travel insurance every time you fly so long as the government is in charge of airline and airport security. I wish you luck.

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