Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The System Worked, Part IV...

This bunch at Homeland Security couldn't catch a cold, let alone a terrorist. And no wonder; they're looking for for the wrong people.

Now, I understand that Homeland Security is a huge, multi-departmental mega-behemoth, and that administrative errors are abound to occur in great quantities. You just hope that when they do, your personnel are smart enough to be able to improvise adequately. But this takes the cake.

It points out two glaring failures of the government when it comes to security; the first is the (often) lack of good information. This causes people to make guesses, and worse, these are often guesses which bear no relation to the information the government does have. In this case, having no good information on OBL, the government makes a guess at what he might look like. Being lazy and unaccustomed to actual work, the government employee who created those portraits then does what every 10 year old with a book report due does...and gets his picture off the Internet, probably with a Google search. This smells of "make-work" project, and the result shows.

The only thing that makes this half-way funny is that the dude who's picture finally gets lifted happens to be a dyed-in-the-wool communist. I'll bet he's working on the lucrative lawsuit as we speak -- to strike a blow against the bourgeois, fascist Amerikkka, of course, never for his personal enrichment. Thought never crossed his mind...

The second failure is the reliance upon technology. The government is depending upon the power of the Internet and media to alert people that we're looking for a terrorist who may now be disguised as a Spanish Communist. All well-and-fine; that approach often works in many a criminal case. But is there anyone on the ground actually looking for OBL? Naturally, no one will tell us if there is or isn't (for obvious reasons), but I would hazard to guess that there isn't a solitary soul tasked to scouring the Tribal Regions of Pakistan looking for OBL, because that would violate Pakistani sovereignty.

And if we're about anything in this Public-Relations-Campaign-With-Guns-Against-Terror, it's all about the legal niceties.

Nothing beats a standard-issue pair of Mark I Eyeballs, attached to a properly-calibrated M1 Braincase. You can have all the drones, full-body-scanners, and Google in the world, and it still doesn't stop anyone from boarding an aircraft with TNT Boxer shorts. The technology is merely a tool; the solution is people smart enough not to fight terrorists with Google searches and Photoshop, but with their faculties.

But then there's no opportunity for graft; government contracts can't be given out in return for campaign contributions, there's no federal unions to squeeze for money and votes. Congress would have no say and be made irrelevant to the process. No...it's much better to have the current system, which doesn't work and puts lives at risk, but which provides the opportunity for Congress to put it's grubby fingers into many pies and pinch a few plums for itself and it's friends, right?

Somebody had better be walking the unemployment line today if this is the kind of work billions of taxpayer dollars buys. If he were working in the private sector, he would be; because he belongs to a protected class (civil servant) that's umbillically attached to Congress by a thread of easily-stolen and mismanaged taxpayer funds, he's probably due for a promotion instead.

Get the government out of the "security" business and put it in the hands of private contractors who know what the fuck they're doing...

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