Thursday, January 7, 2010

Point and Fire, Please

There still seems to be a lot of talk about the whole Christmas Day attempted bombing debacle that went on that Northwest flight over Detroit. The thing is that with all of the talk that is going on, the one thing that I don't hear being talked about is who is going to be fired and when. Clearly, this is an incident that has firing potential, isn't it? Shouldn't someone have been fired by now? (Or at the very least, had their head placed on a pike of some sort? Oh, wait. That wouldn't really be the "least", but probably rather the "most", wouldn't it?)

Since no one has been fired yet, I was at least hoping for things to evolve to the point where someone would be fired. After all, how many people lost their jobs after the September 11 attacks? Heads had to have rolled then, right? So how many was it? 50? 100? 10? Oh, that's right. None. ::: sigh ::: Am I supposed to expect that this is going to be any different? I think I'm supposed to expect that, but tell you what...I don't think that I'm going to expect that. Just for kicks. Just this once. Just this once I'm not going to expect anything and then I'll see how that works for me. I'm guessing it's going to work pretty well.

Here's what President Barry had to say in his little press conference dealio about the whole Undiebomber ordeal:

"I will accept that intelligence, by its nature, is imperfect. But it is increasingly clear that intelligence was not fully analyzed or fully leveraged. That's not acceptable and I will not tolerate it. The information was there. Agencies and analysts who needed it had access to it. And our professionals were trained to look for it and to bring it all together. The US government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot and to potentially disrupt the Christmas day attack, but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots. We have to do better, and we will do better, and we have to do it quickly. American lives are on the line."

First of all, are there "dots", plural? It seems to me like there might just be "dot" singular. I mean, what more do you need to act on than the guy's Dad going to a US embassy and saying that his son is a radical nutjob who wants to attack the United States? That seems like a dot. I don't know that you need another dot to connect it to, really. It's not even a very small dot. Seems like a pretty big dot to me.

Second, the part about having to do better and having to do better quickly. Um, since September 11, 2001, haven't we been spending so much money on this that it would make your head spin and never stop spinning? (Nancy Pelosi is excluded from answering that question, as I'm pretty sure that her head spins around on a fairly regular basis.) We've been spending money on this and trying to get good at this for over eight years! What exactly does he mean by "quickly" in the sense that he used it in? I would have thought that they'd have it down by now, but apparently, not so much.

Some other highlights of President Barry's response to this matter include: "While there will be a tendency for finger pointing, I will not tolerate it." Huh. See, I for one, I would like to see a little finger pointing. I could tolerate that. Because in reality, someone screwed up. And if you ask one person who screwed up and they point to someone else and say that they are the screw up, then you check that out. Maybe the person screwed up and maybe they didn't, but you have to follow the direction that the finger is pointing in to get some sort of an idea as to who was the incompetent moron who let this guy on a plane with a load of explosive strapped to his grundle, don't you? I think you do!

Fine, you don't want to point fingers? How about some head nodding? Just nod your head in the guy's general direction and we'll know what you mean.

Robert Gibbs, the usually snarky and sarcastic (he's snarkastic) press secretary said something along those same lines when he said Tuesday that "The president will not find acceptable a response where everybody gets in a circle and points at someone else. The American people won’t accept that.” Uh, Gibbsey? Yeah, as one of those American people that you mention there, I should tell you that I will accept finger pointing, but I will not accept men with TNT-laden genitals on board my aircraft. That's what I won't accept. Point all the fingers you want, but just keep guys with explosive laden genitalia off of the planes. OK. Thanks.

Oh! I almost forgot the other highlight of President Barry's talk (which had the "I'm deeply disappointed in you" tone that you received from your parents when you screwed up as a teenager). He said "In the days ahead, I will announce further steps to disrupt attacks, including better integration of information and enhanced passenger screening for air travel." Enhanced passenger screening for air travel? Good Lord, man. Now what?! Seriously. We already have it to a point where we practically have to disrobe completely in order to make it through airport security. We can't carry anything that resembles a gel or a liquid or a concentrate. At any given point in the process we're made to stand shoeless, beltless, scarfless, and hatless. And for the purpose of what? Because let me just remind folks of something. All of this passenger screening that we're doing right now has never caught and thwarted an attack. Surprise!

Think about it. Has there been anything that has come out of having us do all of that? No, there hasn't. No one has been stopped at security because they were made to take off their hat and there was a ticking time bomb underneath it. (And to think that in that scenario, they would have made it through if it weren't for those meddling security screeners!) That's never happened. No one has ever had their evil plan thwarted at the security checkpoints. I don't know what that means, but it means something. Feel free to let me know what that is if you happen to know.

President Barry can say whatever he wants to about making sure that we do better and that we're going to do better, but I don't think that I am going to feel better unless someone (and I'm thinking more than one someone) gets fired. The guy's dad told us that his son was a lunatic who wanted to attack the US. THAT isn't enough to get the guy on a no-fly list or at least on some sort of watch list? (I have NO idea what the watch list does, by the way. What are we watching them for, exactly? Sudden movements? Loins full of gunpowder? I don't get it.) Whoever it was that took that message, I want that person fired. Whoever it was that didn't do anything about it, I want that person fired. I kind of want Janet Napolitano fired for saying "The system worked" after all of this had first gone down. (The system didn't "work". The system didn't do anything, you pinhead.) Once I see some finger pointing, some head nodding and some people getting fired, then we can talk about how safe we are. Because until the same people (who were responsible for allowing all of the puzzle pieces to fall into place in order to almost doom nearly 300 people to a bomb-y death over God-forsaken Detroit) are fired and are not allowed to continue to do their job in the most crappy manner possible, no one is safe. Besides, why wouldn't you want to fire them?

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