Robert A. George's ruminations on politics, race, pop culture, sports, comic books & various other sundry temptations of the human condition. Yes, he writes for the New York Post, but the views here are solely his own.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Happy New Year
And so we way buh-bye to the Uh-Oh Decade, AKA the "'00ps, I Did It Again!" Decade! It's been a decade of major mistakes and preventable tragedies. That includes 9/11 and the economic meltdown. As a result of truly bipartisan policy folly, many Americans died, lost their jobs, fortunes and homes -- for reasons not altogether of their own doing.
That said, none of us are innocent or faultless. Perhaps that just describes the human condition.
The end of the year is always a good time to take stock at ourselves. Take note of the good and bad in our lives -- the successes, the failures, the "mehs." In a broader and more spiritual sense, we ponder where we may have fallen from the mark and see how we can continue to improve ourselves.
In the past year, I was blessed to have a brand new niece enter the world. Spending time with Milan Chrisette this past Christmas was one of the most enjoyable moments I've had in a while.
Like many of you, I've made some New Year's Resolutions. And, no, I'm not sharing them all here (though, I think, for the second or third year in a row, I'm promising a major site redesign. At long last, this time it shall occur)!
In any event, thank you, dear readers of Ragged Thots, whether long-timers or just occasional visitors. However much of your valuable time you manage to give to this little part of the internets, it is truly appreciated!!
In 2010, may we learn from our old mistakes so we can endeavor to make new and original ones!
But this really is, pace Yogi Berra, "Deja vu all over again"! As the New York Times reports, "Two officials said the government had intelligence from Yemen before Friday that leaders of a branch of Al Qaedathere were talking about “a Nigerian” being prepared for a terrorist attack. While the information did not include a name, officials said it would have been evident had it been compared with information about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian charged with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit on Christmas Day."
Holy, August 2001, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S" Memo, Batman!!!
So, more than eight years later, U.S. intelligence hasn't figure out how to identify likely suspects in terror attacks -- even when they've figured out their nationality and where the plot is originating from?
Forget about racial or ethnic profiling, what's wrong with "foreign national profiling"? Once there is credible information that Al Qaeda is training "Nigerians," why not put additional attention on Nigerians traveling into the United States (zeroing in one guy without luggage might also be a good idea)?
Anyway, clearly there's "systemic failure." We're into another administration and the permanent bureaucracy seems about as dysfunctional as ever. CIA? NSA? FBI? Is anyone talking to each other?
All that said, there is hardly anyway that Napolitano can be said to have the confidence of her boss, the president of the United States. The incident itself redounds to the efficience of an agency under Napolitano's oversight, the Transportation Security Agency. That's bad enough. In many other cultures, such an epic fail would have required a minister to submit his or her resignation on the spot. But then Napolitano goes on the air and says, "The system worked"? Well, if by "working," she means an alert Dutch national sustained burns to his own hands in bringing down the guy trying to bring down the plane, yeah one could say things "worked"!
Sorry, that's game over. The public can't have confidence in its head of homeland security. And neither should the president.