In the Fear on Terror, Strip Searching Not Enough
The Transportation Security has modified its stepped-up security measures in the wake of the failed crotch bombing attempt. Now, instead of everyone, only travelers from or passing through 10 “countries of interest” (Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen), and four nations “known to be sponsors of terrorism” (Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria) will be given extra scrutiny at airport security checkpoints, including enhanced pat-down searches.
Naturally, this isn’t enough for right-wingers. For instance, on Sunday, Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney told Julie Banderas:
McInerney: Because I believe that in the next 90 to 120 days, there is danger, a very high probability that a U.S. airliner will come down because of one of these bombers. And so, we’ve got to go to more than just the normal process that they’re talking about now, we have got to go to very, very strict screening, and we have to use profiling. And I mean be very serious and harsh about the profiling. If you are an 18 to 28-year-old Muslim man, then you should be strip searched. And if we don’t do that, there’s a very high probability we’re going to lose an airliner.
Banderas: That’s a bit strong, though. I mean, really. Racial profiling, first of all, is extremely controversial and it would be essentially singling out people because of a religious group, because of an ethical background. That…That’s just not going to go over, not in this country, anyway.
McInerney: Julie, I agree. That’s the problem. But if you lose 300 Americans, and then people are going to say, “why didn’t we do this?” The fact is, if that age group doesn’t like it, then what are they doing to stop this jihad against the West? What is Saudi Arabia, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina … why aren’t they putting out a fatwa that says that his jihad against the West is an unholy war. …
Banderas: God forbid we actually did that, and we actually did profile every Muslim that tries to enter this country within a certain age group, that would just, I would imagine, generate more violence and hatred toward the West. …
What are people in that age group doing, General? You might want to check out just one example, that of Libya, where as Britta Sandberg at Der Spiegel reported 18 months ago and Borzou Darahagi at the Los Angeles Times reported last month, former militants are turning against al Qaeda:
A nation the West once considered a major sponsor of terrorism may have pulled off a groundbreaking coup against Al Qaeda: coaxing a group once strongly allied with Osama bin Laden to renounce its onetime partner as un-Islamic.
Libya’s government is trumpeting its success in persuading leaders and foot soldiers of the extremist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group to reject Al Qaeda’s brand of violence. The decision, recounted by former members of the group and Libyan officials, offers a unique example of reconciliation between a government and a violent Islamic group once devoted to overthrowing it.
“The government learned to sit with people who were opposed to them and have dialogue and understand them,” said Abubakir Armela, a leader of the group who returned from exile in 2005.
The general didn’t explain how he expects to determine which 18 to 28-year-olds are Muslims since people of all races embrace Islam. If you’re a Christian Arab, as are the majority of Arab Americans, or a Hindu Indonesian, or a Sikh or just somebody who officials think looks like a Muslim, up with your hands and down with your pants. If you’re black, and have a funny name, like, say Barack Hussein Obama, off with your Hanes.
Next up, strip searching Muslim and Muslim-looking women of a certain age. Plus body-cavity searches. Because, some Lt. Gen. Wet Underpants will in a month or a year be fear-mongering us with more “high probability” talk.