Today ABC News and other news sources have been reporting on how a citizen of Nigeria managed to penetrate airport security on at least two occasions and board airliners for flights from Los Angeles to New York using what appear to have been stolen boarding passes and false ID.
He has apparently provided some sort of explanation for his actions but, in point of fact, no one really seems to know what this guys motivations really were. Clearly law enforcement is taking this case extremely seriously and no one should be quick to dismiss this case until all of the facts are truly known. The only thing that is certain at this time is that clearly the system has, once again, failed.
This revelation comes on the heels of the recent decision of TSA officials to subject an ailing, wheelchair-bound elderly female passenger who was in her 90’s to a search of her adult diaper in the name of “security.”
I would remind you that in order to protect airliners from being used in a terrorist attack, the bad guys have to be prevented from boarding the airliner in the first place.
Think back to the incident on Christmas Day a couple of years ago when another citizen of Nigeria, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attempted to destroy an airliner as it descended in the skies of the United States as it prepared to land at Detroit by setting off explosives in his underwear.
Fortunately “Captain Underpants” failed to destroy the airliner or injure anyone but himself because his bomb failed to explode but did, apparently, set fire to his genitals. Additionally, an alert passenger tackled the blazing would-be bomber preventing further damage or injuries. The next day Janet Napolitano made the outrageous statement that the “System worked!” I wrote a commentary in which I said, “If hope is not a strategy, then dumb luck is not a success!”
It was subsequently determined that the system really did not work! His name should have been placed on “No Fly” lists. Further deficiencies were identified.
Yet today the news reports tell of how an airline passenger easily gamed the system on multiple occasions and flew across our nation using false ID and stolen boarding passes!
It is amazing that a simple airline flight now involves searches that are so thorough that I have noted on a couple of my radio appearances that soon passengers may find that seeking to board an airliner will require them to have a chest x-ray, a mammogram and a colonoscopy before they board the airliner! The day may soon be coming when airline passengers will be required to board airliners in medical exam gowns with their backsides hanging out- all in the name of “national security!”
Last year when I struck up a conversation with a flight attendant as I flew home following a stint as an expert witness at a trial in which immigration was at issue, the discussion turned to the DHS and the TSA. I told her that for a number of reasons I have come to refer to the DHS as being the Department of Homeland Surrender! She told me that airline employees have come to refer to the TSA as “Thousands Standing Around!”
I know that there are many dedicated employees at both the DHS and TSA, the problem is that these agencies, in my judgement, are not benefiting from true leadership. There is a wonderful Yiddish expression that says that “When a fish goes bad, it smells from the head!”
The man who was described as being a citizen of Nigeria who was arrested by the FBI is now identified as being Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi. I am not certain as to how his true name was arrived at or if, in fact, it will be ultimately determined that he is actually someone else, however, the point is that airport security has once again failed. Fortunately this time no harm was done to an airliner or any passengers, but it is clear the system has many flaws.
Here is something for you to consider- while it is clear that terrorists can use airliners as weapons if they are able to hijack those airliners, converting passenger aircraft into form of macabre cruise missiles, there are ever so many other ways that terrorists can attack our country and inflict huge casualties inside the United States.
America, as the saying goes, offers a “target rich” environment for terrorists who are determined to destroy America’s infrastructure and slaughter as many civilians as possible. Yet our government treat airports and airlines as sacrosanct but ignores so many other vulnerabilities!
How often have we heard that an extremely busy airline terminal has been shut down because some passenger opened a door that was supposed to be secure? Every minute that an airliner sits on the ground it costs the airline company that owns that airliners significant money. An airliner on the ground is an airliner that is not earning its keep. Yet a single person opening a wrong door can trigger a virtual lockdown of a terminal or terminals at America’s busiest airports and effectively ground dozens of airliner and wreck havoc with the world wide airline system delaying thousands of people as the delays cause a cascade of delays throughout the system that may span our nation and even impact travel across the globe.
Yet when thousands of illegal aliens who have no reliable means of providing evidence of our nation run our nation’s borders, a daily occurrence- our nation does absolutely nothing! In fact, under current policies, the administration does not even want such illegal aliens of unknown identities, unknown backgrounds, and unknown intentions to be removed from the United States event though their presence in the United States represents a violation of what should be our sovereign borders and a violation of our nation’s laws!
The system by which visas are issued to foreign nationals who seek to enter our country can provide an important layer of security to protect our nation and our citizens from transnational criminals and terrorists yet pressure is constantly exerted by the “Discover America Partnership” that includes corporations involved in the tourism and travel industries, the ever popular Chamber of Commerce and even the National Retailers Association to expand the number of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program. Currently the citizens of 36 such countries may now enter the United States without applying for and receiving a visa. Meanwhile the 9/11 Commission identified laxness in the process by which visas were issued to the terrorists as an important vulnerability!
The fact that an alien, whose immigration status, by the way has not yet been reported and perhaps may not even have yet been determined, had multiple boarding passes in, presumably, multiple false names caused the FBI to take him into custody, there are literally unknown millions of illegal aliens in our country at this very moment who are using false identities and may have used multiple false identities and not only won’t they be arrested per the President’s orders, if the President and many of our nation’s “leaders” could have their way, these illegal aliens would be afforded the highest honor a nation can bestow upon a foreign national- citizenship- even though our government may never truly know what their names are!
In the days, weeks and months after the attacks of September 11, 2001 a veritable parade of politicians stood before a forest of microphones and scores of television cameras to demand why “No one connected the dots?”
Is anyone paying attention?
Kids are notorious for asking, “Are we their yet?” when they join their families for lengthy road trips.
That might also be an appropriate question to ask Janet Napolitano who heads up the DHS (Department of Homeland Surrender) under which are Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the ever popular Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA). The destination in this case is not a trip to a vacation home or grandma’s house but national security.
Of course we know that she would undoubtedly say that we are safer now than ever before- but if you believe that- then I have a fence to sell you!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!
If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!
If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!
Additionally- this summer, on Friday afternoons from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will be filling in for Tom Garcia as the host on The USA Talk Radio Network’s excellent radio show, “The American Hour.”
I hope you will be joining my cohost, Paula Lauzon Ostman and me, on Fridays this summer!
Here is the link for this program: