Glenn Reynolds has several recurring themes, one of which is the tongue-in-cheek tag: "The country's in the very best of hands," a song from the 1956 musical "Lil' Abner". Even then - a time that many consider the Golden Age in America - you could get a laugh at the expense of the Federal Government.
I was reminded of this when I read about the success that an Islamic terrorist had in penetrating British Airways plotting to get a bomb on board and disrupt the airline's computer system.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
LONDON—U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki directed a U.K.-based employee of British Airways PLC to cause "chaos" by attacking the airline's computer systems and to help ship a "package" on board a U.S.-bound plane, prosecutors alleged in a London court Tuesday. ...
In messages prosecutors say Mr. Awlaki sent Mr. Karim in early 2010, the cleric tells him to stay in his job to find the "limitations and cracks" in airport security. Mr. Awlaki also laid out his biggest priority: the U.S.
"Anything there, even on a smaller scale compared to what you can do in the U.K., would be our choice," Mr. Awlaki allegedly said in messages read in court.
Of course the TSA has safeguards against this happening in this country.
Generally speaking, employees who work in high-level jobs or behind security checkpoints at airports get the most scrutiny. In the U.S., for example, any employee who has access to secure areas of the airport has to go through a security-threat assessment carried out by the Transportation Security Administration. That includes checking for outstanding warrants, criminal history and the like.
Mr. Karim arrived in Britain in 2006 and laid low, never expressing radical views, prosecutors said. The married father of one belonged to a gym and played football, coming across as a mild mannered and respectful neighbor in the northern English city of Newcastle. But Mr. Karim had a particular skill: his knowledge of IT.
That's right; he had no outstanding warrants, no criminal history, married, played football, and was mild mannered. In fact, he displayed fewer indications of adherence to violent Jihad than Major Nidal Hasan before he went on his murderous rampage at Fort Hood. And because one of the holiest commandments in the Liberal bible is that THOU SHALT NOT PROFILE, we can be sure that our version of Mr. Karim will receive less scrutiny than Joe Lunchbucket from Peoria. After all, that's how Major Hasan managed to avoid getting the boot before he killed 13 and wounded 30 more shouting "Allahu Akbar!"
The country's in the very best of hands.