Our system of counterterrism, based on the law enforcement model, failed us once again. Like the Christmas Day airline bombing, we only detected the plot after it failed. This is not law enforcement success, it is law enforcement failure.
This model is great for detecting who is responsible for crimes after they are committed. In fact, the quick identification and apprehension of Shahzad is evidence that our federal law enforcement agencies are competent to handle criminal investigations and bring to justice those who have committed acts of terrorism.
Perhaps I am overstating the case. Let's give our federal law enforcement officers credit where credit is due. They have disrupted many many terrorist plots over the past few years before they came to fruition. Kudos to them.
But this is where the terrorists have the advantage. You can disrupt dozens or even hundreds of would be terror plots, but not detecting a single large plot before it is executed is a recipe for disaster. Remember 9/11?
We have to get it right every time. The terrorists only have to get it right once.
I'm not sure what Faisal Shahzad's IQ is. I'm not sure if he is a fool or if the bomb's failure came because he was in a hurry. Whatever the reason the plot failed because of Shahzad, not because of anything our intelligence and law enforcement agencies did.
They failed, plain and simple. Had our foes sent a more competent or well trained operative, things would have gone a lot differently.
Again, stating the obvious: Is Shahzad being grilled by the new Terror Interrogation Team promised by the Obama Administration? You know, the one promised last summer but that wasn't operational when Abdulmutallab was apprehended on Christmas Day? Is it even operational yet?
This seems like a better question than wondering if he's been mirandized.
I don't blame law enforcement or intelligence agents for these failures. They lack the tools necessary to fully detect terror plots before they hatch. Even with FISA, which allows them to pry into the electronic communications of suspected terrorists, they don't have enough.
There are literally thousands of people like Shahzad here in this country. Thousands. Luckily, most of them lack the will to actually carry through with their fantasies. Way too many for law enforcement and intelligence to keep tabs on.
So that forces them to make choices: who is really dangerous and who isn't? Sometimes they get it wrong. Case in point: Nidal Hasan and Fort Hood.
We are at war. The war is not against terrorism. The war is against violent Islamism -- political Islam. And any Muslim who adheres to this philosophy is an enemy of liberty and of the United States.
This is not a call to outlaw Islam. Nor is it a call to round up Muslims.
If you want to pray five times a day towards Mecca and pay the zakat, be my guest. More power to you.
But if you sympathize with the imposition of sharia law in this or any country in the world, you are my enemy. Simply holding this viewpoint is reason enough to have you under surveillance. Even if you want to impose sharia through peaceful means, such as through elections, you need to be watched.
I just don't trust you. You are like that paragon of moderate Nazism, Rudolph Hess. You may very well believe the ummah is inhabited by unicorns and rainbows and that peace and harmony will come to the world once you are in power or that peaceful coexistence can happen. It can't.
Having Islamist sympathies should be treated, prima facie, as reasonable suspicion for surveillance. Tough.
If political Islam is so wonderful move to Gaza.
This is going to piss off a lot of people, especially Muslim countries. No, especially people in the State Department. I no longer care.
Political Islam is every bit as dangerous as Communism. This does not mean that each and every Marxist was dangerous during the Cold War, only that Marxists were much more likely to be communists with sympathies to the Soviet Union than, say, libertarians.
I'm sorry if this hurts the feelings of Muslims who are under the impression that sharia is just about marriage and banking. It's not. And I don't care how much you "reform" it. You remind me of the academic Marxists always complaining that Communism really was awesome, it was just implemented wrong. Like, every time it was tried.
Your philosophical system is not the solution to the injustices and misery in the world, it is a major contributing cause. And people who adhere to your system of thought kill more people than any one else.
If this is profiling, it is scientifically and statistically based. It is therefore every bit the definition of reasonable.
UPDATE: This gets even better and better: Shahzad almost got away
The flight had begun to taxi for takeoff when FBI agents ordered it to return to the gate where Shahzad and two others were taken into custody. The other two were later released, authorities said.Brilliant! By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D