Dan says…

His name is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. You know, the guy with the exploding crotch, landing on a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Personally, I’d love to see the guy set free. In Detroit. Not Little Iraq, mind you. I’m talking downtown. Maybe Poletown. With a sandwich board stapled to his chest that says “I’m the Northwest Crotch Bomber.”

I’d estimate his life expectancy at about 3.2 hours.

According to CNN, the crotch rocket Umar had in his pants had pentaerythritol tetranitrate as it’s primary ingredient. I won’t pretend to know what that is, other than to parrot what Wikipedia says about it: very effing explosive.

According to the TSA, a secondary screening employed for suspicious persons includes a swabbing, which the TSA claims would have picked up this chemical, thwarting the failed-anyway attack.

Problem is, Amsterdam (where the flight departed) doesn’t have a TSA enclave at their international airport. However, they do have weed bars. And unionized whores. But no U.S.-sponsored TSA. This needs to be fixed.

I’m drafting a pretend letter to President Obama right now to address the issue. Feel free to copy it and send it to him yourself, if you want.

Dear Mr. President,

I have an idea that’ll make our shores and our citizens safer. And it won’t cost us a penny. In fact, it’ll actually make us some money. And in this tight economy, who couldn’t use a little extra cash?

I know! Awesome, right? I have your attention, then?

You know about the whole crotch-bomber guy, right? And you and your top peeps have probably been working late since Christmas trying to figure out how to close that huge security hole so we don’t have anymore bombs showing up in crotches and on planes.

Well, Mr. President? Here’s my plan: Any airline (either collectively or individually) with flights from foreign countries to the United States, particularly those that accept connecting flights from places like FUCKING NIGERIA, would be required to invest in having a satellite (and slightly more militarized) TSA office in that foreign airport, to provide passenger inspections that were not influenced by the weed, prostitutes, or corrupt politicians the Netherlands seem to be known for.

The airline would be free to increase it’s ticket prices, but only on their U.S.-bound international flights, to compensate for this new constraint. This would provide an additional benefit: poverty-stricken terrorists won’t be able to afford airfare.

I know! Again!

Win, win, friggin’ win.

And we’d change the rules for screening passengers. Anyone with a terrorist-sounding first, middle or last name, like Abdulmutallab, Ahmed or Hussein would get the full “latex-and-lube” treatment prior to being allowed to board.

Oh, what’s that? Your middle name’s Hussein? Um…shit.

Well, you have to admit the rest of the plan is awesome. You can use it if you want.

Warmest regards,


…but Jane thinks…

Please, whatever you do, don’t use Jane, You Ignorant Slut letter head on your letter to Obama, Dan.  I have enough problems as it is without the CIA knocking on my door, or worse, every one in the Tri State Area with an Arabic sounding last name showing up in the driveway.

Also, you totally stole my argument about not allowing unscreened travelers whose journeys originated in Lagos, home of the most dangerous airport ever except for that one that Keanu Reeves drove the bus around for an afternoon at high speeds, to enter US airspace.

By the way, are you complaining about the weed bars and legalized prostitution in Amsterdam?  If so, I think I know what we’re writing about after we try to tackle healthcare reform.

TSA already pulls everybody who might bear a vague resemblance to someone of middle eastern dissent off to the side for “special” screening.   I’m pretty sure even a dark tan gets you at least a special trip to the dude who uses the metal detecting wand in addition to the walk-through.  Your calls for anal cavity searches probably say more about you than your desire for enhanced National Security, but I’ll leave that alone for the commenters who google “lube and latex” to remark on.

I am, despite the fact that I actually tried to apply to ACLU for college not realizing that it wasn’t somewhere I could happily spend four years safely ensconced in the warm embrace of lovers of liberty like myself, all in favor of profile-based screening.   I like my travel like I like my men:  safe and without bombs hidden in underpants.

An initial problem I see with posting TSA employees on foreign soil to do screenings is that they are, as near as I can tell, mostly inept.  There are absolutely some airport security workers who are qualified, competent, and on the ball.  I just haven’t met any of them.

Your analysis of this recent situation overlooks the primary issue, though. They don’t hate us because we’re free, they hate us because we are assholes who have treated them like shit for generations, stuck our military bases in places they don’t belong to try to guarantee easier and cheaper access to oil, despite our protestations to the contrary we have chosen a side in the Arab-Israeli conflict – money talks, bullshit walks let’s remember, and generally stomped on everything in our path because we think we’re better than everybody else.  And because we’re not just assholes, but sometimes we are stupid assholes, we armed the entire region.  Doh!

We can profile.  We can screen.  We can require people to empty their bladders and bowels and fly pantsless while handcuffed to the overhead compartments.  But until we do the hard time required to figure out our own role on the world stage that is both respectful and reflects our desire to lead, we’re still going to have to worry about exploding crotches in the not-so-friendly skies.