All Commentary
Thursday, January 7, 2010

Government Tipped Off After Terror Suspect was Airborne


“But an administration official said late Wednesday that the information would not have resulted in further scrutiny before the suspect departed. Abdulmutallab was in a database containing half a million names of people with suspected extremist links but who are not considered threats. Therefore, border security officials would have sought only to question him upon arrival in the U.S., the administration official said.

Nonetheless, the disclosure shows the complexity of the intelligence and passenger screening systems that are the subject of comprehensive reviews that the administration will release today.” (Los Angeles Times, Thursday)

“Complexity” here being a euphemism for “bureaucratic turf wars, inefficiency and incompetence.”

FEE Timely Classic:
Privatizing Airline Safety and Security” by Paul Cleveland and Thomas Thacker