Monday, August 14, 2006

DHS Issues New Rules (Again) For Passengers, Following Nonsense Logic Akin To Believing One Can Be A Little Bit Pregnant

A rule such as, "Passengers can't bring liquids or gels on board an airplane," is easy to understand for passengers, and assuming airport screeners do their jobs, easy to achieve.

In the wake of the thwarted terrorist plan to use liquid explosives to blow up airplanes heading to the U.S. from London, most American can accept this gameplan. Long lines are a hassle, but Americans have been through this drill before. And until the Department of Homeland Security puts technology into U.S. airports to detect liquid explosives, a ban on liquids is probably the best answer.

But alas, the brain trust at DHS can't even get this one right.

The Associated Press reports this morning that DHS has changed the rules as to what can get on a plane and what can't. Apparently, the dunderheads at DHS are following the philosophy that you can be a "little bit pregnant."

The new game plan is to allow up to four ounces of liquid nonprescription medicine, glucose gel for diabetics; solid lipstick; and baby food.

But, and please try to follow the logic, DHS on Saturday added mascara to the list of banned items, which includes baby teethers with gel or liquid inside, children's toys with gel inside and gel candles.

So, people can bring aboard a little bit of liquid or gel, but not too much?

An expert on explosives, British professor Hans Michaels, told the International Herald Tribune last week that about five ounces of a powerful explosive like nitroglycerin might be enough to blow up an airplane. And the Londoners' plot apparently had terrorists working in teams, assembling their explosives on board.

So if you only need five ounces of liquid explosives to blow up a plane, why is DHS allowing a passenger to bring items that have several ounces of liquid in them?

Because the same terrorist who had planned to put liquid explosives into a 12-ounce can of soda could conceivably put those explosives into a six-ounce jar of baby food. The same terrorist who planned to carry on liquid explosives in the form of mascara could conceivably carry on liquid explosives in the form of lipstick.

Either DHS believes that a terrorist plot could still be carried out using liquid explosives, in which case it should ban all liquids, or it doesn't, in which case it should relax the rules accordingly. Being a "little bit pregnant" isn't a policy.


Anonymous librechik said...

and no more shampoo at Granma's Punkin Patch in Wootchihoo Iowa

that's a major terror target you know. (or someplace very much like it)

10:46 AM  
Anonymous MindPilot said...

Has anyone stopped to think that just maybe the plot itself is the terrorism? All they have to do is concoct some scheme with a "Snakes On A Plane" level of probability, get themselves caught, and then sit back and watch the fun. The west is perfectly capable of wrecking their economy and giving away their freedoms we are supposedly hated for on nothing more than a perceived threat.

It's political and economic terrorism and we are falling for it hook, line and sinker.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous KKKarl is an idiot said...

I have always said that the 9/11 attack caused so much mayhem in our economy that we have still not recovered from it. We spend hundreds of billions in Iraq. Our freedoms are taken away because of this threat. That is what they want. So far I believe the terrorists are winning the so called "war on terror" because of the "fear factor".

11:00 AM  
Anonymous snappyturtle said...

I think what you propose could in fact be the truth.

It certainly gives the administration "legs" to further obliterate our freedoms. I wonder if the whole sky terror thing will turn out to be a wet dream by those involved but it results in Mission Accomplished.......herding the sheeple and getting them to go along with more regulation. Deregulate everything else but keep those damn people under control! I bet Tony and * got quite a chuckle over the havoc they created this past weekend.....power, more power over the people.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous coalition_unwilling said...

They're satisfying the bureaucratic imperative of being seen to do something, anything, even if what they are doing falls under the category of Beckett-esque absurdism.

Personally, I am boycotting civilian air travel until BFEE is removed from power, barring some urgent family emergency.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous B3Nut said...

Evidence that Dilbert's pointy-haired boss now works for DHS.

Todd in Beerbratistan

4:40 PM  
Anonymous BattyDem said...

These "security measures" are total BS!

It's only been a few days since putting the rules in place and they're relaxing them already? Someone could put explosives in mascara or a teething ring, but not in lipstick or baby food? This is sounding a lot like Michael Moore's "99-cent Bic Lighter".

4:40 PM  
Anonymous daleo said...

This will all blow over in two weeks

The airlines won't put up with these restrictions for long - it is bad for business. It will be clear then what a farce it all was, to anyone who gives it ten seconds thought. Unfortunately, that isn't always a lot of people.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous daleo said...

This will all blow over in two weeks

The airlines won't put up with these restrictions for long - it is bad for business. It will be clear then what a farce it all was, to anyone who gives it ten seconds thought. Unfortunately, that isn't always a lot of people.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

We are going broke while we fight the ghost of "terrorism", the ghost of "fear" and the ghost of "elusive democracy". The Republican controlled Congress and White House conduct both fiscal and energy policy in a state of denial of any potential crisis. They waste more money than do druken sailors. Conservatives in the White House continue to insist on making the 2001-2003 tax cuts permanent, despite unimpressive cost-benefit analysis. Over seventy-five years these tax cuts are projected to cost $11 trillion, dwarfing the $4 trillion price tag to fully fund Social Security benefits. Furthermore, the tax cuts are skewed toward the upper-income brackets in ways that lessen their stimulative effects. The amount of dollar stimulus (about 9 cents per dolar) is less than the dollar value of the tax break. The powerful economic influence on the Conservatives is religious extremism. That is why federal agencies reject scientific reports on ecological, stem cell, contraceptive, gay marriage,
and abortion issues. They sponsor not only faith-based social relief, but faith-based war, faith-based science, faith-based education, faith-based medicine, faith-based economic policy, faith-based fight against percieved evil, faith-based medical research and faith-based politics. There is no accountability of our governemnt expenditures with the current Republican(Conservative) controlled Congress and White House. The "terrorist" are laughing their ass off at how they spend $10,000 to create fear and we spend trillions to save our ass and to reduce our freedoms that our fore-fathers died to provide for us. IMO the Republicans( conservatives) are using something that all Americans hold dear, not living in fear, to create and heighten the fear to attain political power.
In the months after 911, Washington could have shaped a multilateral response able to maintain much of the worldwide goodwill voluteered to the US in the wake of the shocking attacks. Instead the administration's reponse was fundamentalism, unilateralism, and Manichaean, trumpting a confrontation - briefly even termed a crusade- pitting good against evil. The invasion and occupation of Iraq, another poorly planned agenda, provided an invironment for execessive waste of tax payer dollars. If "terrorism" reamins long enough - flaring into guerrilla wars and even civil wars - to wear the US down militarily ( notice our enlistment rate is way down - remember I have given the %, which is less than 1, of Bush voters that have not enlisted)and ecomomically then we have allowed the "terrorist' to win by default.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

To those of you airheads who appear not to take the Islamo-Facist threat very seriously, I can only say that you are a bunch of fools, and not worthy of more of a response than that. Go stick your heads back up wherever you had them.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trinity, you come across as the captain of airheads and fools.
Your comment above is useless, right-wing spin directed at a major political party making up at least half of the country. You do not deserve to be taken seriously by anyone with an IQ higher than a cabbage.
For the tenth millionith time, just because we advocate demonstrably more effective methods of fighting terrorism than those demonstrably failed and sometimes illegal ones attempted by the neocon Bush Administration does not mean we do not take the Islamic threat seriously.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Anonymous, please explain to me how the methods used by the Bush Administration have "demonstrably failed". Was there another major attack that I somehow missed? If not, I wouldn't say that our methods have failed.

Furthermore, the Brits were able to foil this particular wave of radical Muslim attacks last week using pretty much the same sort of surveillance and aggressive intelligence measures that the Bush Administration have been advocating and using. Why is that? Because they work.

Another thing, if you guys don't believe or even recognize that this really is a war of good against evil that is occurring, with Iran calling the shots, then prepare to be broadsided again as you were on 9-11, because sooner or later these fanatical Islamo nutjobs are going to get lucky and succeed in executing another attack against us here in this country, or in Israel.

This is global jihad. Radical Islam is on the rise in just about every country in the world, and it is not a "ghost". It's a very real threat. They want us D-E-A-D. You say you take this threat serously, but I've not seen anything coming from libs to back that rhetoric up.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"using pretty much the same sort of surveillance and aggressive intelligence measures that the Bush Administration have been advocating and using."
Where is your proof for this bogus statement that these methods precisely resemble those methods dictated under the NSA Surveillance and Patriot Act? Again, I'm not disparaging usual surveillance measures, just the ones that break U.S. freedoms, cause unnecessary intrusion by the government and are in violation of the Constitution and U.S. law.

Where have U.S. policies failed?
Count Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, the heads of the bi-partison 9-11 Commission on Charlie Rose last night among those who believe Iraq "undoubtedly" Iraq was responsible for increasing the threat of global terrorism.
Use facts instead of empty spin. The two officials criticized Congress for operating at a snail's pace, if acting at all, on most of the commission's recommended homeland security measures, such as putting in safeguards for plastic container explosives. If the Bush Adminstration, as the purported leader of Congress, truely cared about homeland security, Bush would have made it enacting the measures a priority. Instead, the two officials criticized the Bush Administration for diverting attention away from homeland security to Iraq.
The Rethugs in control of congress for the remaining few months only have squashed many of the Dems proposals to toughen homeland security.
Perhaps you haven't been following the State Department reports that indicate global terrorism, the London subway attacks, etc. have seen a dramatic rise since the invasion of Iraq. Al Quada directly cited Iraq for the London bombings.
You are so full of empty, baseless right-wing spin. You say we weren't attacked in the almost five years since 9-11. You could have just as well have said that about the five years prior to 9-11.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where have Bush Administration policies failed? Trinity asks.
I reposted this from JABBS a few columns up.

"We're not doing all we can. Not when we sit on technology rather than aggressively determine whether it can strengthen airport security. Not when the Transportation Security Agency in March went an incredible 0 for 21 in finding bomb-making materials snuck onto airplanes by the GAO, it would be less likely to endorse the administration. Now when DHS consistently misses deadlines for such things as determining gameplans for deploying bomb-detection machines at airports, they'd have a different opinion of the administration."

10:14 AM  

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