Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Pants Bomber

Catching up on a few things after the holidays. Well, this was the big story on Boxing Day, wasn't it?

To recap the facts as currently understood:
  • A Nigerian man flew from Yemen to Amsterdam and then on to Detroit
  • He had 80g of chemicals sewn into his underpants, possibly including PETN
  • During the flight he tried to inject a liquid into the chemicals which, instead of exploding, caused a fire
  • The fire was extinguished, the man was subdued and turned over to the authorities
Sounds like everything worked out OK, right? In fact, it bears out what people were saying about the liquid explosives plot: that you can't synthesise TATP on a plane because of the amount of cooling (e.g. ice) required. As soon as the reaction starts, it heats up and blows the reagents out of the container, ending the reaction. Oh, and the fact that aircraft designers try to ensure that their jets don't fall out of the skies when damaged - see the Aloha Airways jet that lost half of its fuselage, or the Qantas one holed by its oxygen tanks.

So, naturally, the TSA knee-jerked into banning passengers from using the on-board toilets - and then tried to crack down on whichever one of the thousands of people involved in implementing this policy leaked its details. Clearly it's vital for security reasons that passengers must be sat down and restrained, and not using a book or laptop, whilst pissing in their seats because they're not allowed to use the toilets.

Spotting a bandwagon and never shy of removing civil liberties from the proles, Gordon Brown has authorised the use of Naked Scanners at all UK airports. Never mind that they're completely ineffective against this threat, require the production (legally-speaking) of indecent images when used on minors, and will take even longer to use than the current useless measures... we're going to have them anyway. Fan-fucking-tastic, there's nothing I like more than getting up at 4am, so I can get to the airport 3 hours before my 10am flight due to the time it will take for the rent-a-plod to make an image of my cock.

And, you know what? The next time this happens, and there will be a "next time" because the world is full of bad people, the attacker will just have shoved the explosives up his arse and pulled them out in the toilets after going through the security theatre. Oops. The Naked Scanners and pat-downs don't detect that, you need a body cavity search. And if you start doing that, they'll find some other way - by the time a plot gets to the airport, it's too late to stop it.

But let's go back to the TSA for a moment. The agency charged with protecting US transport security cannot even take care of its memos. They have a track record of incompetence, and trying to invoke "national security" concerns to cover up that incompetence, and have a police state mentality which will - if unchecked - put the every US airline into Chapter 11 within a year.

Why don't they take lessons from real security agencies and accept the fact that since background checks and the most in-depth vetting procedures can't detect spies, devoting one-minute-per-passenger is about as effective as asking "Are you a terrorist?" at check-in. Probably less effective, in fact, as a good poker player would have a field day asking that question.

- KoW

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The language used in this entry is offensive. The words 'cock' and 'fuck' are illegal to use in public.

1/12/2010 06:22:00 am  
Blogger The King of Wrong said...

Then you just broke the "law", didn't you, jackass?

1/12/2010 07:10:00 am  

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