Diana West

"1) After the main discussion I had the opportunity to ask the Secretary whether she envisioned this security situation ever abating -- for example, whether she could foresee conditions under which the current scanners might be removed. Or whether, as she told us earlier, it would be necessary for Americans to toughen up, stay involved (indefinitely) ... I would like to be able to report that I spoke to the Secretary on this topic and that she indicated that in the future the current scanner technology could someday be replaced by less obtrusive technology, including less obviously invasive security checks that might not require taking off shoes, etc. ..."

The answer came back from on high: "Yes, but you should also put into context that there are no current plans to move off the current technologies and procedures."

Context so ordered.

(I will not convey my second question because the e-mailed answer -- "I'd like to see how you formulate it" -- ratcheted state control outside the bounds of my experiment.)

Napolitano's vision of our techno-future, however, is devastating. If, as she makes clear, our government has no conception of a plan to end this untenable security situation stemming from the jihad in progress, our government has admitted defeat, and is merely managing the aftermath of capitulation. In its colossal failure of imagination and responsibility, the government has abandoned its primary purpose -- to defend the citizenry. Thus, every time we the people go to the airport (now and apparently forever the nation's forward front) we are expected to "toughen up" and make up a pathetic first line of defense -- unarmed, unshod, de-toothpasted and, now, disrobed by scanners and violated by government workers -- until, happy day, the technology is "less obviously intrusive."

There's no managing that news. It stinks.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).