Thomas Sowell

The latest "screw-up" that let a man with explosives get on a plane on Christmas day is only part of a larger laxness and irresponsibility when it comes to national security. This administration pays lip service to national security and gives out with a lot of rhetorical notions that makes it notional security instead of national security.

The Muslim major who was arrested for the murders of American soldiers at Fort Hood had left so many clues to his hatred of this country that all you had to do was count the dots, without even connecting them, to see where he was coming from. But for a fellow officer to alert higher authorities to the danger would have meant risking damage to his own career moreso than to that of Major Nidal Hasan.

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That is because we have become so obsessed with political correctness that both common sense and self-preservation have to take a back seat. We don't dare "profile" anybody going through security checks because that's not politically correct. Far better to be blown to smithereens than to be politically incorrect.

Probably the country with the strongest security checks for airline passengers-- and the strongest reason for such checks-- is Israel. Israel profiles. I have been to Israel more than once and it is clear that they profile.

Fortunately, my wife and I obviously don't fit their profile, whatever that may be. Others who have been to Israel are amazed when I tell them that we have gone through Israeli security four times and they have never opened our luggage.

That is all the more surprising, since we take a lot of luggage. We have stopped in Israel while on trips completely around the world, including countries both above and below the equator, so we had to have clothing for hot weather and cold weather, since the seasons are the opposite in the northern and southern hemispheres. Moreover, I carry a lot of photographic equipment in a large, separate piece of luggage.

In short, our luggage could carry enough explosives to blow up any building in the country. But, whatever their security system and whatever their profile, they didn't seem to want to waste any time on us.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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