A disturbing story

A friend told me a disturbing story the other day.

I snuck into America last week. Yup. Got off a plane from the Caribbean and snuck past the immigration guys at JFK. Those are the officers with pistols on their hips. They make sure nobody gets in without proper identification. Right.

I even got past the sniffer dog. He checks out the luggage for food. You are not supposed to bring in any food. He works for the Agriculture Department, protecting us from destructive bugs that live in food.

Here is what happened with immigration. I went through the line and had my passport checked. And I proceeded past the barriers to the next room to collect my luggage.

Ah, but there was no mens room there. A baggage handler told me to go back into the immigration area to use the one that is there. So I did. In both directions I skirted all the barriers and the guys with guns. They didnt notice me. They were dealing with a thousand people lined up from various flights. Nobody stopped me. Nobody noticed.



I could have just as easily come from the plane, stepped into the mens room, exited, and walked past the officers.

Back in the baggage area the sniffer dog poked his nose round my carry on. Then he trotted to the next bag. In my bag was a sandwich I bought in the Caribbean but never got to eat on the plane.

Maybe the dog had a head cold that day.

What is my point? We spend tens of millions to secure our borders and protect our agriculture. And sometimes that security and protection is a joke.

This happened, of course, shortly after the Nigerian Muslim terrorist tried to blow up the plane over Detroit. We spend hundreds of millions to keep guys like him from blowing us up. And sometimes that effort is a joke.

The President says our intelligence guys had information galore on this bird. They failed to connect the dots. How right he is. This guy reeked of clues. He might as well have pinned a sign on his back that outlined his plan.

We put air marshals on planes to thwart attacks like these. Shhh. We are not supposed to know who they are. Ah, but I have seen them. Because while all of us stand waiting for boarding to begin, these guys walk past everybody else and stoll aboard. They sit in the first seat. They also keep their sports jackets on. They hope to hide the bulge their guns make. Psst. They dont fool anybody. This program is a joke.

We need to face the truth. For the fortunes we spend to protect us from terrorists, we often get jokes.

For the fortunes we spend on intelligence, the CIA, etc, we often get jokes. Of course 9/11 was not a joke. But the terrorists plotted in plain sight of our intelligence guys who failed to connect the dots. Our intelligence effort was the joke.

I lost faith in U.S. intelligence operations decades ago. During the Cold War our intelligence guys had studied our enemy, the USSR, fifty-thousand ways from Sunday. They planted spies. They flew spy planes. They took pictures from space. They sucked details from escapees. They examined a billion documents.

When the USSR finally collapsed we learned our intelligence birds had somehow missed a small detail. The population of the USSR was about 80 million fewer than we knew.

If they could overlook 80 million people for 50 years, what chance do they have of diverting a single Muslim terrorist with a bomb in his jockeys?

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

For more columns and for Toms radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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