Why pro­fil­ing makes sense

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Bill O’Reilly

We are liv­ing in treach­er­ous times, and ter­ror­ists well un­der­stand that even when one of their mur­der­ous plots is un­cov­ered, the fall­out from the aborted ac­tion is a big win for them. Af­ter Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties pre­vented a cou­ple of dozen Mus­lim fa­nat­ics from blow­ing up a num­ber of Amer­i­can jet­lin­ers, the en­su­ing air­port chaos caused pain and in­con­ve­nience for thou­sands of peo­ple. Un­for­tu­nately, that will con­tinue for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Osama and his pals must take great joy at watch­ing 80-year-old grand­moth­ers be­ing pat­ted down and their creams con­fis­cated by jumpy se­cu­rity peo­ple. This is the ul­ti­mate al Qaeda re­al­ity pro­gram: “Sur­vivor: Air­port.”

Add to that the fool­ish po­lit­i­cal bick­er­ing over who is pro­tect­ing Amer­i­cans bet­ter and you have great joy in Mud­hutville — the hid­ing al Qaeda lead­er­ship wins again.

Of course, the sane way to pro­tect Amer­i­cans in the sky is to stop look­ing for nail files and be­gin pro­fil­ing peo­ple who might ac­tu­ally cause ter­ror dam­age. That is not “racial” pro­fil­ing, that is “ter­ror” pro­fil­ing. Most of the re­cent ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties have been per­pet­u­ated by young Mus­lim men. So it is th­ese peo­ple who need greater scru­tiny when they check in for a flight.

I know that’s mean, but be­lieve me when I tell you that if the Ir­ish Repub­li­can Army were at­tempt­ing

to blow up

Amer­i­can

planes, I’d have

no prob­lem

be­ing pat­ted

down be­fore I

stepped on a

plane. I would

un­der­stand and

ap­pre­ci­ate the

com­mon sense

be­hind the close

look. I would not

con­sider my­self

a vic­tim but

would be fu­ri­ous that my eth­nic cousins were caus­ing so much trou­ble.

I be­lieve some Mus­lim Amer­i­cans feel the way I do. They un­der­stand that some of their co-re­li­gion­ists are re­morse­less killers.

But not all Mus­lims think that way, and cer­tainly the ACLU and other far left groups op­pose pro­fil­ing. They fight hard against most strate­gies de­signed to make ter­ror at­tacks more dif­fi­cult. Ex­cept, of course, when it in­volves them.

You may re­mem­ber the New York Civil Lib­er­ties Union (NYCLU) sued when the NYPD in­sti­tuted ran­dom bag searches on the sub­way. Yet a sign at the NYCLU build­ing warned that the or­ga­ni­za­tion had the right to search the bags of all peo­ple en­ter­ing there. Hyp­o­crit­i­cal? You make the call.

The big­gest prob­lem we have in Amer­ica when it comes to de­feat­ing ter­ror­ism is that some of us live in the real world and some of us live in a the­o­ret­i­cal zone where all prob­lems could be solved if only we just talked things over with those who want to kill us. For those peo­ple, ac­tions like pro­fil­ing, uni­lat­eral mil­i­tary cam­paigns and tough in­ter­ro­ga­tion meth­ods are sim­ply too dras­tic. Th­ese Amer­i­cans be­lieve ag­gres­sive ter­ror coun­ter­mea­sures ac­tu­ally en­cour­age vi­o­lence against us and cre­ate more will­ing ter­ror killers.

Look­ing back, the ac­tions of Pres­i­dents Clin­ton and Bush in his first year pretty much ig­nored the grow­ing ter­ror threat from the Mus­lim world. Lit­tle ag­gres­sive ac­tion was taken against al Qaeda when it blew up our em­bassies in Africa and at­tacked our war­ship off the coast of Ye­men.

There was no air­line pro­fil­ing go­ing on when 19 Mus­lim killers boarded three air­lin­ers on 9/11, all with one-way tick­ets to hell. Had we been wiser then, 3,000 Amer­i­cans might be alive to­day.

But we were not wise then, and we are not wise now, ei­ther. Call it what you will, but lay off Granny at the air­port, and zero in on higher risk sub­jects.

Bill O’Reilly is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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