Why profiling makes sense
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
planes, I’d have
down before I
stepped on a
plane. I would
behind the close
look. I would not
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.