Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Shooting the Messenger

And then there is the sad case of Nathaniel Heatwole, the student who snuck box cutters into a airplane to draw attention to ongoing problems in post-9/11 airport security.

The authorities, naturally, are going to lock him up instead of doing what they should do, which is to fire the head of the TSA, get down on their hands and knees, and beg Heatwole to take the job instead, because he obviously understands the problem much better than Admiral James Loy does.

Personally, the fact that there are holes in airport security doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I find it quite encouraging when taken in combination with the fact that there have been no terrorist incidents involving airplanes since 9/11 despite porous security. This means that the terrorists are not as numerous, well organized, motivated, and smart as they could be. This is ultimately our best, indeed our only real protection. The fact of the matter is that if someone wants to do some damage and is willing to die for it there is nothing you can do to stop them. The only protection against terrorism is to build a world where no one wants to be a terrorist. The events of the last two years show that at least in the United States we are not so far from that goal (notwithstanding the odd kook like John Allen Muhammad).

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