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The Christmas Pantsbomber

Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 3:55 AM

The attempted 'terrorist' attack on a Northwest Airlines flight over the Christmas holiday has generated the expected and useless security countermeasures, including suggestions that airlines require passengers to remain seated for the final hour of any flight, and be prohibited from handling personal items at that time.

Because We All Know terrorists will only make their attempt during the final hour of a flight.

Then, there's the usual media speculation fest, as experts are trotted out to tell us how dangerous the explosive (supposedly PETN) is, and how it could easily have blown up the plane.

80 grams sounds so ominous ... until you realize we're talking about roughly 2 ounces of a substance, which would fit inside a 'travel safe' 3 oz. bottle. (And remember, math is commutative!)

We're not talking about a terrorist sneaking a fancy Hollywood bomb with wires and blinking lights aboard a plane. We're talking about idiots trying to work with a powerful, but sensitive high explosive.

More importantly, it's one that can be detected by existing scanners. What isn't happening is that these scanners - which hit passengers with a puff of air and analyze the residue - aren't being used.

If we have the tools in place, then there's no reason to be a gogawolly panicked about this. A terrorist restricted to his seat for the last hour of a flight is still a terrorist, and the TSA's version of a 'time out' isn't going to mitigate the risks.

And a hearty STFU to Sen. Joe Lieberman, who believes we should take pre-emptive action against Yemen.

Maybe we ought to calmly and thoroughly evaluate the pants bomber's claims before we spool up the UAV's and F-117s?

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