There was a story that was buried below the aspirin between the knees story and the 24 hour Whitey Houston psychoanalysis that had to do with a man who was about to detonate himself in our US Capitol. The FBI was in on it and arrested this guy before he became a suicide bomber and met his 40+ virgins in heaven. I think this is a huge win for national security and I wish the media would spend as much time on this as they are spending live streaming Whitney Houston’s funeral.
Quick side note on Whitney’s funeral: I listened for maybe 20 minutes today. What is it about black preachers that they can have me yelling Hallelujah Jesus and agreeing that I am a lost soul that can only be made whole again by Jesus? The power of these preachers I tell you. In the middle of my “Thank you Jesus” I remember I’m Jewish.
Now back to national security. This is such a huge win for our national security and one that could remind us all of how much of a real threat we are to international and national terrorists. As the memorial of 9/11 passes in time and our memory fades, our outrage of the airport security increases. We forget why it is we have these measures in place. It takes us a scare like this one to remind us we are targets; huge and easily accessible targets.
I traveled about two weeks ago and I had a female TSA agent ask if I mind being patted down. I do not mind and people in this country should get over it and not mind either. She gently patted me down and then, the horror, she complimented me on my sweater. Come on people, we have more people brush up against us from a trip in a crowded bar to the restrooms then this unnecessary outrage in the name of national security. How about when everyone jumps on when the plane lands and inevitably some guy’s junk is right in my face? Or when I have to get down the aisle in the plane and the beverage cart is there? I have to step into a seat to let the beverage cart pass and pretty much do a lap dance for some business traveler. Get over yourselves people. People are trying to kill us. The proof of this week was just one in many we don’t hear about.
About ten years ago, I had the pleasure of encountering Israeli security traveling from Tel Aviv to Kenya. Let me give you an example of how that went so we can thank our lucky stars on how easy our system of travel is. I left for the airport going from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv at about 4 am and arrived at the airport for a 7 am flight on Ethiopian Air. Yes, there is such a thing as Ethiopian Air. I was traveling to Nairobi through Ethiopia. I was in Israel on vacation, but traveling to Mombasa, Kenya for work (bed net project for Malaria, remember I used to save the world for a living).
Anyway, I get to the airport before the sun comes up. I stand in a long line to check in. This is pre-9/11 mind you, but in Israeli there is no pre and post 9/11. People have always wanted to kill them. The airport security pulls people out of line to check -in in no particular order. It is not next in line goes next, it is I call you out of line in random order. Talk about frustrating. I think they do that on purpose to see how people react. I dare not complain. I am sweating bullets, confused and to be honest, extremely scared.
After probably an hour it is my turn. I go to the counter and give them my information. I am traveling to Kenya on work, but I am a young female, American and traveling alone. I don’t really make sense. They pull me out of line and ask me to follow them. They have more questions for me. They take my luggage and I follow a female soldier. I have no idea where they are taking me, but it is away from everyone.
I mention that I am going to Kenya on a malaria project to save lives. I ask if there is a malaria problem in Israel. Anything I can do to connect and I am talking non stop, because I am nervous as hell. They go through all of my luggage. The soldiers ask me tons of questions: where did I stay when I was in town? Where did I eat? What tours did I take? Who was I traveling with?
Not only did they ask questions, they followed up. They called the hotel, confirmed the tours that I said I took. My father was there on business and they confirmed the convention that I said he was attending. My story panned out. They let me get on the plane. I would have preferred the gentle pat down and sweater compliment any day. We have no idea how good we have it in this country.
A few days later in Israel, my dad was walking down a street in a busy market and a car bomb exploded on the street next to him. He was fine, but shook up. I was shook up and reminded how dangerous the world was and why Israel is so diligent. After watching the smoke billow up from the Pentagon off my balcony in DC moments after the plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, I knew instantly everything in this country had changed. I am surprised things are tougher in this country in the name of national security. That is probably, because everyone did not see what I witnessed. That is a good thing. This suicide bomber is a reminder this week that there are bad people out there who want to kill us. We need to do whatever we can to protect ourselves.
Ladies who have suddenly become Michelle Duggar modest: we show our privates to more strangers than we like to acknowledge. Whether it is in dressing rooms, hospital rooms, doctor’s offices, locker rooms or for some at Mardi Gras parades, it’s not like we are suddenly these modest creatures. An over the clothes pat down is something we can handle. We are not fragile creatures. For the men, welcome to our world men. A pat down will not suddenly make you gay so relax if that is what makes you so anxious.
To the FBI agents, great job. To the TSA agents, keep up the great work. I am a big fan. I don’t think many people say that these days. The funny thing was I got on Ethiopian Air and made it to Mombasa. I hope that Ethiopian Air has since updated their on board music selection. They had one tape that played over and over again the entire trip: John Denver. I hear his music and I am always reminded of the toughest airport security I have ever known.