When geese “attacked” US Air Flight 1549, and Captain Sully Sullenberger landed the plane in the Hudson river, Americans were overjoyed that disaster had been averted. When Abdul Mudallah ignited an explosive device on Northwest Flight 253, and no one was injured, Americans spent the next week afraid, with countless criticisms of our government (many of which were justified). In reality, we should all be very thankful.
First of all, we should be thankful that disaster was averted. This was great news. We should also be thankful because we have learned a great deal of what went wrong, and security will improve in the future. Al Qaeda is not likely to succeed if they use the same technique again. And it takes lots of time to develop new techniques.
I understand why people were so upset. This event revealed that we were not nearly as safe as we hoped we were, and it revealed that the government is still not sharing information about terrorism well enough. In other words, the event was the messenger of “bad news.” Since we couldn’t “shoot the messenger”, Americans sought out others to shoot.
But we really have much to be thankful for. And the Department of Homeland Security has their work cut out for them. We all hope that this department has learned a lot of how to prevent the next incident.
Side note to Janet Napolitano: it really is OK to be honest the first time around. But other than your first statement about how our security system works, you are doing a heck of a job.
Side note to Dick Cheney: we are getting very tired of seeing the Mr. Hyde part of your personality. (Perhaps Obama likes this side, since you constantly remind Americans of why voting for Obama was a good idea.) When will we see the Dr. Jekyll side again? Please let this side out more frequently. It seems that we only see it when you talk about your daughter.
Side note to Senate Republicans: Thanks to you, we still don’t have a head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “Advise and consent” should not mean “prevent the President from running the Executive branch.”