If I could use the specific, detailed examples given to me by friends involved in U.S. counterterrorism efforts about what’s going on behind the scenes you would be shocked at how bad the ruling experts are. They really believe that everyone is a threat and there’s no sense singling out potential Islamist radicals as the most likely terrorists. Since the Fort Hood shootings, the U.S. army has made zero progress improving its understanding of the threat and is still denying that radical Islamic sentiments might have anything to do with such attacks.
Many government experts aren’t just against profiling on moral or political grounds: they honestly think it is totally unnecessary and that random screening is better.
Here’s another point related to this kind of official blindness: Counterterrorism should never be in the hands of a bureaucracy. That work requires people who are very flexible, think outside the box, and are not tied down by institutional interests. The larger the bureaucracy the more wasteful and inefficient it is…which leads us to the Department of Homeland Security.
What’s needed is the kind of people who do special operations in the military, not those obsessed with forms and procedures. The latter are the kind of people who can say, after the Underpants Bomber got through the security and failed only because his bomb fizzled and the other passengers jumped him, that this proves the system worked.
If someone who thinks like that is in charge of protecting you, you are in serious trouble.