Declan McCullagh recently posted an item to his “Politech” list regarding efforts by several federal law enforcement agencies to induce the FCC to mandate various and sundry “features” be incorporated into airborne communications technologies that would assure law enforcement of the ability to monitor and control any and all communications aboard an aircraft in flight.
The more technically knowledgable of his readers immediately pointed out that the requests were (mostly) technologically unfeasible, expensive to implement (when possible at all), and would do little or no good in terms of deterring or preventing terrorist acts from being completed (and might possibly be even counter-productive, by inhibiting the efforts of passengers to co-ordinate a response or communicate the nature of the situation on board).
Reading through the various responses, I was reminded of what Osama Bin Ladin said last November, shortly before the election:
“All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.
This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahidin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.
All Praise is due to Allah.
So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah.”
“… al-Qaida spent $500,000 on the event, while America, in the incident [9/11] and its aftermath, lost – according to the lowest estimate – more than $500 billion.
Meaning that every dollar of al-Qaida defeated a million dollars by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs.
As for the size of the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars.”
The actions of Federal law enforcement (FBI, DHS and Justice) in this matter, along with a whole host of other stupidities (Bruce Schneier talks about this in a recent issue of his CRYPTO-GRAM email newsletter) perpetrated by our government, are busily forwarding Al-Qaida’s openly stated goals. This would be hysterically funny, if it wasn’t so utterly insane, expensive and harmful to the future welfare of myself, my children, and the country as a whole!
In view of the willingness of the U.S. Gov’t to follow Osama’s plans to the letter, it is perhaps no wonder that we haven’t seen a terrorist incident in the U.S. since 9/11 … why should AQ waste its resources when we’re happy to forward their goals, or, even worse (from their perspective) why should they do something to make the stupidity and uselessness of our current actions so blatantly obvious that we actually wind up being driven to do something intelligent in this area for once?!?
Argh! The collective stupidity of our leadership (which extends to both sides of the aisle), and the citizenry (which is doing nothing to hold them accountable for effective action) on this issue drives me nuts. How many trillions of dollars in costs, lost productivity and other “security” induced inefficiencies is the country going to have to endure before we collectively wake up and smell the coffee on this issue?