by Andrew P. Napolitano
What a week we have all just endured! While the Democrats were re-writing the federal takeover of health care behind closed doors, the public face of the federal government was fixated on denying and then explaining all the gaps in its intelligence gathering. The Obama administration has been finger-pointing over who in the government let a murderous thug on a plane in Amsterdam that he tried to explode over Detroit. First, the government said that the system worked. Then the President said it didn’t. Then he announced that the intelligence communities and security people would start to talk to each other so the bad guys could be kept out. Weren’t they supposed to be doing this all along?
At Newark Liberty Airport last Sunday, a TSA agent left his post, and a young man walked past it to kiss his girlfriend good-bye. Then the young man turned and left the secured area and left the airport. So far no harm, no foul. But because the government’s surveillance cameras in the airport didn’t work, the feds panicked and ordered over 10,000 passengers to leave the terminal, go out into the 15-degree Newark, NJ cold at night, and then re-enter the airport. Flights were delayed and missed, kids did not get to school on Monday morning, and soldiers were listed as AWOL. All because the government overreacted to a kiss. This humiliated the feds: New Jersey’s 86-year-old senior Senator Frank Lautenberg demanded that the guy who kissed his gal be hunted down and prosecuted because of the chaos he caused. He caused? Let’s see; the government has cameras that watch us every time we scratch our noses, and when those cameras don’t work, the government blames the person whose picture it was taking? Come on.
All this, of course, brings out the false argument of liberty versus security. And we hear that the government must take our freedoms in order to keep us safe. That’s hogwash.