As far as I know, airport security has yet to apprehend one would-be terrorist, even after the Bush administration spent $40 billion and hired 45,000 “professional screening officers.” Of course, they also ignored most of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for helping law enforcement prevent terrorism.
We’ve endured years of people like Senator Ted Kennedy being flagged by the “terrorist watch list” or “no fly list,” a secret database that we’re not allowed to see, and cannot be questioned. Reportedly, there are about a half million “terrorists” identified so far. Now they’re telling us these are two different lists, because the Nigerian guy who will forever be known as the “underpants bomber” was allowed to board a transatlantic fight even though he was a suspected suicide attacker (according to his own father). Oh, and this guy reportedly had no passport, no luggage and bought a one-way ticket paid for in cash by a third party.
You might think this is the fault of a dumb bureaucracy, but right-wing op-ed writers know where to point their fingers:
Some share of responsibility lies with civil libertarian extremists who have ceaselessly lambasted the entire no-fly system.
To which I say, let’s renew the generous offer made by Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon in a classic “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live,” first broadcast on November 10, 2001. Just substitute “professional screening officer” for “airport employee.” Fey and Fallon are bigger stars now than they were eight years ago, so maybe we’ll get results if they do this again.
FEY: This week, the FAA shut down a terminal at Kennedy airport because security workers were not using the metal detectors properly. And, at O’Hare, a man with seven knives, a stun gun, and a can of mace passed a security checkpoint. I just wanna take a minute to address the airport security personnel directly, if I might…
I know you guys only make like $7 an hour and you’re worried about being replaced by federal employees, but – seriously, you have got to get it together! You have got to focus up! Okay?
So here’s what I propose: the first airport employee who successfully catches a terrorist, Jimmy and I will personally throw a pizza party for you, and up to 20 of your friends. Isn’t that right, Jimmy?
FEY: Think about this: It’s all the pizzas you can eat – up to 20 of your friends. There’s no limit on the kind of toppings you can have..Jimmy is there a limit on toppings?
FEY: If you wanna get all plain pizzas..great.
FALLON: Get half plan, half pepperoni, that’s cool with us.
FEY: If you want like, ham and pineapple – I think that’s weird, but, whatever.
FALLON: You eat it.
FEY: That’s the kind of freedom that makes our country great. Will I pay for cheesy bread…?
FALLON & FEY: No!
FEY: That’s not the deal!
FALLON: Don’t be greedy.
FEY: It’s a pizza party, okay? Don’t try to take advantage of us. Also, don’t be a jerk – if you only have like 15 good friends that like pizza, don’t scape up 5 other people just to make it more expensive for us.
FALLON: I wanna have a good time too, don’t bring a bunch of creeps.
FEY: It’s called: “Weekend Update Strikes Back:”
FALLON: “Pizza Party Against Terrorism.”
FEY: So if you love pizza, and you hate terrorism…get your head out of your ass, and get all up in Muamar’s carry-on.
Thanks to FallonFey.com for the transcript. Can anybody find the video?
UPDATE: Accountability-free Republicans have been quick to politicize the underpants bomber with predictable accusations. Without evidence New Gingrich claims that “protecting the rights of terrorists has been more important than protecting the lives of Americans.” And he wants to bring back torture.