September 26, 2006, - 10:25 am

Banned, Unbanned?: Constantly Changing Liquid Policy is Symbol of Homeland Security Disarray

By Debbie Schlussel
Even though 9/11 mastermind Ramzi Youssef blew up a passenger (and nearly an entire plane) on a flight in 1994–and had plans to blow up multiple planes the same way–we’ve been allowed to carry liquids on planes.
Suddenly, in August, an Islamic plot in Britain to blow up U.S.-bound flights using liquids and gels is uncovered, and those are banned.
As of yesterday, liquids and gels are no longer banned, so long as they are limited to 3 ounce bottles in quart-sized plastic bags. This latest policy was announced yesterday by Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Michael Jackson, a former lobbyist. But it might as well have been announced by bizarre pop singer Michael Jackson. Because it makes no sense.

michaeljacksondhs2.jpgmichaeljacksonpopstar.jpg

Michael Jackson, Deputy DHS Secretary or Michael Jackson, Bizarre Pop Singer: Hard to Tell Which One is Running Homeland Security

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Jackson and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief Kip Hawley are quoted as saying the new rules are being implemented because “small amounts of liquids ‘don’t pose a real threat.'” They claimed that FBI testing determined that it would take more explosive liquid to do “significant damage to an aircraft.”
But Ramzi Youssef proved that it took very little liquid to kill a passenger and nearly blow up a plane. And that it would take very little liquid to do so again. In addition to killing the passenger next to him, his bomb blew a hole in the plane’s floor, severed the cables controlling the plane’s flaps, and disabled the plane’s steering.
What if five Islamic terrorists each take their quart full of plastic containers with dangerous liquids and mix them together in the plane bathroom (where Youssef made his bomb)? Hawley claims that this scenario “does not worry us.” Well, it should. That was part of the plan in the British plot. TSA official Mike Restovich tells the Wall Street Journal that “mixing liquids in an airport or onboard an airplane isn’t easy to do.” It isn’t? Again, tell that to Ramzi Youssef, the British plotters, etc.
Then, there’s the other ridiculous assumption in the new rules–that it is okay to buy liquids in the airports. At Detroit Metro Airport, many of the shops and restaurants are owned and operated by extremist Muslims who openly support terrorist groups. A whole group of restaurants, for example, is owned by the wife of a man imprisoned for a money laundering and theft scheme that Customs agents believed was tied to Hezbollah. But these people would never sneak dangerous liquids into the airport, right?
To counter this, the TSA’s Hawley says TSA officials

would be stepping up random inspections of items sold inside the secure areas of airports and increasing security checks on workers in the areas.

Ri-i-i-i-i-ight. Like the “security checks” the TSA did on Sadeq Naji Ahmed and Bassam Khalaf–two TSA baggage screeners who openly support Al-Qaeda and remained on the job, respectively, for a year and half a year?
The new rules regarding liquids are silly. Just let innocent Americans carry the amount and volume of liquids they need, as before. And start profiling Muslims, Middle-Easterners, and Arabs.
Until we do that–as the Israelis do–we will never be safe. It is not about the materials. It is about the people carrying them. And all of the inconsistent, constantly “evolving” rules on liquids and gels won’t do a damn thing to make us safer.
It’s simply a PR move to make Jackson, Hawley, and DHS chief Michael Chertoff look like they are doing something. Mere cosmetics won’t do much to make the pig look more attractive.
Meanwhile, Homeland Security remains a bloated do-nothing bureaucracy in disarray. Next time, you are deemed to be carrying too much shampoo, think of that.

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47 Responses

“What if five Islamic terrorists each take their quart full of plastic containers with dangerous liquids and mix them together in the plane bathroom (where Youssef made his bomb)?”
I thought of the same thing.
Do they drink alcohol at DHS during the day?

Thee_Bruno on September 26, 2006 at 11:37 am

Stop Whining Debbie and read the following
Yes, the experts have explained how the whole hair-gel-bomb thing is ludicrous and impossible, a nakedly phony political stunt that worked as planned. We?ll even quote a handy summary from British spy and bomb-defuser Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.) Nigel Wylde, in case you?re already too drunk to click the link:?This story has been blown out of all proportion. The liquids would need to be carefully distilled at freezing temperatures to extract the required chemicals, which are very difficult to obtain in the purities needed.?
Once the fluids have been extracted, the process of mixing them produces significant amounts of heat and vile fumes. ?The resulting liquid then needs some hours at room temperature for the white crystals that are the explosive to develop.? The whole process, which can take between 12 and 36 hours, is ?very dangerous, even in a lab, and can lead to premature detonation,? said Lt. Col. Wylde.
If there was a conspiracy, he added, ?it did not involve manufacturing the explosives in the loo,? as this simply ?could not have worked.? The process would be quickly and easily detected. The fumes of the chemicals in the toilet ?would be smelt by anybody in the area.? They would also inevitably ?cause the alarms in the toilet and in the air change system in the aircraft to be triggered. The pilot has the ability to dump all the air from an aircraft as a fire-fighting measure, leaving people to use oxygen masks. All this means the planned attack would be detected long before the queues outside the loo had grown to enormous lengths.?But such knowledge is worthless against the half-retarded lug at the TSA checkpoint who gets a new, equally random list of prohibited items and contradictory ?security policies? each morning.
Because until the ?Carryon Coffee Is A-OK? story is on Oprah or ?Dancing With the Stars? or a bag of potato chips, repeatedly, the TSA goon with the third-grade education is going to do the only thing he or she has been taught to do: scream for a supervisor and the National Guard at the first sign of a passenger ?mouthing off,? and then go to Subway while you?re shipped off to a Syrian CIA prison to be tortured forever.

thirdgoat on September 26, 2006 at 11:55 am

Why not just ban all liquids and gels from carry on? Really, if you can’t manage a four hour flight without benefit of hair gel, you should take Amtrack. No carry on beverages, either. Airlines give out free water and soft drinks…hell, they’re practically flying saloons.
If you have a hissy fit because you can’t take your Starbucks’s concocted abomination aboard, flying is not for you. Call Greyhound, and leave the flying to the rest of us.
And Debbie is profoundly correct in advocating the number one solution to preventing terror in the skies……PROFILING. If flying on commercial airways today were like any other activity-for-profit, the airlines would have all kinds of liability disclaimers and warnings, like “Islamic and Middle-Eastern Passengers have been shown to be a grave danger to life. Fly with them at your own risk.”
Oh well, political correctness trumps logic once again.

DDB on September 26, 2006 at 12:33 pm

Why not just ban all liquids and gels from carry on? Really, if you can’t manage a four hour flight without benefit of hair gel, you should take Amtrack. No carry on beverages, either. Airlines give out free water and soft drinks…hell, they’re practically flying saloons.
If you have a hissy fit because you can’t take your Starbucks’s concocted abomination aboard, flying is not for you. Call Greyhound, and leave the flying to the rest of us.
And Debbie is profoundly correct in advocating the number one solution to preventing terror in the skies……PROFILING. If flying on commercial airways today were like any other activity-for-profit, the airlines would have all kinds of liability disclaimers and warnings, like “Islamic and Middle-Eastern Passengers have been shown to be a grave danger to life. Fly with them at your own risk.”
Oh well, political correctness trumps logic once again.

DDB on September 26, 2006 at 12:41 pm

I think “turd, er, thirdgoat” has been sampling too much of his own waste. Go ahead; be cynical, be acerbic. You leave no doubt in my mind as to the level of your intelligence. Debbie is right on the money-PROFILING. It’s been working for the Israelis for years and it used to be a great tool in my profession until the ACLU and other whiny twits, to which you probably espouse, took it away and now greater anarchy and criminal behavior run rampant.
If you feel it’s a big joke, what do you bring to the table as an option? Believe me, I have no more faith in the ability of TSA than I do of Ted Kennedy’s stepping away from the open bar.

Gunny on September 26, 2006 at 1:06 pm

“In addition to killing the passenger next to him, his bomb blew a hole in the plane’s floor, severed the cables controlling the plane’s flaps, and disabled the plane’s steering.”
Killed the passenger next to him? Might want to check your facts. He planted the bomb and got off the plane.
THE GUY WAS SEATED IN THE SEAT NEXT TO HIM. NO-ONE SAID HE DID NOT GET OFF THE PLANE. QUIT READING THINGS THAT ARE NOT THERE. HE PUT THE BOMB UNDERNEATH THE SEAT NEXT TO THE ONE FOR WHICH HE BOUGHT THE TICKET. HE MADE THE BOMB IN THE PLANE BATHROOM.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

Avalon on September 26, 2006 at 1:21 pm

I agree with the ‘Gunny’, Turdbreath is wrong or at least his information is. They only need to succeed once and it is a disaster. Then the whinny assed liberals come out and blame the President, lets put the blame where it belongs on Bill Clinton. These radicals have an uncanny track record of pulling off the most bizaar acts of terrorism, where if all things being equal they probably wouldn’t work, but maybe turd wants to trust his luck and be there when they do or don’t.

mark on September 26, 2006 at 2:54 pm

Yes profiling will really work. There are 1.5 billion muslims, how many would you profile? What happens when they started profiling us? What happens when every body started being negative to every body. Generalization will only lead to chaos.

thirdgoat on September 26, 2006 at 3:21 pm

1.5 Billion of them eh ?, guess we should hire more screeners. Ya see Turdbreath, it is like all the illegal aliens, the saying is, “Well, you can’t deport 12 million of them ” Well if you deport (1) that is known as a start. Same applies to the swarthy, seedy looking Islamofascist, it is a start you know the ones who are so brave they have to hide their face, yeah the same ones who slaughter women and children, those heroes of the jihad, those first class losers, you are so quick to defend.
I believe they are dopers just like that little sawed of runt called Ahmaweeniejob, who is waiting for his mystical Imam to appear from a well, (what kind of cockamayme BS is that, and his people believe this crap and obvious you do too) so he can bring on the last days. If that pig-mutant even so much as tries to harm a hair on Israel’s head that whole bassackwards excuse for a country will be turned into concrete. And as far as I am concerned the sooner the better.

mark on September 26, 2006 at 6:36 pm

Here’s a point worth pondering…
There was all this talk about liquids, gels and cosmetics being the possible base of an explosive device, right? Well, where did all this stuff go? – IN THE STUPID TRASH, THAT’S WHERE!
Was there any attempt to place these items in secure receptacles? Were there any bomb-sniffing dogs at checkpoints to screen for explosives in the trashcans? And, after we threw out all this stuff, where did it end up? IN HOT DUMPSTERS AND GARBAGE TRUCKS, THAT’S WHERE! If there were truly explosives among the items discarded, DHS did a PISS POOR job of implementing appropriate isolation and disposal measures: I’m surprised (although, thank G-d, it didn’t) that one of those dumpsters or a trash truck didn’t blow up.
DHS is SOOOOO stupid, it’s pathetic, yea, criminal. ICE agents, get your parachutes out: It’s time to bail out from this loser as quickly as possible, before we’re held to answer for other people’s stupidity.
U.S. CUSTOMS: 1789-2003 … NOW, AND FOREVER MORE, WHAT A WORLD CLASS LAW ENFORCEMENT WAS AND SHOULD BE – WHAT A PATHETIC MESS.

4EVERCUSTOMS on September 26, 2006 at 10:10 pm

“QUIT READING THINGS THAT ARE NOT THERE. HE PUT THE BOMB UNDERNEATH THE SEAT NEXT TO THE ONE FOR WHICH HE BOUGHT THE TICKET.”
Wrong again, Debbie. Youssef planted the bomb under his own seat, number 26k and got off the plane in Cebu. The victim, Haruki Ikegami, took
Youssef’s old seat and was blown in half.
ACTUALLY, IT IS DEBATED WHETHER IT WAS HIS SEAT OR THE ONE NEXT TO HIM. AND BECAUSE HE LEFT THE PLANE, IT IS BELIEVED THAT HE PUT THE BOMB UNDER IKEGAMI’S SEAT, NOT KNOWING WHETHER HIS WOULD BE FILLE AND DESIRING MAXIMUM CARNAGE. REGARDLESS, THAT IS A DISTINCTION WITHOUT A DIFFERENCE AS IT RELATES TO THIS POST, LIKE ALL OF YOUR NITPICKING AND OBNOXIOUS COMMENTS. YOUR FIRST “CORRECTION” OF ME IN THIS POST WAS AN INCORRECT “CORRECTION.” AND NEITHER IT NOR THIS MAKES A WHIT OF DIFFERENCE TO ANYTHING THAT I WROTE IN THE POST REGARDING THE CHANGING LIQUID RULES. UNLIKE MOST OTHERS HERE, YOUR COMMENTS SIMPLY DO NOT ADD TO THE DISCUSSION. THEY ARE LIKE FARTS AT A MAGNIFICENT MEAL. THE FACT IS THAT YOUSSEF HAD ALL THE LIQUID NITROGLYCERIN HE NEEDED FOR THE BOMB IN ONE SMALL CONTACT LENS SOLUTION CONTAINER. HOW THESE NEW RULES WILL STOP THAT, YOU STILL HAVEN’T ADDRESSED. AND PLEASE DON’T.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

Avalon on September 26, 2006 at 11:09 pm

Being Atheist, but half Iranian, it’ll be interesting to see how my upcoming trip down south goes at the airport. They didn’t give me any hassle last year, but there was just a wee bit less tension with Iran at that time. Then again, I don’t really look Iranian in any way so, they probably won’t..we’ll see

Descent on September 27, 2006 at 4:12 pm

I believe this whole restriction on carry on is stupid as most in the science community says that the threat can not materialize due to the nature of manufacturing process

thirdgoat on September 27, 2006 at 4:17 pm

Just a minor question Thirdgoat, wouldn’t a premature explosion of the liquid be nearly as effective as trying to reclaim the distilled solid explosive? Then the time frame and requirements suggested would not be accurate. Quite often things can be explosive before they reach a final phase where they are stable until a reaction sets them off (i.e. Composition B which is stable unless it receives both a fire and an impact). Since terrorists don’t, commonly, care if they are blown with the plane they are on then they would probably be mixing the liquids and expecting a premature explosion of the contents not a process to produce a solid explosive.
Since I am not familiar with the process and there was no link to follow I am not able to comment on when the fumes would make detection likely. I just thought that your post raised the question.

Sodamoca on September 28, 2006 at 9:17 am

Goodness, we are after Thirdgoat, including me! Muslims do Profile us. Ask Debbi to list, once more, all the incidences against us. As far as retired Lt. Col. Wylde?s assessment of the bomb making scenario, what was the name of the retired Army general who said the hole in the Pentagon on 9/11 could not have been made by a plane? Do I make my point? profile – close the borders – walk softly and carry a big stick!

MississippiGal on September 28, 2006 at 9:43 am

Sodamoca: the register delve into that exact matter, and found that a premature explosion would likely be caused by the materials being handle improperly, or something being off, and that the explosion would likely be enough to kill whoevers attempting to make the bomb, but not much else.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/17/flying_toilet_terror_labs/print.html

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