Sunday, November 14, 2010

Are the TSA and airport scanners proof that the terrorists have already won?

    I was watching a video of some guy on YouTube who'd left his camera running while getting TSA screened. The guy refused to let the TSA guy feel up his balls the standard four times. Neither did he want to get irradiated in the 'isolation chamber' where TSA agents get to see you naked. He just wanted to be like all the other passengers who hadn't been singled out and gone through a standard metal detector test. Because he didn't submit to sexual molestation or naked scans, he wasn't allowed onto the plane. However, this guy was ballsy in the way most people are not and stood up for himself by posting his shit on Youtube and declined to board that flight. He grabbed a refund from the airline which really pissed the TSA off.

  And that's when it happened.

  I had a 'Kurtz like Apocalypse Now' moment, a realization, like a diamond shot into my brain, pure, crystalline, clear... and I realized the horror of what's happening in modern America.

   The terrorists have already won!

   All this war on terror bullshit that's been going on for the last nine years, two multi billion dollar wars later which were basically US Government airdrops of the tax receipts of an entire country over Middle Eastern deserts. But when it comes to the point where your own citizens cannot board a flight without being felt up like some creeper in a porn theater or getting irradiated so some government goon can perv on your naked body, you know the war is long over. Mission fucking accomplished for the terrorists.

   If Bin Laden is alive in his mountain fortress he must be high fiving his guys like crazy. He was indeed right. He was indeed playing Jenga and he rightly predicted that all it would take was the removal of one block and the US would freak out and lose the game all by themselves.

   Then I got to wondering, on a purely cost benefit analysis, could 9/11 be the most cost effective military operation in the history of the world? Seriously, I love me my 'asymmetrical warfare' but I can't come up with a similar type economic victory in history where the ratio of the cost of the operation to the economic damage inflicted was so skewed.

   I mean, there aren't any examples in terms of scale. The U-boats sunk 1.6 million tonnes of British shipping in six months in 1940 which is a decent return on investment for the cost of a few torps. Still nothing on the scale of 9/11 though. The 9/11 Commission came up with a figure of $400,000 for the total cost of the terrorist operation and that's including pilot training, accommodations for the hijackers, money blown at strip joints the night before, car hire, Home Depot bought 'box cutters'.

   Four hundred pissy grand. Some people on Wall Street shit that amount.

   Now let's look at the return on that investment. First off, the US government created the boon doggle that is the Department of Homeland Security. (That word "homeland" still freaks me the fuck out and sounds too much like the 'Fatherland' uttered by B actor Nazis in the war movies I grew up on in 70s. Only the 'bad' guys say shit like that). Anyway, DHS has cost the US 250 billion by 2010. Throw in another $750 billion air dumped into Iraq and $370 billion pissed into the winds of Afghanistan. That's conservatively $1.37 trillion dollars for a crappy investment of four hundred fucking grand. Doing the math on that cost benefit analysis, that's a 1:2500000 return on investment. The fucking German U Boats aren't even in the same ocean.

   9/11, the greatest military victory of all time.

   The 'terrorists' fucking won!

   (And they get to feel up your grandma at the airport)


  1. What an interesting perspective; The photo you used speaks volumes about the whole foolishness of passenger screening.

    I am living in Toronto but it could just as easily happen here. The terrorists have shattered our sense of security.

    David Pylyp

  2. Bid Laden has been dead for years

  3. Dead? He's a presidential guest in Pakistan, probably living in a huge house with a lifestyle better than an above average American, paid for by the grants America loves to shower Pakistan with.

  4. Brilliant analysis! How utterly dismaying (too weak of a word but I'm sure you get the drift). Thank you.

  5. I love this post. Yes, this state of hyper-paranoia is detrimental for our society and its perspectives on safety and regulations. Freedom can be kissed away - seems we live in an illusion of freedom.

  6. I will do you one better: it's not the terrorists who have won, but rather the fascists who seized the opportunity that 9/11 gave them and seized the power.

    Having an enemy is CONVENIENT. And since 2001, the people in power can pretty much do everything with the excuse of the fight on terror...

  7. the person who wrote this post is a dickhead... us increases security that does not mean that the terrorists won... got now asshole

  8. What I find interesting about this thread, re visting it a year later here on Thanksgiving Day 2011, is the poster who got it perfectly right.

    Hardeep Singh above (presumably an Indian reader) called it correctly exactly a year ago when he posted that "Osama Bin Laden was a presidential guest in Pakistan, probably living in a huge house with a lifestyle better than an average American".

    Holy fucking shit!

    The guy called it on the nose a year ago! Right up until the moment the Navy Seals "dumped his body" in the Indian Ocean.

    Was Hardeep's call a lucky guess or common knowledge among clued in people in the Indus region?

    Either way, I tip my hat to you sir and also recommend the CIA read my blog. Even if I'm full of shit, some readers apparently are not!

    Ooops! I guess I just signed myself up for the watchlist!

    1. I was just thinking the same thing, but I'm gonna go ahead and propose that "Hardeep" doesn't exist. That was probably Bin Laden himself, chillin' in his compound with a wife in each arm while a random henchman read your blog aloud to him. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  9. Thanks for reinforcing my biases. Love your blog.