Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hug a Terrorist for the Holidays

That photo of the Vice-President with his arms around a couple of grinning White House gate-crashers last night will do nicely as a symbol for Americans as they count their blessings, real and imagined, on this day.

While so many are getting their meals at homeless shelters, the headlines are devoted to the reality-show aspirants who breached the most secure location in the nation, decked out in finery and hair-styling that could have paid for hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners.

Economic absurdity aside, how are we to take the President's speech next week telling how much more American blood and treasure will be spent in Afghanistan to guarantee our domestic safety when two unauthorized strangers can walk into his own house undeterred and have Joe Biden give them a hug?

Loathsome as they are, Tareq and Michaele Salahi may have done Americans a favor by dramatizing in tabloid terms just how illusory the idea of homeland security may be in an age when there are not enough eyes to watch every rathole in every location, high and low.

If the terrorists show up in evening wear next time, who will stop them?

Update: The uninvited guests were allowed to enter, says a Secret Service spokesman, because "our procedure wasn't followed" at one security checkpoint, an explanation that rivals the explanation of Gen. Buck Turgidson in the movie, "Dr. Strangelove," about the failure to stop American and Soviet bombers heading for a doomsday confrontation, "I don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir."

If the Salahis had been terrorists carrying vials of anthrax, the Secret Service might today be setting up new checkpoints to protect President Nancy Pelosi or Robert Byrd from the next wave of "Desperate Housewives" wannabes.

1 comment:

Serious Implications said...

As a friend once told me: "if you're not making any mistakes, you're not learning anything."

The Secret Service can't afford mistakes, but this time they got a freebie. They'd better learn something from it.