There were so many near-misses in the handling of this whole attempted car-bombing event, it should be shocking. But somehow it just seems par for the course. And yet Eric Holder says he was “never in any fear that that we were in danger of losing him [the suspect, Mr. Shahzad],” and Janet Napolitano thought it was a “great team effort,” and “truly exemplary.” Wow. Just because the Keystone cops manage to actually catch the bad guy, and avoid shooting each other in the foot, well, I guess that counts for something.
But look. The Vehicle Identification Number was removed from the tag in the passenger compartment? Just call Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers (ok, really Tom and Ray Magliozzi, of “Car Talk” fame). They’ll tell you that there’s always another location with the VIN, and would even tell you where it was on the Pathfinder.
An FBI team had Mr. Shahzad under surveillance, and he got away? For how long? Where were they when he got away? Why didn’t they see him go? This is the FBI, not some hack. C’mon guys.
Emirates did not check the no-fly list? Even though they were directed to do so because an important addition was made that day? Why not?
Airlines are not required to report cash purchases? Why not? Who pays for airline tickets in cash?
The Transportation Security Administration is currently checking passenger manifests against the no-fly list… for domestic flights only. Duhhh. Do most terrorists fly from JFK to Topeka? Why not have the TSA checking international flights NOW, instead of by the year-end? Forget about the domestic flights!
There are just layers and layers of absurdity in this plot, and yes, we all learn from our mistakes, but let’s acknowledge them as mistakes instead of praising ourselves for somehow, against all odds, managing to stop this guy.