Homeland insecurity

Anne Applebaum says that the Department of Homeland Security does not pro­tect America against ter­ror­ist plots. Yes, she says, “[t]errorists have been stopped since 2001 and plots pre­vented, but always by other means.” She continues:

After the Nigerian “under­wear bomber” of Christmas Day 2009 was foiled, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed “the sys­tem worked” — but the bomber was caught by a pas­sen­ger, not the feds. Richard Reid, the 2001 shoe bomber, was undone by an alert stew­ardess who smelled some­thing funny. The 2006 Heathrow Airport plot was uncov­ered by an intel­li­gence tip. Al Qaedas recent attempt to explode cargo planes was caught by a human intel­li­gence source, not an X-​​ray machine. Yet the TSA responds to these events by plac­ing restric­tions on shoes, liq­uids, and now per­haps printer cartridges.

It’s short: read the whole thing.