COMMENTARY: Sworn Officers and Duty to Protect.
When Hassan Malik Nadal, an active duty U.S. Army psychiatrist awaiting deployment to Iraq from Fort Hood, Texas, was found guilty of shooting and killing 13 soldiers and wounding 32 others, the federal government labeled the shootings workplace violence. They denied customary awards, such as Purple Hearts to those killed or wounded in action. The government’s decision was found offensive to many Americans given the shooter’s avowed support for radical Islamic causes. Public opinion caused the Department of Defense to reverse itself and ultimately award Purple Hearts to those who earned them at the hands of a terrorist at Fort Hood. The Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center agrees with the awards ultimately made to our troops and only regrets that the decision to award needed to be based on public pressure. In addition to the Order of the Purple Heart awards, the victims have become eligible for medical care and disability benefits for their combat injuries. It took 5 years for the White House and Defense Department to honor the nation’s debt to these soldiers.
Western countries reacted with expected expression of sympathy and despair to the wanton slaughter of mostly young civilians congregated at so called “soft targets” to begin their weekend in a similar fashion to their counterparts in other European cities and America as well. The choice of Paris for the site of this planned mayhem is not a surprise, Paris has recently been a focal point for Muslim extremism; but the ruthlessness of this random celebration of hatred should be a statement not easily forgotten by liberty loving people across the world, and it will not be. Sadly, such events are foreseeable in a world subjected to terrorism.
Witnessing the horror of hurricane Katrina’s visit to New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Mobile has left me shaken. This is not the first hurricane-imposed devastation I have seen. Hurricanes and earthquakes have visited America before — as have floods, blizzards, ice storms, and tornadoes — but never before have I seen so much devastation brought to bear on the United States mainland as has been witnessed in the heart of Dixie this week. We have become accustomed to watching the news media over-play the potential for disaster days before a storm is due to strike, and we take it in stride. However, sometimes they deserve the benefit of the doubt, and this time was one of them.
The new leadership of the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reassessing its rules regarding the screening of passengers in the nation’s airports. After its dogged insistence since 9/11 that objects with points or sharp edges (regardless of size) were a threat to aviation security, the TSA is now considering reversing itself, and recognizing that the mountain of pen knives and scissors it has confiscated were never really a hijacking threat. Even more astonishing is a plan to allow thousands of air travelers with the right employment pedigrees to pass onto to airliners with no screening at all as way to reduce screening costs and speed up the boarding process.