Aaron Dykes
December 25, 2010

Detroit attorney Kurt Haskell and his wife, who witnessed the
Attorney Kurt Haskell and his wife, who witnessed the “sharp-dressed man” help Abdulmutallab board Flight 253 bound for Detroit last Christmas. The vital questions they raised have never been answered.

One year after the “failed” Christmas Day bombing attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, we are more vulnerable than ever. Not from foreign ‘jihadist’ terrorists, or unscanned Thermos containers, but from our own government. If would-be terrorists like Abdulmutallab are our enemy, why have Homeland Security resources been used to threaten and intimidate The People instead of following up on how Abdulmutallab got as far as he did?

What is the real threat we are fighting?

Little did anyone notice, the TSA had already been phasing in body scanners at major airports prior to December 25, 2009 with plans to mainstream them. Before last Christmas, airports like the one I traveled through in Phoenix in October 2009 displayed signs foretelling their imminent arrival. “Why do I have to take off my shoes?” a sign teased, before explaining the need to detect potential explosives. The sign then explained that full-body scanners could soon do away with the need to take off shoes, as the whole body would be examined. That was in the era of Richard Reid, the shoe bomber.

Then Abdulmutallab, a controlled patsy with links to foreign intelligence and supposed-al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki (who in reality is an asset who met secretly at the Pentagon after 9/11), went live with his ‘dud’ underwear bomb. Although it was a complete scare tactic, the ‘failed plot’ sufficiently played up the terror threat that had been waning in the Homeland ever since 9/11.

It was the biggest scare for terrorism in some time, and it has reinvigorated the security theater agenda since, while giving the perfect pretext to implement the body scanners. But it was all a lie (again). The stories of eyewitnesses Kurt Haskell and his wife proved true, as the FBI and other entities had to rework their account again and again to incorporate the known truth. Yet Haskell’s story was never truly followed up on, and we are less safe for it.

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Big Sis did draw lessons from the event, acknowledging that Abdulmutallab would change things for US airport security. “There’s been a very significant process of reviewing the lessons learned from the Christmas Day bomber. And in fact, we have adjusted our operating procedures, our interaction both with the NCTC, the terrorist screening center, and other elements of the intelligence community.”

But Janet Napolitano did not ask the right questions, and we are all suffering for it.

Now, a year later, a full on revolt has taken place against the TSA. The agency responded to the anger of The People with the same ineffective, scattershot method it has used to respond to potential threats of terror– by ramping up the intimidation and invasion factor.

When websites like WeWontFly.com started protesting the body scanners as well as the invasive ‘enhanced’ pat down procedures by declaring an ‘OptOut’ protest during the Thanksgiving Holiday, Homeland Security and the TSA responded by standing down, abandoning the supposedly necessary body scanners for days on end to avoid bad publicity. Weeks later, it emerged that DHS had targeted the website, posting derogatory comments at WeWontFly.com, childishly chiding ‘you won’t change anything.’

When would-be San Diego passenger John Tyner refused a pat down, telling his TSA agent ‘Don’t touch my junk or I’ll have you arrested,’ the TSA responded by intimidating Tyner. Not only was he not allowed to board, but he was seemingly not allowed to leave the airport. A shadowy TSA bureaucrat then threatened to sue him for $11,000. Why? Because he objected to the Constitution-shredding, unwarranted & invasive pat down and wanted to simply leave?

When a 56-year old woman with a pacemaker, who happens to have been a rape victim, refused to have her breasts groped by TSA, they responded by having her dragged away 25-feet and arrested by police. All because she objected to the violation of the Constitution and of her body.

When one of the many pilots who have objected to the radiating body scanners and invasive pat downs asks “Why?” and demonstrated the open-security risk and double-standard that airport employees working on the ground with planes only have to swipe an ID and do not go through checks, Homeland Security responded to his video posting with a stasi home raid. The full extent of his “punishment” is now under review.

When Homeland Security and the TSA had nothing else to go on this Christmas, they manifested a new paranoid warning about the potential terrorist usage of Thermos-type containers, just so there’s one more random item to molest passengers about (liquids are already supposedly banned).

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All these incidents and more make one think the TSA and Homeland Security have gotten a little touchy about criticism, conscience and non-compliance on the part of the ordinary passengers, airline pilots, flight attendants and so forth that they are supposedly in place to protect. But it all still misses the point– the point of what is really going on behind the scenes to cause such panic. But, of course, answering that question is against the interests of the powers-that-be.

The TSA’s 2010 Reign of Terror was initiated by Abdulmutallab, and the imperative that every individual be screened down to the skin. Yet it still has not been satisfactorily investigated as to how he was able to board the plane he allegedly intended to bring down. Doesn’t this seem like the most outrageous lack of security imaginable?

Other failed plots have been just as dubious. Even figures like Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera have spoken out against the absurdity and the horror of so many “bogus” failed-terror plots that inevitably turn out to be FBI run “stings” where, in many cases, the agency provided the bomb, showed radical individuals how to use it, then provoked them into taking action. Luckily, most of these smaller-scale incidents were destined to be ‘duds’– scary enough to make headlines and urge vigilance, but were in the end no real incident. But that was not the case in 1993 when the FBI facilitated the bombing of the World Trade Center (on record).

Nevertheless, our government has propagandized the “unknowability” of the terror being waged against us since 9/11, while repeatedly failing to inform the public that many of these incidents were brought to fruition at the behests of the FBI or other protective agency. What are the real implications of such deceptions, and how can we ever be secure if this reality is ignored?

Eyewitness Kurt Haskell detailed his account of the “sharp-dressed man,” who he witnessed helping Abdulmutallab, who had no passport, board the plane. Despite Haskell’s being proven right, there has been no known follow-up whatsoever into the identity or whereabouts of this accomplice.


If Abdulmutallab’s attempt to strike terror in the heart of the United States was a legitimate terror attempt, than surely the brightest anti-terror minds at Homeland Security have already ascertained that a maximum level of scanning, patting down, and breast-groping could not stop a terrorist with connections that override the system. This was a factor with many of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, who were given visas and allowed into the country despite popping up on the terror watch lists. It is a critical factor again in the case of Abdulmutallab, who by all accounts, did not have to pass through security or present proper identification at all, but was rather allowed on to the plane via the connections and explanations provided by the yet-unidentified “sharp dressed man.”

As the Online Journal encapsulates, “Not amused, Kurt Haskell wanted to know who this Indian-looking man was. When the F.B.I. visited him four days after the incident, Haskell asked if they had brought the Amsterdam security video so he could help to identify this enabler of terrorism, “but they acted as though my request was ridiculous.” There was no follow up investigation. Someone did bother to phone Haskell, however, to warn him, rather menacingly, that it was “in [his] best interest to stop talking publicly” about this episode.”

When Kurt Haskell warned about other relevant factors he’d witnessed, he was not only ignored but told menacingly to keep quiet.

The F.B.I. visited Haskell, and “acted as though his request was ridiculous” when he hoped to check the security cameras in Amsterdam for evidence of the man’s identity or other clues that could point to the truth. One year later, we’re all still waiting for news of the Sharp Dressed Man before the bullying tactics of the TSA help stop practical travel altogether.

And when the Christmas season approaches again, the Department of Homeland Security, the F.B.I. and TSA do not try to understand the truth about how past terror incidents were able to happen in order to prevent them; instead, they issue unspecific and unintelligible general terror warnings to incite holiday fear. Stay vigilant, they whisper, but never ask why.

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.-Benjamin Franklin

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