Homeland idiots: Comedian David Brenner

Homeland idiots
: Comedian David Brenner just ranted on Fox News about airport security. They’re just idiots, he says. The plan to pay them more will do nothing: “Give an idiot $2 more and you have an idiot with $2.” He quoted the head of security at one airport as saying: “All computers must be tooken out of their bags. Tooken!… Let ‘em go back to asking, ‘Do you want a lid on that, do you want fries?’ ” Now when he gets pulled out of line, he pulls out a picture of the Most Wanted terrorists and says, “This is what you are looking for, not a Jew comic.”

Homeland stress
: The Wall Street Journal reports that we are undergoing a new wave of emotional stress after Sept. 11:

…in recent few weeks, calls to employee-assistance programs and private counselors in the city have started up again….

“Our reserves were used up by 9/11,” adds Ellen McGrath, a psychotherapist with a private practice in Brooklyn. She says the period of greatest danger after a traumatic incident is from the six-month anniversary to the one-year mark and beyond. “This is the season when it starts,” says Dr. McGrath, who fears an upsurge in rages, self-destructive behavior and even suicides. “The despair, the helplessness get so intense. Ö It bursts out.”

We were warned
: We were warned in 1995 that terrorists associated with bin Laden were planning to hijack jets and use them as weapons against key U.S. buildings, says Fox News. Imagine if we had listened. Imagine if we had increased airport security. Imagine if we had fortified cockpit doors. Imagine if we had paid attention at our borders. Imagine.

U.S. law-enforcement authorities knew as early as 1995 that Middle Eastern men were training at American flight schools and had discussed crashing planes into federal buildings, but did not follow up on the information, according to documents and interviews with American and Filipino authorities.

The information came to light during Filipino police questioning of Ramzi Yousef and Abdul Hakin Murad, the two men arrested in 1995 after a chemical fire at a Manila apartment accidentally revealed a major terror plot with ties to Usama bin Laden.

Murad and Yousef, who also had ties to the New Jersey-based group of terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, are serving life sentences in the United States for an elaborate plot to blow up a dozen U.S. trans-Pacific airliners in one day.

But secret Filipino records, as well as police and intelligence personnel in that country who spoke to the Associated Press, indicate that Murad’s intentions were even grander.

“Murad’s idea is that he will board any American commercial aircraft pretending to be an ordinary passenger, then he will hijack said aircraft, control its cockpit and dive it at the CIA headquarters,” one Filipino police report from 1995 said.

“There will be no bomb or any explosive that he will use in its execution. It is a suicidal mission that he is very much willing to execute,” it continued.

The Filipino authorities said that they gave the information immediately to the FBI office in Manila, but that the Americans disregarded the hijacking plans to focus on the better-developed and more immediately threatening airliner-bombing plot.

9.11 video
: NY Daily News critic David Bianculli reviews the CBS 9.11 show, scheduled for this Sunday: “An astonishing, riveting, remarkable piece of filmmaking.”

Blogfest
: I was waiting for Amy Langfield‘s NYC Blogfest report.

We met at Mary Ann’s but neglected to come up with any secret code that would help us identify each other once inside the crowded bar. I thought I’d spotted the group, and then realized I would have to walk up and say something like, “Excuse me are you the bloggers?” As the thought developed in my head, I realized if it was the wrong group, my line would meet with the same confusion as if I’d asked, “Excuse me, did you go to high school in Bakersfield?”

The price of spam
: A few days ago, I noted the arrival of spam from a California gubernatorial candidate. Now, because of his spamming, the candidate’s site has been shut down. I await the freedom-of-speech argument. [via Rand Simberg]