09 May 2011

Schumer's "no ride list" for trains is stupid

Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D.-N.Y.) "no ride list" for Amtrak (Reuters) is stupid.

His reasoning is that bin Laden had been planning to blow up some train tracks on or around the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. So there are at least two reasons why Schumer's proposal is stupid:

One, it's closing the barn door after the horses have run out. Bin Laden is now dead, his plans discovered and publicized. I for one doubt that his organization is so well organized that it will just pick up and implement these plans -- which were so inexact or incomplete that they didn't include a precise date or location for the event -- without their leader. And even if they could, why would they keep on with a plan that the government is now aware of?

While it would be dead simple to bring the Northeast Corridor to its knees by strategically blowing up a single bomb somewhere between D.C. and Boston, it's apparently difficult to arrange. I'm actually flabbergasted that it hasn't been done yet. It's like 450 miles of very vulnerable and largely unsecured track. Are terrorists stupid? Incompetent? Badly organized? I don't know. But it seems to be it would be a hell of a lot easier to carry out than the 9/11 operation.

Two, and really I think this is the more important point, how will preventing a suspect from entering onto a train prevent him from planting a bomb on the tracks on which the train runs?

I mean, really.

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