VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Social Sciences POSTED ON: 7/14/2010
Abdulmutallab was initially painted by the administration as an "isolated extremist" who had managed to sneak explosives past the standard screening process, The Washington Post ran a bizarre Page 1 article that quoted some of his adolescent FaceBook ramblings on loneliness and his inability to find a true Muslim friend. Perhaps the Post's premise was he was the first young man from a wealthy family sent to another country for schooling who felt lonely.
Cool as McCumber How Not to Respond For those looking for a crash course on what not to do in the wake of a serious security breach, there could be no better case study. Here are some key takeaways for security professionals: By John McCumber • After a serious incident such as this, don’t run out and try to tell your constituents that your security program W ithin hours of Umar Farouk worked just dandy. Whom are they going Abdulmutallab’s attempt to bring to believe: you or their lying eyes? Any down Northwest Flight 253 on explanatory caveats you place on your Christmas Day with his “Fruit of comments at a later time will sound fatu- the Boom” underwear, we were ous and label you a butt-covering fraud. treated to a parade of public officials from the Security breaches happen. Own up to any President of the United States down to function- shortfalls or mistakes. aries in federal agencies trying to explain away • If you’re not yet sure of all the facts, the incident as an aberration. Background facts say so. Saying there was no “smoking gun” began to dribble out of the dead-tree media over only to have the steaming six-shooter sud- the week following the botched attack showing denly appear on the Jumbotron behind these pronouncements to be at best, ill-advised. you makes you appear incompetent. If you For an administration that went immediately to don’t know, simply say so. the podium asking America not to jump to con- • If you’ve had your job for more clusions in the wake of the shocking Fort Hood than month, don’t blame the guy who murders, erroneous conclusions were being prof- “Abdulmutallab was had the gig before you. Laying the rap fered while we were still escorting the shaken on your long-gone predecessor does passengers off the aircraft. hardly an ‘isolated not instill confidence in your abilities. Abdulmutallab was initially painted by the administration as an “isolated extremist” who extremist’... Not only Perhaps they dumped the guy before you because you claimed to be able to do a had managed to sneak explosives past the stan- dard screening process, The Washington Post was he trained by a better job. Now is the time to prove it.
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