Watchdog Blog

Gilbert Cranberg: An X-Rated Security Threat

Posted at 1:25 pm, January 6th, 2010
Gilbert Cranberg Mug

Richard Reid, the Briton who attempted in 2001 to blow up an American airliner with explosives packed in his shoes was quickly dubbed the “shoe bomber” by the press. No one to my knowledge has referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as the “crotch bomber” for his attempt to destroy a plane with explosives concealed in his crotch.

Call it prudery by the press or sqeamishness, but unwillingness to call a crotch a crotch, is no way to conduct a war on terror. I recently flew from the Heartland to Florida wearing a contraption similar to the one shown in photos and described as having been worn by the crotch bomber. Why did I wear it? In keeping with the candor necessary to conduct successfully an all-out war on terror, I hereby waive my right to privacy and reveal that I am among the 25 million Amercans who have some degree of incontinence. There, I said it. In fact, the problem of leaky bladders is so ubiquitous that store shel;ves are stuffed with adult diapers, which must create a huge problem for Homeland Securty if only officials would talk candidly about it.

I can testify that during my recent flight no security personnel approached and said,”Excuse me, sir, but may I inspect your crotch?,” or expressed any curiosity about what I wore below my belt. a gap in security that surely must not have have escaped Al Qaeda.

Americans pad around airports in stocking feet with just mild grumbling because, even though there has not been another episode of attempted shoe bombing, passengers realize it happened before and could again.

The crotch taboo has left the country unprepared to cope with it as a security threat and unprepared to deal with scenes like this as they unfold at the nation‘s airports:

“Poppa, Where are they taking Mama?“

“Don’t worry about it son. They just want to make sure Mama’s not got explosives in her underwear.”

The arrest of Mr. Abdulmatallab should have been regarded by the press as a teachable moment; instead, it virtually covered up its significance. Even now, weeks later, the press can bring itself to say no more than that a Nigerian man ”attempted to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.” No hows, whys or wherefores.

It’s time for the crotch to be brought out of the closet and for it to be given the attention and respect it deserves as a security threat. You can be sure that Al Qaeda has its eye on our collective crotches.

3 Responses to “An X-Rated Security Threat”

  1. Ed G says:

    In keeping with the theme, Abdulmutallab should be dubbed the pantie bomber. That would be the most descriptive and catchy term for him. It could also be noted that would-be terrorists have moved from a foot fetish to a crotch fetish.

  2. julimac says:

    Just for the record, I, Contrarienne, coined the term crotch bomber on Dec. 30, 2009, and would like a little recognition for it.
    I, too, have wondered why this term has not been picked up. It could be that an average of only 13 sets of eyeballs a day, one of which belongs to my ex-husband, care enough to read what I think. Or it could be a vast media conspiracy to deny the obvious which, as usual, they missed entirely.

  3. sailorflat says:

    What should we expect? Certainly the individuals that are hired to be the inspectors do as little as possible to detect any problem passengers and/or suspicious equipment, including diapers, whether adult or infant. The stories that I have read indicate that inspectors select the least likely passengers for their inspections and why should they do anything more? Their payscale doesn’t indicate that they would be any more asute than that. The airlines are doing as little as possible to increase THEIR costs and that’s why we will continue to have problems with any detection of threats during air travel. Personally, I don’t intend to use air travel. Perhaps we all should. Then possibly the airlines will hire and adequately compensate these inspectors. After all, they need greater than a high school diploma and that’s probably all we get now.

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