(1) Quietly issue new directives via TSA to ban all carry-on luggage and containers (water bottles, coffee cups, etc.) based on a desire for tighter security, such ban to take effect within a few days of the announcement, with explanations a bit later as people start complaining and the media starts covering this change in routine, or
(2) Throw a screaming hissy fit, yell "Terra! Terra! Terra!," implement new rules effective ten minutes before the announcement thus tying up airports for hours with new security measures, confusing the heck out of everybody, creating lots of chaos which provides visuals for TV cameras, and while you're at it raise the "color code" to "red," just to show you're really, really serious about this.
Oh, and hold a press conference or two about how dangerous the world is, how lucky we are to have these clucks in charge (who did nothing, but are taking all the credit for it), and how much more dangerous the world will be if the other clucks take control of Congress and, I don't know, hold the Administration accountable or something.
(And just how long does this ban go on? Forever? People are gonna get awful thirsty standing around airports for 3 hours waiting for a plane. Short flights, like between cities in Texas? Fuggedaboutit. Gonna be faster to drive. Why don't we just ban carry ons? Or, even better, just make everybody board naked. I mean, since everyone who travels is a suspect, might as well be sure they aren't carrying anything.)
It's a wonder tall trees ain't layin' down.
Update: As I was saying:
NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.This latest panic is going to come apart like a cheap suit in the rain. Combing this with the AmericaBlog link Grandmere Mimi posted in comments, and we're back to the question: was this dramatic action really necessary?
A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.
In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.
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