The Corner

Bomb Detectors

The talk about radiation on planes reminds me of something. I’ve been in New York City a couple times of late and I’ve been going in and out of the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels a lot. I was led to believe — though I can’t remember where I read it at the time — that the Dept of Homeland Security had done…something to beef up security at places like this. Now, maybe there are super-sensitive radition and explosive detectors hidden all about. But when driving into these tunnels its hard to see how an Oklahoma City style attack could be thwarted even if such detectors were working great. Given the right timing you can get into the tunnel very, very quickly. And once you’re in, it really doesn’t matter if the cops are hot on your tail or on their way to intercept you. Moreover, there just aren’t a lot of cop cars and the like close enough to stop you, even if they got some kind of warning. I know that you don’t want to divulge all security measures to the public but unless there’s some really fantastic high tech stuff hidden beneath the filth and grime of the city, I’m dubious that they’ve done anything serious (at the point of vulnerability) to prevent one of these tunnels from being blown up. And we all know that this was always one of the things al Qaeda wanted to do.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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