Those who travel by air in the future might soon face full body pat downs to check for bombs in the bosom and crotch, thanks to Umar the Panty bomber.

But the real problem is that “no using the rest room for the last two hours of flight”. Apparantly, Umar spent an hour in the restroom putting his bomb together, so we ladies with “detrusor instability” will now have to wear Depends on long flights, just in case.

Reality check. Why not just put automatic timers on the restroom doors, and spy holes? Wouldn’t that be a bit smarter? And tell the passengers standing with their legs crossed waiting an hour for the guy hogging the restroom to alert the flight attendants if they have to wait too long.

Nah, it might upset someone.

Well, how about allowing the flight attendants, fellow passengers, and those in the waiting area to report “suspicious behavior”? This might mean things like talking about how much they hate America in a foreign language, acting overly nervous or weird, connections with terrorist groups, or other signs something is not right.

Nah, you’ll get threatened with a lawsuit by CAIR, as the bystanders in Minneapolis found out when they reported the “flying immans”.

But all this is beside the point. The real question is how did a young Nigerian man get a visa in the first place? And why wasn’t that visa revoked?

CBS news points out that he had an open visa, and even though his father reported him, and even though he had visited Yemen twice,  his visa was not “tagged” for concern.

It was only after the Christmas Day terror attack in Detroit that U.S. officials learned that Abdulmuttalab had been issued a visa by the U.S. Embassy in London valid from June 16, 2008, through June 12, 2010.

But this is not the only question about his visa.

 The Arizona Daily Star, says he was issued a “visitor visa”.

Under what pretenses was this visa granted? Did he have relatives in the US? Or was it given so he could become a “tourist”?What was the reason that he gave on his visa application for wanting to visit the US?

And then, despite warning from his father, and despite the fact that the UK refused to re issue him a student visa,why was it was never revoked or even “flagged” to stop him entering the US?

The NCTC, which has responsibility if any visas are to be pulled over terrorism concerns, then reviewed the information and found it was “insufficient to determine whether his visa should be revoked,” Kelly said.

What does it take to revoke a visa on someone suspected of terrorism? A letter of recommendation from Osama ben Laden? A tattoo saying “I Heart Al Qaeda” on his arm?

I mean, this guy was acting suspiciously enough in the UK for them to refuse to let him back in (even though Nigeria has close ties with the UK, as a former colony). Yet someone in the US Embassy in London issued him a visa, and someone at the NCTC wasn’t worried at all about all those “red flags” and didn’t revoke the visa.

But I have another question:

Why was the visa issued at all?

Isn’t the embassy in London worried that a young man from a third world country who enters the US will overstay his tourist visa? Maybe even that he would buy a green card on the streets of Washington DC, change his name, get an stolen social security number, and get a job?

There are millions of “undocumented” aliens in the US, and they are not all Mexicans. A couple hundred thousand are Filipinos, and  others are European.

Again, one wonders if it was “political correctness” that made them issue the visa, because an ordinary visitor would have a lot more problems being allowed into the US.

I speak from experience.

My niece, a middle aged grandmother, who is a government employee, wanted to visit her sister in Chicago: she applied for a visa, but she had to change her original plans because of the long process to get her visa approved (she finally got approved for a visa after a year).

Did Umar the panty bomber have to be investigated and wait a year to get a visitor visa? I don’t think so, but  perhaps someone could check on it.

Yet at least my niece got a visa.

My son’s visa was refused.

My oldest son is adopted from Colombia. When he turned 21 years, for personal reasons, he decided to return to his native country instead of waiting for his US citizenship papers to go through.  But by doing so, he ended up losing his “green card”.

A couple years ago, he applied for a visitor visa to visit us in the US, and was turned down: Twice.

You see, even though he owns his own small business, and even though he is married, and even though he had family in the US to guarantee his behavior, the worker in the US Embassy in Bogota was suspicious. No, not of terrorism or that he might smuggle drugs. It was a more pressing problem: the embassy worried that my son would simply outstay his visa, find a job, and then become one of the millions of “undocumented workers” in the US.

So my son, a Hispanic Christian, was denied a visa, because they feared he would do something illegal, like get a job and send money home to help support his family.

Three counts against him: Wrong color, wrong religion, and strong work ethic.

But Umar the Panty-bomber? Nah, he is a Muslim, and from Africa. He was even rich enough to visit Yemen twice and study in London. There is no evidence he ever had to work for a living, so there was little chance he would overstay his visa and find work.

What’s wrong with this picture?


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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