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  • “Man-Made Disaster” Not Made By Humans?

    When Secretary Janet Napolitano used the word “man-made disaster” to describe the current terrorist threat facing Americans, you would have thought that she understood that terrorists aren’t machines and are in fact human. It comes as a surprise then that the Obama Administration is rumored to have set its laser on killing the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s human factors research budget.

    What is “human factors research”, you ask? It is a fancy term for studying the way humans behave and interact—humans like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab—the man now dubbed as the recent Christmas Day “underwear bomber.” Science tends to suggest that by studying the way humans operate, the U.S. can better predict what their next choices might be, and perhaps help to stop them from doing things like blowing up airplanes. This information would be handy for a whole host of homeland security functions. But DHS seems to have decided that this type of information isn’t very useful—and that the directorate should focus on other endeavors deemed more important.

    If DHS isn’t researching how to stop terrorists, what will it research? The worst case scenario would be that S & T becomes a gadget factory, pumping out new fangled toys all day long but with little added security to show for it. It’s important that the Secretary gives the S & T directorate the latitude to innovate, and the money to experiment, but it is also vital that DHS remembers what they are there for—to stop acts of terrorism—man-made or otherwise.

    My colleague, James Carafano, recently discussed the Christmas Day plot and drafted a Presidential To Do List for helping to plug gaps in the terrorist travel system. He suggests six other ways we can stop terrorists from getting through airport security. All of the steps recognize, however, that terrorists are humans—humans that can be stopped if we have the right information to stop them. Predicting their movements at the earliest stages—a benefit afforded through increased human factors knowledge—can help to facilitate this process.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to “Man-Made Disaster” Not Made By Humans?

    1. Kit Parks, NC says:

      Considering that PC directive of this administration seems to dictate they wouldn't use any knowledge gleened anyway, perhaps the pres is actually trying to save us taxpayers a bit of cash.

      Yesterday I read where a judge allowed a Somalian gent with no corroboration of his refugee story to stay in our country, despite the fact that so much of that country is ruled by extremists (http://www.americansforaccountability.blogspot.com).

      What are they thinking?

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      The terrorists have been helpful to explain why they do what they do! What more is needed?

      All costs to the studies of these less then human beings, should be funded by the countries MAN-MADE terrorism originated from!

    3. Spiritof76 says:

      This President believes that the reason the terrorists are behaving the way they do is because of American policy arrogance. It is the same message that his pastor, Mr. Wright preached all those years with Obama attending that church for twenty years.

      Here is the President vacationig in Hawaii claiming different and conflicting circumstances for the attack. First, it was a lone extremist. In the next sentence, he said he would go after all that were involved, fully contradicting the lone extremist theory.

      Obama and his administration is wedded to leftist and largely inimcal ideology so deeply that they are blind to what is happening in the terrorist world.

      We have a worst combination of ineptness and arrogance that makes American people suffer at the hands of the terrorists.

    4. Eric Shaver, Idaho says:

      I haven't heard anything about the administration decreasing and/or eliminating the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s HF research budget. In fact, a broad agency announcement was released last week in which human factors was one of the “topical areas of strategic interest” – see below for additional details:


      As a human factors and ergonomics practitioner, who blogs on the topic at The Human Factor Advocate (http://www.thehumanfactorblog.com/), I find it encouraging that the DHS is interested in funding human factors-related research that focuses on identifying innovative solutions for enhancing homeland security.

    5. Gene Henderson, Pitt says:

      If you want to understand how humans behave and interact, just keep reading your Bible. God, because he's God and because he loves us, has revealed plainly and simply what life is all about. But remember God has also aloud us individually and corporately to be deceived if we want to be. Some believe there are 72 virgins waiting for them. Some believe 9/11 was an inside job. Some fear their maker and can discern between a lie and a truth. Again, you want to know why people do what they do. Dust off your Bible and start reading it. It's the book that judges all other books. That's why it is always the number one best seller. Now go and have a great day!

    6. william says:

      Would it be possible to enroll Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in that study? I would love to know how their minds work. If they do, that is.

    7. Tim Az says:

      This administration has simply redefined who is a threat to them. And they know it is not the terrorists. As long as they tolerate terrorist activity against American citizens they will not be harmed directly by a terrorist attack. The threat as they perceive it. Is we the people who continue to bitterly cling to freedoms indowed upon all humanity from their creator. And acknowledged in the Constitution Of The United States Of America. This is all that one needs to know to explain their inaction.

    8. Drew Page, IL says:

      Regardless of why islamic extreists and fascists plot and carryout their acts of terrorism, the results of their actions are unacceptable. Knowing why a mad dog bites you doesn't make the result any less dangerous.

      Our president thinks that by being polite to them will cause them to stop their terrorist activities.

      I believe that there are two main reasons the U.S. will continue to be attacked by islamic extremists. First, the U.S. has a long and continuous history of supporting the state of Isreal. Second, any U.S. military presence in the middle east, for whatever reason, only inflames the passions of these extremists.

      Those wishing peace with islamic nations need to understand the price. First, that the U.S. completely abondon Isreal, meaning no aid of any kind, financial, military or tecnological — nothing. Second, that the U.S. pull all troops out of any and all muslim countries, regardless of our strategic interests whether that be oil, or military bases, or even protection of U.S. embassies. Concede to these demands and maybe there wi9ll be an end to attacks on America and its citizens. Don't concede to these demands and the consequences will be more of the same until we as a country will come to the conclusion that enough is enough and decide to really fight and destroy those countries harboring terrorists. And this time, we don't pay to rebuild them.

    9. Doug Schexnayder, Ph says:


      PAPER: 'Obama gets an 'F' for protecting Americans'…

      Cheney: Obama 'trying to pretend'…

      President under fire on national security…

      Breach Was 'Catastrophic'…

      WIRE: Many question 'system worked' comment…

      BIG SIS: Will 'find and fix' vulnerabilities…


      It is so clever and amazing how the cult of allah terrorists always use our freedoms against us. The new thing they learned quickly is the PC (aka liberal guilt-reality denial) soft underbelly so treasured by democrats makes the odds of them being caught drop significantly.

      Note the military moslem serial murderer and now the Nigerian attempted mass murderer. What we do know is they continue the 99% moslem profile 99% of the time terrorist record. They both were very far from poverty. This reinforces the (often rejected) theory that they are simply mass murderers in the name of a "cultist religion" only. Kill all infidels and somehow…"its all good". Somehow their god "loves them" and rewards them. Maybe Abel was really an infidel and Cain a closet cult of allah guy.

      As America goes into 2010, will security organizations REVISE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES to reflect reality and reject democrat PC-fantasyland? If these last two cultists do not teach the PC-liberal crowd…just what would? The PC-ism is so ingrained in the modern democrat (aka secular socialist pacifist) that nothing small will stir them to take off their blinders. We all now know the dozens of "missed signs".

      Its the Obama "watch" so there is no where to hide on this issue.

      I submit only AFTER another mega-murder will congress finally force aggressive profiling like that used by countries not cursed with democrat guilt issues. Many must die for democrats to face reality. The clock ticks louder every day. Ignore what is said, watch what is done.

      We can only "hope" for a serious domestic terrorist policy "change" before another 9-11.

      (this post was printed in the Natchez paper Dec 30.09 as an LTE)


    10. Yabin Lee(i), Shangh says:

      It is a hard topic, obviously. If the excellent superiority could be a reason to cause an avalanche, just as what US power once encountered then what anticipation about future could be made by people,is just becoming impossible. Indeed, the security issue of quality cooperation, which is sensed in certain extent, is more prevailing than any other issue.

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