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Tongue firmly in cheek, Notre Dame political scientist Michael Desch offers this Swiftian solution to the threat of another underpants bomber: How we can most cost effectively respond to the underwear bomber? I think that I have finally come up with the solution. Now that extraordinary rendition is in retirement, we’ve put all these CIA ...

Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Stephen M. Walt
By , a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tongue firmly in cheek, Notre Dame political scientist Michael Desch offers this Swiftian solution to the threat of another underpants bomber:

How we can most cost effectively respond to the underwear bomber? I think that I have finally come up with the solution. Now that extraordinary rendition is in retirement, we've put all these CIA proprietary airlines out of business. We could just turn over the airlines to them and we'd have absolutely perfect security.   

Here's how: a flight would begin with every passenger stripped and water-boarded. Then they would all be given those orange jumpsuits, blacked out goggles, and adult diapers, which eliminate the need for in-flight service, video entertainment, and bathroom breaks during the flight. Finally, all flights would be to "undisclosed locations" so any terrorist who got through the system would have no idea when to light his or her BVDs on fire.   

Tongue firmly in cheek, Notre Dame political scientist Michael Desch offers this Swiftian solution to the threat of another underpants bomber:

How we can most cost effectively respond to the underwear bomber? I think that I have finally come up with the solution. Now that extraordinary rendition is in retirement, we’ve put all these CIA proprietary airlines out of business. We could just turn over the airlines to them and we’d have absolutely perfect security.   

Here’s how: a flight would begin with every passenger stripped and water-boarded. Then they would all be given those orange jumpsuits, blacked out goggles, and adult diapers, which eliminate the need for in-flight service, video entertainment, and bathroom breaks during the flight. Finally, all flights would be to "undisclosed locations" so any terrorist who got through the system would have no idea when to light his or her BVDs on fire.   

In addition to the finally achieving absolute airline security, we’d also keep an important part of the defense industrial base in business at the same time. Do you happen to have Janet Napolitano’s email?"

As for me, I guess I’m relieved that my next plane flight is on British Airways, where presumably the danger of water boarding is nil. On the other hand, I lost my luggage the last two times I went through Heathrow, so even Desch’s proposal won’t solve all our problems.

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University. Twitter: @stephenwalt

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