Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Racial Profiling

Can't we all just agree that profiling, racial or ethnic, is just good solid police work? What is it about our (white, Christian) society that makes people cringe at the idea that they might be racist? And why is it that if a policeman stops a white kid in a Corvette who is cruising a poor black neighborhood that's ok, while if he stops a black kid with three gold teeth driving an old jalopy in a wealthy white neighborhood he must be a racist?

Today Jonah Goldberg, in his inimitable style gives his take on the profiling question, and he gets it about right, as usual. He, however buys into the idea that Abu Zubaydah has the best memory in humanity. Any practitioner of zero base thinking must conclude that either Abu Zubaydah remembers ALL of el Qaida's plans and personnel, or our government has decided, for reasons of its own, to ascribe to Abu Zubaydah any information that our intelligence services might have uncovered. Using Occam's Razor, one of the primary tools of zero base thinking, we can safely, I think, conclude that this lead came from somewhere else. Especially when news reports point out that suspicion attached to Padilla when he applied for a replacement passport in Karachi. I once did the same thing, over 25 years ago, and suspicion attached to me way back then. This looks like just another victory for good, solid police work.