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Retired Air Force General Calls for Universal Strip Searching of Young Muslim Men

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Retired Air Force General Calls for Universal Strip Searching of Young Muslim Men"

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It really makes you wonder about the quality of the strategic thinking taking place at the Air Force if a guy like Tom McInerney was able to become a Lieutenant General. Check him out:

As ThinkProgress has documented, the right-wing has responded to the failed Christmas day terrorist attack by calling for increased racial profiling of Muslims. On Fox News yesterday, retired Lt. General Tom McInerney declared that the United States needs to “be very serious and harsh about the profiling.” “If you are an 18 to 28-year-old Muslim man then you should be strip searched,” said McInerney.

On the pro side of the ledger, had we implemented such a policy in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we would have helped prevent some portion of the zero deaths in post-9/11 plane-related terrorism.

On the con side, consider the devastation this would have wrought on our foreign policy. Suppose Indonesia wants to send some new interns to New York and Washington to work in the embassy and UN missions—strip search time! There are over 10,000 Muslims serving in the United States military, the majority of them almost certainly young men. How strip-searching them in an act of explicit religious discrimination going to work for morale? And when overwhelmingly non-Muslim soldiers show up in an Afghan town asking for cooperation from the local people, are their efforts going to be helped or hindered by the knowledge that American Muslims are treated as second-class citizens.

This all seems obvious. One of America’s great strengths as a country is our diversity and our relatively open, relatively tolerant public culture. It’s sad that some on the right can’t see that.

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