“If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, and whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list — who can we catch?” — from a 12.29 Maureen Dowd column in the N.Y. Times.

Indeed — you’d think that someone in airline security.that day would have put two and two together and stopped Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding. But as the security system has an apparent “systemic” weakness or two, doing so would have required a security employee to apply intelligent analysis and individual assessment on his or her own, and also to step up to the plate and say to his/her superior, “Uhm, there’s this guy we might want to take a second look at.” But what do all companies and organizations instruct their employees to do above all else? Get along, follow the form, support the team.