Thank God for the Department of Homeland Security. Buffalo is safe from ceremonial occasions.
Friday's blockade of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams at Dulles International Airport prevented Buffalo from experiencing and entertaining on St. Patrick's day a key figure in Irish history. It also indicated Homeland Security considers Buffalo a higher-priority protection target than the White House -- Adams had just come from a luncheon there, where he was among many guests celebrating the day with President Bush.
This would be almost amusing, if it weren't for the fact that Homeland Security is working hard to protect Western New York from thousands of tourists and consumers by demanding expensive passports or border identification cards for anyone trying to cross our bridges by the end of 2007.
Adams, to be sure, didn't help his own cause by allowing too little time to make his flight -- knowing, from past experience, that he'd have to be cleared again by Homeland Security when his Sinn Fein/IRA past popped his name up on the airlines' computerized terror watch list, even though the State Department had his entire itinerary in advance. Not even the luck o' the Irish is a match for American bureaucracy.
So let's review this one: Homeland Security found he's OK for a White House lunch, but not for a flight to Buffalo? Even forewarned, Washington can't evaluate and handle a "threat?"