A couple of nights ago, I was hanging around a major Middle Eastern airport, on a long layover. I had just come from Islamabad (yes, I realize I didn't share the information that I was in Pakistan with Goldblog readers while I was there -- trust me, it was for my own good) and was waiting for a flight to the States, and I began to notice something very troubling (I'm not naming the airport, the airline or the flight number for reasons that will become clear).
It became instantly obvious that this flight was going to carry a large number of Afghanistan-based American contractors and active-duty military personnel back home. It wasn't that the soldiers were in uniform -- American soldiers don't travel in uniform on international flights, for security reasons -- but they may as well have been. One small example: I was sitting, at one point, next to an American man of obvious military bearing, a real barrel-chested freedom fighter sort, who wore a polo shirt inscribed with the words, "Army Aviation Association." He was also carrying a camouflage tactical rucksack with his last name stitched on the back. He seemed like a senior-enough guy to have a Google profile, so I typed into my iPhone his last name, plus Afghanistan, plus "army aviation" and came up with his exact identity in 20 seconds. He is one of the key leaders of the military's drone programs in Afghanistan. Now if I weren't a patriot, but instead an anti-American jihadist, I might have seen this as an opportunity to do some damage.