The swift arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the 30-year-old Pakistani-American, is reassuring. And dramatic - after all those episodes of 24 and all those movies, we could all picture it in our mind's eyes, couldn't we? The FBI tracking down the man who sold Shahzad the SUV. Tracing the locations of the cell phone he'd used and dumped. And finally charging onto the plane he was on, as it was preparing to taxi and head away to Dubai, and making the arrest.
The episode would have had scenes, too, of high government officials being on top of things. Attorney general Eric Holder apparently stayed at the office until 9:30, went home to tuck the kids in, and went back to the office (according to the Playbook, a morning news/heads-up email by Politico's Mike Allen), heading straight to something called the SCIF on the seventh floor. The Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. I swear, that's what it's called.
This episode comes complete with Hollywood ending. Well, I guess some would prefer that the feds would have blown the guy's brains out. Instead, starting today, Shahzad will enter the justice system. Excitable blood-lust notwithstanding, this is the preferred outcome because there are still of course lots of things to learn, about whether he acted alone, about what he did during those eight months he reportedly spent recently in Pakistan.