Yeah, profiling doesn't work according to Chertoff. But the Nigerian had a one way ticket (red flag), purchased with cash (red flag), no checked luggage (red flag), and took a window seat (red flag), and one of his legs was through Yemen (red flag). I guess profiling on the basis of these flags would have been positive IMO.
I was kind of almost ready to forgive the administration--after all, no system will keep us perfectly safe--but Jon Stewart on tonight's Daily Show made the point that the shoe bomber also had a one-way ticket, paid with cash, no checked luggage, and flew from a European capital, also with explosives. Stewart said that we don't expect security to catch everything, but we do expect them to catch the exact same thing
He also said it was the same plot with the explosive moved up the length of an inseam.