Incompetence in the Air

This has got me really steamed — as the news unfolds after this latest air terrorism attempt, it turns out that the guy who is accused of trying to blow up a jet over Detroit was actually ON a US Terrorism Watch List. His own father even contacted authorities with concerns about his son’s activities — and he was still allowed onto an airplane without hassle.

Alrighty them. What exactly is the watch list there for if we don’t use it?!?

Even better, the TSA seems to think that punishing the entire traveling public with laughably stupid yet very annoying in-flight restrictions is the correct response to this massive cock-up.

The solution to this issue is not a mystery. You need to screen people better BEFORE they get on the plane. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s the right thing to do. Telling people they will be safe if they cannot use their iPod for the last hour of a flight is utterly pathetic.

It’s like the guy who, on noticing he’s lost his wallet, starts looking for it under the next streetlamp because that’s where the light is. You need to go where the real problem is, not where the easy fix is.

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4 thoughts on “Incompetence in the Air”

  1. Makes sense, but the TSA is a political organization, and CAIR exerts strong pressure against any politician who would dare to speak such sense, particularly after their success with The Flying Imams case.

  2. The entire goal of the organization is to instill fear into (amongst others) the American public. “Safety” isn’t really their goal. Control is.

    They’re in much the same business as the “terrorists”, in some respects.

  3. It’s sad… Not only was he on the watch list, the no-fly list, but he managed to sweet-talk his way through two security check-points where they let him bring banned items onto the plane. To fowl it up even more, according to the news reports this morning, the NSA was tipped off that there was a potential threat on that particular flight!

    Like you wrote, had the rules simply been followed, he would have not been able to board the plane and there would have been no issues. But because it was the holiday season, and the traffic was heavier, the TSA agents didn’t do their jobs and they let this schmuck through the door. And guess what, we all get to suffer now because of it.

    I for one will look for other ways to get to my destination. I’ve been flying a LOT lately, and the no-bathroom and nothing-on-your-lap rule is it. Traveling has become bad enough, and most of the traveling just won’t be worth it if this continues.

  4. @Steve

    Yeah, that’s their job. It’s just like the terrorists. RIGHT…

    @Nick

    The report I saw was that he was on the watch list but not on the no-fly list. “Sweet-talk?” How hard is it to walk through a security checklist with liquid explosive in your underwear? What exactly were they looking for that they missed? I don’t know about the last statement you made about them being tipped off. But I believe the TSA guys “did their job.” It’s just that their job is not correctly defined. If the guy’s on the watch list AND they had barcode scanning at TSA (most airports don’t) AND their directives were to then subject anyone on the watch list to additional screening AND someone patted him down enough to feel the “full” underwear, then MAYBE he would have been caught. BUT… Most airports don’t have bar scanners, I doubt their directives are to do an additional search, and if they are we (the people) don’t want really invasive additional screenings (especially ones that might be feeling our undewear)… SO… I’d say that the TSA is doing the best job they can that we ALLOW them to do.

    I do agree that this recommendation does nothing to help and everything to punish those of us who fly. So the bad guy has to blow up a plane more than one hour prior to departure. So what. But the report I read said we’re also limited to one carry-on that has to stay in the overhead bin. The way i read that is no laptop. Or I have to switch to a combo clothing/laptop carry-on that I’ve seen.

    Other ways to get there? You mean like SHIP? These rules (as I heard it) only apply to international flights.

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