Monday, December 28, 2009

Punishing the Innocent Instead of Doing What Needs to Be Done

Once again airport security is being stepped up, in effect punishing the innocent while there are some other steps that can easily be done to stop this from happening. Here are a selection of new rules, as reported by the WSJ:

  • Everyone must stay seated one hour before landing on international flights. (This assumes, of course, that nothing happens at all while the plane is cruising.)
  • No blankets or pillows or items in laps in the last hour of a flight. (Will baggy clothing, sweaters or hoodies be next?)
  • No announcements from the cockpit about cities, landmarks or perhaps even when planes start to descend. (Some travelers may shout “hooray!” but most appreciate progress reports. Are we really thwarting terror by not knowing whether the city seen out the window is Kansas City or St. Louis. Hint: If it has a big river and arch, it’s St. Louis.)
  • No route-tracking displays on international flights. (Anyone with a watch can, with simple calculations, roughly estimate where a flight is at any given time.)
  • No laptop computer use in-flight. Some passengers reported this. Let’s hope it’s simply over-aggressive low-level TSA officials, air marshals or flight crews.

It seems pretty clear to anyone with a brain that these new rules will do nothing to actually stop terrorist attacks. I don't think that any terrorist will say "oh, I won't be able to track my flights progress so I better call off my attempt to blow the plane up". And what if a terrorist does get up 10 minutes before landing? What are they going to do? Shoot him? One would think in the time it takes the stewardess to get up from her seat and tell him to sit down, he would have already blown up the plane.

The new rules they should immediately implement are simple. Anybody in any of their "suspected terrorist" databases gets extra screening. Everybody. Given the full body scanning technology out there, it seems like it would be pretty quick to get those that require extra screening, screened without too much hassle. Even if the list is 500,000 people long, how many of those are flying at any given time?

There are reports that the terrorist got on the plane without a passport. Apparently the story given to the airline personnel was that he was a Sudanese refugee and that he didn't have a passport. While it is good that the personnel were only human and wanted to help, those rules are there after all for a reason and there should be little tolerance for their circumvention. Now I would understand if there was some leeway for Sister Mary Catherine on her way to a new church or someone who was clearly a retiree from Sarasota, Florida but a muslim paying for a ticket to the US in cash with only a small carryon and no passport? Doesn't that sound suspicious at all? Maybe you wouldn't circumvent the rules in that instance?

As usual government finds an idiotic way to try to fix the problem, promoting the illusion that "the system is working".


photobob said...

You said, "As usual government finds an idiotic way to try to fix the problem". What is your solution for solving the problem???

photobob said...

I am correcting my last comment. You did make a suggestion

Max Jacobs said...

And don't you think my suggestion is much more reasonable and effective than telling people they can't have blankets for an hour on the plane?

photobob said...

I think they are going to get the full body scanners and it will help. Not sure it is foolproof but what is? I read, not sure that it is fact, that he had the powder sewn into his underwear shorts. If that is true, then the full body scan might miss it. I saw that for privacy reasons a person can use an image blocker to block private parts. WHo is going to pay for the machines?? Raise taxes, people will complain. Raise airport taxes, people will complain. Bottom line is that the terrorists will come up with something new.

jerry said...

So, your answer is to essentially do nothing of significance? What the blazes does keeping people in their seats the last 60 minutes do? The terrorists will act in 90 minutes. I understand they're changing that rule already.

The real issue is to make life extraordinarily painful for the terrorists. Yes, that means bombing the crap out of training areas whether they are in Yemen or Afghanistan.

Islam is both a religion and a political system. We are at war with political Islam. You cannot appease political Islam as their goal is Dar es Islam. Surrender or die. I choose neither.

Pacifism is a wonderful theory but like Communism it's not based on reality.

Max Jacobs said...

What pacifists need to understand is that often the alternative to war is not necessarily what we would consider peace.

photobob said...

"to essentially do nothing of significance". Where did I say that? I just raised some questions.

BTW, The terrorists that gave the bomber the bomb were released by Bush in 2007.

Max Jacobs said...

Yup the Bush administration was clearly mistaken there. I assume he only released them because of pressure from the Left to close Gitmo completely. I'm sure Cheney was for keeping them in prison forever. Anyway, we never claimed it was Obama who let the terrorists go but as the original post mentioned their reaction to this has been anything but what we would want from our government (like the claims that the system worked, Obama saying that he wouldnt rest until the terrorists are brought to justice and then went off to play golf, and finally those idiotic TSA guidelines that will make travel even more hellish).

jerry said...

The terrorists were not released by Bush but by the courts as a result of ACLU law suits.

Do you really think that W was for releasing the terrorists?

They were released a result of bleeding heart liberal lawyers.

Everyone on the right knew that they would be dangerous if released. Only the idiotic left refuses to see reality.

It's time to give up the Bush Derangement Syndrome.