The Safer Skies

I start off 2010 by discussing an issue that came about at the end of the previous year… the attempted destruction of a plane that was landing in Detroit.  It was a terrorist act that had been organized by al-Qaida.  Shortly thereafter, the federal government began jumping through hoops — as expected — though none of the recommendations they made would have made any significant difference.

So yet again, as passengers on these planes, we have a new set of rules to go by.  We can’t get out of our seats within an hour of landing, we can’t cover up with a blanket or have our laptops out also within an hour landing.  Why?  Because the terrorist had gone to the bathroom to get everything rigged up and had covered himself with a blanket to disguise what he was doing.  And why is it all within an hour of the flight landing?  Because that is when he did it.  I’m almost surprised the government isn’t making us strip down to our underwear in the name of national security.

But does anyone really think these new measures will do any good?  If you do…then maybe you shouldn’t be on an airplane at all.  What’s to stop a terrorist from just doing it earlier in the flight….like in mid-flight or at the beginning?  Once those happen, those of us who are passengers won’t be able to get up out of seats for the entire flight…no matter how much of an emergency it is, and we will have to sit there and freeze to.  It’s all quite ridiculous even.

After the failed show-bombing, it came down that we all had to remove our shoes so they could be inspected.  At least that made some sense.  But again…the terrorists adapted to our rules.   So again I ask…what’s next?  Searching our underwear perhaps?    They do have full body scanners out there that could have stopped this, but there are people out there that are more concerned about their privacy rights.  Now for starters…the person doesn’t see you completely naked.  And secondly, I really don’t think you’re privacy rights are going to make much difference if a terrorist boards your plane and blows it up.  I, for one, have no problem with the full body scanners…so scan me away.  I’m proud of my body.

The federal government also needs to communicate better…between all its intelligence divisions (which the creation of the Department of Homeland Security was supposed to do) and the airlines.  Airlines should have access to all the federal government lists…watch lists and no-fly lists.  As  a voter, I would like to ask why it took this near-disaster for this to come about when we knew after 9-11 that this had been part of the problem?   Shouldn’t this have been something that came about from that?  Apparently, that would have been too easy of an answer.

One could say that these new “security measures” were implemented to make the public feel safer.  But it shouldn’t take much thought from anyone to realize that the new measures won’t really do anything to increase the security of flying and are just red herring in order to make you think they are doing something to help.   So how safe are the “friendly” skies?  Only as safe as we deem them to be.

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One Response to The Safer Skies

  1. Allison says:

    I think it’s all ridiculous, really. The terrorists tried the shoe bomb, and now we have to take off our shoes. The terrorists tried this new bomb, now we have a bunch of more hoops to jump through. The terrorists won’t do the same thing twice. In a way, failing at a terrorist attack causes a decent amount of trouble in itself. Think of all the hassle and upset, the fear they’re sparking in U.S. citizens. Did you hear about the kid who got his Play Doh confiscated? On the one hand, stupid parents for putting a 20-pack of Play Doh in their carry-on. They couldn’t give him one canister and put the rest in their checked luggage? But on the other hand…is it coming to the point where children’s toys are now suspect? It’s going to get to a point where we can only wear the bare minimum of clothing and we can’t carry anything onto the plane that isn’t medically necessary. It’ll sure help the airlines with all the extra fees they’ll get from the increase in checked luggage.

    I, for one, made a decision. If it’s possible to drive there, I’m not flying. End of story. It’s too much hassle, increasingly too expensive, and too uncomfortable.

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