The Following Thread is an Opinion and should be reguarded as such. Please feel free to comment on my view as you wish.
Following The wake of September 11th, several glaring airport and airline safety issues have raised the question, is air travel in the United States safe from terrorists? That answer is sadly no, in fact several incidents after 9/11 bring the question to the front page nearly weekly.
“Airport security is somewhat improved, thanks to the introduction of meaningful training and performance standards for passenger screeners—something which could have been done without creating a huge new 60,000-person federal workforce. The much-vaunted “100 percent checked baggage screening” supposedly implemented as of last December 31st by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a joke.” Says Robert Poole Jr. Director of Transportation studies at the Reason Public Policy Institute.
Poole is right, during the time of the TSA’s control of airport security several alarming incidents have occurred:
One most notably is the case of Richard Reid:
Three months after 9/11, Reid attempted to blow an American Airlines trans-Atlantic flight out of the sky with explosives hidden in his shoe. The Paris to Miami flight was at a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet when Reid attempted to light hisexplosive laden shoe on fire with a match. Flight attendants and as many as 9 passengers wrestled Reid to the floor and subdued the British born man until the flight landed in Boston.
“This shocking case, is proof that what we are doing is simply not enough,” Says Poole. “At many large airports, all checked bags are not being inspected for explosives; they are simply being matched up with passengers, which only ensures that a suicidal terrorist flies on the same plane as his suitcase bomb.
Even at airports where every checked bag is checked for explosives, most carry-on bags are not. They are simply passed through automated X-ray machines, which the TSA dubs inadequate for inspecting checked bags for explosives.
The majority of airports are meeting the standards using “explosive trace detection,” the little swab run over (in most cases) the outside of a suitcase. But that method was never intended for large-scale screening, and has never been certified by the TSA for that purpose.”
July 4th 2002, a busy holiday at Los Angeles International Airport turns deadly when a gun wielding man guns down 4 people standing at an EL AL airlines ticket counter. “This is one of just a few examples of the TSAs inability to handle security.” says Poole.
Since the LAX incident City police have patrolled our nation’s airports, providing some much needed help to the already over-worked TSA.
However, more still needs to be done, more then what has already been done to insure the safety in the sky. 9/11 has taught us some valuable lessons, but we still must be vigilant especially in the air.
Richard Ried was scentenced to Life in prison earlier this year.
Please Post your thoughts.