(Fred Weinberg) – Oh Please.
Let me repeat this once and for all.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about what we now call “airport security” that it was largely eye candy designed to make you feel secure.
I also pointed out that if—perhaps I should say when—we have a tragedy it will happen because of a glaring error by one of Janet Napolitano’s troops and if the incident is survivable it will be because of a group of passengers in the spirit of the late Todd Beamer who organized the revolt of the passengers on the fourth flight of 9-11.
It won’t be prevented by “enhanced security” of insulated beverage containers.
It won’t be prevented by making you take your shoes off and running them through an airport scanner.
It won’t be prevented by making you empty your pockets, raising your hands and doing the hokey pokey while you turn yourself about before some moron with a scanner that may or may not be able to show anything.
And it won’t be prevented by killing off domestic air travel with these ham handed attempts by ham handed idiots allegedly trying to keep us “safe”.
The way to stop any potential incident is to enlist the traveling public, particularly those like me who are on a plane at least twice a week.
I’m pretty sure that the regulars I travel with would do the same thing I would do should somebody pull out a knife or gun and announce, “Allah Akbar!”
Americans are not by nature the shrinking violets our government assumes and wishes we were.
To make the silly assumption that only government employees can put down a hijacker only shows how warped the thinking about domestic airline security is.
To make the even sillier assumption that Americans will sit quietly while some sociopathic religious fanatic places their lives in danger and let it happen only shows the disregard the government for history and reality.
The reason hijackers got away with it the first three times on 9-11 is that the government had essentially told the traveling public that you can negotiate with terrorists. By the time they got to the fourth flight, Todd Beamer and his fellow passengers realized that wasn’t the case.
That only goes to show that the American traveling public is one hell of a lot smarter than what passes for intelligentsia at the Department of Homeland Security.
It’s about time that the folks at DHS and the airlines recognize that they have a tremendous resource in the people who actually fly on the airplanes and that they shouldn’t go out of their way to make it difficult for us to fight back in the event of an attack.
Here’s a thought.
After someone has flown 20 or 30 times in a year, they should get a letter from the DHS with a request to join a pre clearance program. Kind of a citizens air marshal academy.
In exchange for giving up some biometric information, they could pre-clear us and issue a real secure ID. The quid pro quo for that would be our eyes and our ears and perhaps some special training so that on any given flight, the government and the airlines might have 15 or 20 people who have agreed in advance to help out in the event of an emergency and know how.
That would go a long way to making our domestic air travel system a much harder target.
Of course, in order for that to happen, Ms. Napolitano and her associates will have to get over their distrust of mere citizens—especially those who understand what the Second Amendment allows them to do.
Until something like that happens, the terrorists have won. Because all that happens at airports today says to America that not only does your government not trust you, it also thinks you are not very smart.
(Mr. Weinberg publishes the Penny Press)