HolyCoast: Who Stops Terrorist Attempts, the TSA or Passengers?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who Stops Terrorist Attempts, the TSA or Passengers?

John Tyner of Oceanside had an encounter with the TSA that got pretty ugly, and he managed to capture most of it on audio on his cellphone. He makes a good point in response to a comment on his blog:
Every attempt to blow up a plane since 9/11 has been stopped by passengers after the government failed to provide protection for them. Every incident, however, has been met by throwing more money and less sensibility at the problem. Aside from securing the cockpit doors and the realization by passengers that they must fend for themselves because they're more likely to be killed by a hijacker than flown safely to their destination where the hijacker's demands can be met, security is largely the same as it was before 9/11.
I've made the point on several occasions that most of the TSA employees I've encountered are basically janitors with a badge, people who would not have a chance at being in a position of power in any other industry, but because they've taken a job with the TSA they suddenly have been given tremendous power over average citizens who are just trying to fly somewhere. They're like the worst homeowner's association board member who runs around the neighborhood with a clipboard desperately searching for violations so they can wield the only power they have in their lives.

Instead of treating passengers like the good citizens that the overwhelming majority of them are, they insist on treating everybody as terrorists until they prove to their satisfaction that they're not. It's an unconstitutional approach to say the least.

As Tyner points out in his piece it's not the TSA that's stopped the Shoe Bomber or the Underwear Bomber, or for that matter the terrorists on Flight 93 on 9/11, it's the passengers.  The people who fly today know too much to ever allow another successful hijacking.  They're the front line in the war on airline terror, not the glorified janitors that man the checkpoints.

1 comment:

Larry Sheldon said...

There a a lot of things that could be done, but it seems to me that the device that was installed after the D. B. Cooper thing could be modified so that the cockpit door could not be opened if there is no weight on the wheels. (I'd mandate that new aircraft be designed such that the cockpit had its own door(s) to the outside, and no access to the cabin.

Add to that a system that (under the pilots control) that would quickly fill the cabin (but not the cockpit!) with N two O