[TriLUG] OT: What really scares me about this terrorist situation
Rev. Christian J Hedemark
Wed, 12 Sep 2001 00:55:35 -0400
> Beign a tireless traveler, I can assure you that the sense of lack of
> control in US airports (in general) is tremendous. I recall a relative,
> flight assistant, seeing passengers with hand guns while on flight! Yes,
> they went through the usual check-points.
I've been pretty vocal about the security at our airports, but from the
other point of view. I must fit some sort of a physical description of your
average terrorist or something. It seems every time I make a flight (and
they are all domestic flights), I am the guy brought aside and given a
thorough search. They go through my carry-on bag by hand, removing my
underpants and other personal items from the bag in plain view of the other
passengers. I always thought this was pretty nuts.
I think the answer to this is not TIGHTER controls, but rather allow all
sorts of people to carry personal protection. One or two terrorists would
be silly to try to take over a plane where 6 or 7 civilians are packing
heat. The increase in gun related crimes seems to directly correlate to the
increase in gun control. Of course, the early accounts we're hearing
suggest that the terrorists today were using such things as utility knives &
pocket knives so I guess the gun control thing may be moot.
> So if John Sixpack can do it, a band of determined terrorists can do it.
> This make me shiver in fear.
If they can't get guns aboard, they'll use knives. If they can't get knives
aboard, they'll use sharpened sticks. When we start putting kneejerk laws
and security measures into place, the terrorists have won.
> I find it not a coincidence to see 2 airliners originated from the same
> Boston Airport. Maybe it is a security-feeble airport. And 4 airliners
> 2 airlines. Maybe low-security airlines?
My own preference in this would have been to have US troops defending US
soil (and airspace) instead of being scattered around the world. Iraq's
airspace (our enemy!) is safer than America's. As soon as the flights
showed such drastically WRONG changes in direction, speed, and altitude they
should have been met in mid-air by the appropriate complement of fighter
jets. If they can't/won't communicate on radio, and won't follow
established standards for emergency landings sans radio, the fighter pilots
should do the very difficult job of limiting casualties to those within the
plane. It seems our enemies have SAM sites around strategic facilities and
metropolitan areas, yet two of our most important cities (and certainly some
of the most important facilities within those cities) were attacked by
pilots who never met with any resistance by our armed forces.
When the dust settles and I can actually get in communication with my
elected representatives, I will make it quite clear that I expect our armed
forces to put U.S. sovereign soil & airspace above any foreign peace keeping
mission we might be engaged with. This terrorists should have been met in
mid-air either by U.S. fighter pilots or a surface-to-air missile. The
death toll, while still a disaster, would have been in the hundreds instead
of the tens of thousands.
> Be assured that Boston airport security is going to improve.
> too late :(
I have a feeling I'll be avoiding travel for awhile. I already feel like
the invasion of privacy is too great.
> RDU is pretty bad. I mean, it looks like you can go almost anywhere with
> troubles. No, I do not feel secure while flying from RDU.
Try being a 6'1" 300lb redneck looking guy and you'll learn just how
"secure" those folks can be. I think they stopped just short of a body
cavity search. This happens, without fail, EVERY TIME I fly out of RDU.
> UK learned in a bad way (Lokherby anyone?). We do not need to get to Tel
> Aviv security level But, being a big country, the US need secure airports.
Or maybe more secure airspace.
Also I believe there needs to be more security to the cockpit. Once the
pilots are in the cockpit, a secure door should lock. No matter what the
terrorists do in the passenger compartment, the pilots should get the plane
immediately into airspace where ground damage can be kept to a minimum (like
over water or a rural area). Once the terrorist pull their weapons it is a
given everyone on board is going to die. The best thing we can do is
prevent them from using the plane as a weapon, as we saw today. This sounds
very cold but we need to reduce the feasability of using airliners as a
> My support and prayers are with everyone that suffered this crazy,
> senseless, brutal terrorist act. I have friends in Manhattan... and still
> have no info on them :(
I have been in furvent prayer today. Prayer for those poor people still
alive and unreachable in the rubble. Prayer for those who are hanging on at
the many hospitals who are stretched so thin in trying to care for the
survivors. Prayer for the emergency workers who have literally put their
lives on the line to save others. Prayer for our law enforcement officials
who are maintaining a high state of security, without turning against their
own neighbors. Prayer for our leaders, who are undoubtedly discussing their
options right now and determining how to retaliate and who to retaliate
against. Prayer for those who are wondering if their loved ones are safe or
not, and unable to get any more information. And prayer for all Americans,
that we will stick together and not give in to the terrorist threat.
> The people behind this... thing, should be put in jail, ASAP, and get the
> key to their jails lost forever.
I agree. There has been too much death here already.