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"the Bush administration has created the costly, incompetent, bungling and tyrannical terrorist-generating TSA,...”

TSA=Terrorism Subjugating Americans
Posted January 2, 2004 thepeoplesvoice.org

By: Ted Lang

Let’s start with a logical approach.  If you were president, wouldn’t you be most desirous of protecting the lives of American citizens, both in the air on airliners and those working in skyscrapers as well?  Wouldn’t you first seek the most common denominator as concerns all those flights in order to implement an effective security policy?  And wouldn’t the common denominator be the flight crews themselves?  Wouldn’t you focus on precisely the same key target that the terrorists would focus on; namely, the cockpit crews?

And although previous hijackings, as is the case of those anticipated from the Cuban disagreements and hostilities involving Castro that motivated the FAA to authorize cockpit crews allowing them to carry sidearms involved only a commandeering of aircraft in order to posture the hijackers such that they could make outrageous demands, as well as to secure world-wide publicity for their cause, the hijackings usually ended safely and the pilots always remained at the controls of the aircraft.

But President Bush had been informed in August of 2001, by highly reliable sources in his own administration, that in this particular case, the cockpit would be commandeered by terrorist hijackers, and then the plane flown into a skyscraper, not just to send a message, but to KILL as many Americans as possible.  They would commandeer the plane and fly the plane into the building themselves!  No professional pilot, with thousands of hours of flight training, would ever use his aircraft to kill all his passengers, himself, and people on the ground.

Cockpit crews were armed shortly before 9-11.  In fact, the FAA still had the rule allowing airlines to arm their pilots.  The president should have demanded that all cockpit crews be armed.  And really, how long does it take to train a human capable of flying a machine that can be as heavy as the Statue of Liberty to load, point and fire a handgun?  Bush’s Transportation Security Agency makes it seem more difficult than earning an MBA!

Now, answering the threat of future airliner suicide-hijackings, the Bush administration has created the costly, incompetent, bungling and tyrannical terrorist-generating TSA, a sub-division of yet another Bush administration nanny state bureaucratic nightmare, the Department of Homeland Security.

The crux of the matter is that private sector pilots must never be allowed to protect themselves by the government’s allowing the use of firearms, as well as the falsehood that bullets piercing the fuselage would instantly depressurize the cabin causing the plane to crash.  That too is nonsense, as John McLaughlin of the McLaughlin Group pointed out.  For that to happen, a surface area equivalent to four windows would have to be blown out to create such rapid a depressurization.  That would require hundreds of shots to be fired.

In his article for the February edition of reasononline, James Bovard documents the astonishing arrogance, incompetence, and outright criminal thuggary now employed by the Bush administration’s Gestapo-like tactics at our nation’s airports.  Bovard in his article, “Dominate, Intimidate, Control” offers: “When 9/11 exposed the holes in American airport and security, the Bush administration and Congress responded with the usual Washington panacea: a new federal agency.  Congress quickly deluged the new Transportation Security Agency (TSA) with billions of dollars to hire an army of over 50,000 federal agents to screen airport passengers and baggage.”

Bovard continues, “But before the agency was even a year old, it was clear that it had ‘become a monster,’ to quote the chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, John Mica (R-Fla.).  Arrogant, abusive, incompetent, and expensive, the TSA is, in the words of the House Appropriations Committee, ‘seemingly unable to make crisp decisions…unable to work cooperatively with the nation’s airports; and unable to take advantage of the multitude of security-improving and labor-saving technologies available.’”

Bovard documents a huge laundry list of TSA failures, including failures of both the government and the agencies own security tests and audits, unnecessary airport and highway shutdowns and false alarms costing airports, emergency services, airlines and taxpayers tens of millions of dollars; rudeness, arrogance and outright nastiness to travelers and their children; and thousands of false arrests based upon a wrong word said or a “bad look” imagined.  It is clear, the agency is totally out of control.

When newly hired TSA agents couldn’t pass the agency’s own firearms training curriculum, the standards were lowered considerably to reduce trainee failure rates.  One agent lost his gun in an airliner’s restroom, which was found by a passenger.  Another showed up for work drunk, others fell asleep while on duty, and dozens of other anecdotes presented by Bovard as well as other sources confirm the TSA horror show.

Yet, this is the very same TSA that sets itself up as experts in firearms training for airline pilots, many of whom carried sidearms while receiving flight training and serving as fighter pilots in our military.  But TSA has decided they are not qualified.  Returning to the basic premise, that the best way to protect Americans in the air and on the ground relative to air travel is by arming flight crews as was previously the preventive measure reacting to Castro’s Cuba, an aggressive, populist push to arm airline pilots developed across the nation.  Congress passed legislation, and regrettably, TSA was given control of the training and authorization process.

In a series of articles originating at the Bush-friendly Media Research Center and its news reporting subdivision, Cybernet News Service or CNSNews.com, senior staff writer Jeff Johnson has exposed yet another dimension of TSA tyranny.  In his article, “Thousands of Pilots Won’t Fly Armed Armed, Blame TSA,” Johnson offers in his January 15th piece, “The federal agency charged with providing security for U.S. airlines, and the airlines themselves are intentionally sabotaging the congressionally-mandated program to train and certify pilots who volunteer to carry guns in the cockpit, according to supporters of the program who claim tens of thousands of pilots have opted out as a result.”

It is clear that arming pilots is the fastest and most cost-efficient way to prevent hijackings, and reacting to the will of the people, Congress responded by enacting legislation.  Yet the Bush administration’s TSA, and Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, don’t believe that arming pilots is the best way to go.  They continue to advocate the costly failure and monstrous disaster that is the TSA.

After the publication of the CNSNews.com article, the Ministers of TSA threatened pilots who complained of the unbelievable roadblocks thrown up by TSA, including extensive psychological background checks, investigative intimidation, and horrendous training/travel conditions for participating pilots in the [Federal Flight Deck Officer] program, sending them an e-mail warning that speaking to members of Congress about these horrendous roadblocks constituted a prosecutable “breach of security.”  There it is again – the Bush administration’s favorite defense mechanism to conceal both malfeasance and incompetence: “national security.”

In his article, “Exclusive: TSA’s Email Threat ‘Last Straw’ for Congressman,” Johnson’s January 26th posting at CNSNews.com offers, “A sponsor of the anti-terrorism legislation aimed at arming commercial airline pilots against hijackers says a threatening email uncovered as part of a CNSNews.com investigation into the implementation of that program, is the ‘final straw.’”

Johnson writes, “U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) plans to introduce legislation, ‘right away,’ along with House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) and as many as 50 co-sponsors, to force major changes in the program.  The proposal would primarily remove most of the Transportation Security Administration’s influence over what is formally known as the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program.  Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) is expected to introduce an identical bill in the Senate.

It is astonishing, that the simplest means for protecting Americans has been directed by the Bush administration to the most incompetent, costly and ineffective agency in American government.  President George W. Bush has failed to act by simply arming flight crews as they had been previously, and then putting this incompetent and ineffective costly bureaucratic monster in charge of protecting America.  It seems that a repeat of 9-11 is being assured, and Bush, when informed of the possibility back in August 2001, took no action.  The administration’s current hampering of the Armed Pilots Program seems strangely deliberate.


© Copyright THEODORE E. LANG 2/01/04 All rights reserved. Ted Lang is a political analyst and a freelance writer.



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