Wednesday, September 10, 2003

From CBS News:

". . . while travelers endure tighter and tighter security at the front doors of most airports, CBS News has learned the backdoors and perimeters of airports across the country have less and less security. Employees say there are gaps that place passengers and planes at risk."


"'There's opportunity for a terrorism attack. There's opportunity for someone to do something that could put everyone in harm's way,' says Dianna Rushing, who represents flight attendants at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

The flight attendants Rushing represents are upset about an employee gate where workers - some of whom it recently turned out were illegal aliens - have to show only an ID but get no screening. They just head into secure areas. More troubling, cars and trucks are rarely inspected."


"At Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport, close to 1,000 construction workers enter the property everyday unscreened. Their coolers and toolboxes are not searched. Meanwhile, potential threats, including propane tanks and fuel trucks, are left unguarded."


"'As far as we know every other airport in the country is just as wide open as it was before Sept. 11,' says Rushing.

According to federal documents, flight crews have been warning the government for years. One pilot wrote of airport perimeters: 'There is no security.' Another said: 'Airport security is a joke.'"

People are being forced to go through time-wasting, expensive and demeaning search procedures, with the main victims of searching being singled out for racist reasons or for reasons of political repression (with blacklists for certain 'enemies of the state'). At the same time, Osama bin Laden himself could enter supposedly secure areas of airports and gain access to luggage areas or the planes themselves. Since the security is only as strong as its weakest link, and the main danger is from terrorists gaining access to the planes or what is put on them, the process of subjecting passengers to searches while completely ignoring the real dangers is completely illogical. Why has this been allowed to happen?:

  1. One important reason is the Bush Administration's constant use of 9-11 as propaganda to sell its policies. The war on terror has supported Bush popularity through thick and (mostly) thin, has justified the wars that have enriched his friends and helped only Israel while increasing the risk of terror, and has justified the draconian restrictions on civil liberties that are only now starting to be questioned. The main problem with the war on terror is that people tend to lose their fear of it over time, so it has to be constantly reinforced with bogus warnings, colored terror levels, and the obvious indignities of searches at airports. The searches can't be intended to stop terrorism, for otherwise the non-public half of airports wouldn't be left completely insecure. The reason for the security searches of passengers at airports is to keep up the illusion that terror is being combated while at the same time providing a continuing reminder that the terror threat still exists.

  2. Under the Bush Administration, corporations have come closest to pure unobstructed rule of the United States. The corporations involved in flying wanted to create the illusion of safety so their customers would start flying again. At the same time, they didn't want to spend any money doing it. The most cost-effective way to create the illusion that something is being done to make planes safe from terrorism is to harass passengers with useless searches. While this is expensive, much of it can be paid for with public funds, and it is much less expensive than securing entire airports.

  3. A very deep politics secret that we're not supposed to think about is the close relationship between politics and organized crime centering around airports. The politicians fight the 'war on drugs', the organized criminals support the politicians, and the criminals are allowed to infiltrate the airports to use the planes to smuggle the drugs. Logan Airport is just a branch plant of the Boston Irish mafia. Providing real security for airports would interfere with the smuggling (not to mention the organized rings which steal from luggage).

  4. We are supposed to believe that the hijackers walked onto the planes with boxcutters - knives that were legal to bring onto planes at the time - and managed to hijack four planes with a handful of scrawny terrorists armed with these 2" long knives. We now know this original story was a lie, as there is evidence that the terrorists had at least a bomb and a gun, and therefore presumably could have had any number of weapons available to them. Once we admit that they had some weapons, we have to come to the conclusion that they had weapons that were smuggled onto the planes by confederates working behind the scenes at the airports. The original lie was created in order to reduce the fear of passengers who might fly in the future, who could be fooled into thinking that security had been beefed up due to the obvious harassment of passengers, and, more importantly, to reduce the amount of liability to the airports and security firms that failed to properly provide security at the airports (for intrigues of September 11 airport security, see here and here and here and here; with respect to Richard Reid, who is the real inspiration for much of the security searches, see here). The argument was that since the hijackers only used weapons that were legally brought onto the planes, no one was legally responsible for allowing this to happen. This lie is now creating a huge hole in security at airports. Since the real problem at airports, the complete lack of behind-the-scenes security, has been hidden by the lie, the problem has never really been addressed, and real security at airports is now not one iota better than it was on September 11.

On September 11, 2003, five men could walk onto a plane in any American airport without any weapons that would be detected by security searches, and do exactly the same thing that happened on September 11. The debilitating weapons they would use would be planted on the plane by confederates working behind the scenes at the airport, and the locking mechanism on the cockpit door could be disabled by the same people. The Bush Administration, which uses the bogus 'war on terror' as its main excuse for everything, has done absolutely nothing to stop a repeat of the September 11 attacks.