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Old 01-06-2010, 01:09 PM   #141
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I guess we should recognize that, with regard to airplane safety, TSA has two entirely distinct missions:
1) Stop terrorists from seizing or blowing up aircraft. This is very hard, requires extensive coordination with other agencies and a degree of operational security (i.e. ability to keep a secret) that is inconsistent with TSA's size and personnel screening/training. It would also require a degree of intrusiveness, inconvenience to the traveling public, and stepping on PC landmines that would likely be intolerable.
2) Be seen to be "doing something." This provides political cover for the administration in power, eases the concerns of the traveling public, and is apparently effective in deterring terrorists and in making their attacks less deadly. This mission is a lot easier than the first mission, requires a lot less funding, requires minimal training of personnel or development of special skills.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:42 PM   #142
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samclem, true - but the problem with #2 is that I get the impression that even the below-average Joe realizes it is a joke. Hassle honest people and don't really do much to catch the bad guys.

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Old 01-06-2010, 02:19 PM   #143
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This work be just as effective.

Install a large dark tunnel where security is. Have folks walk thru at a liesurely pace.

At the exit, have a couple of authoritative looking large TSA officers. Put a few willing (TSA employees) of Middle Eastern descent in the lines of people. At the exit, the TSA folks pounce on them take them behind a walled area and the planted person screams and yells like they are being tortured. Put out YouTube videos that falsely claims to have been done by Joe Blow traveler. Show the person coming out after a Hollywood type makeover with multiple contusions and fractures and moaning as they are wheeled away to a hospital.

Terrorist attacks on airlines would be over shortly.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:31 PM   #144
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This work be just as effective.

Install a large dark tunnel where security is. Have folks walk thru at a liesurely pace.

At the exit, have a couple of authoritative looking large TSA officers. Put a few willing (TSA employees) of Middle Eastern descent in the lines of people. At the exit, the TSA folks pounce on them take them behind a walled area and the planted person screams and yells like they are being tortured. Put out YouTube videos that falsely claims to have been done by Joe Blow traveler. Show the person coming out after a Hollywood type makeover with multiple contusions and fractures and moaning as they are wheeled away to a hospital.

Terrorist attacks on airlines would be over shortly.
This reminds me of a suggestion I heard when hijackings first started (mostly to Cuba). Upon entry to the plane give everyone a gun. Collect guns on departure. Of course hijackers weren't suicidal back then.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:37 PM   #145
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I guess we should recognize that, with regard to airplane safety, TSA has two entirely distinct missions:
I think there's a third mission, which is to stop copy-cat terrorism
attempts. Obviously the "professional" terrorists are too smart to
try to the same thing again, right away at least. But some loser,
likely an American with a grudge against the ZOG (Zionist Occupation
Government) and not too many brains ...
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:52 PM   #146
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A just read a terrific essay The Lesson: Passengers Are Not Helpless
in Time Magazine on the power of the passengers.

The government should stop pretending it is either their job to protect us from all threats. The vast majority of us are smart enough to know the government can NOT stop all terrorist. What is so frustrating is the government employees treating their employers (aka all of us) as children.

The last paragraph is great example.
Quote:
After the passengers of Flight 253 deplaned in Detroit, they were held in the baggage area for more than five hours until FBI agents interviewed them. They were not allowed to call their loved ones. They were given no food. When one of the pilots tried to use the bathroom before a bomb-sniffing dog had finished checking all the carry-on bags, an officer ordered him to sit down, according to passenger Alain Ghonda, who thought it odd. "He was the pilot. If he wanted to do anything, he could've crashed the plane." It was a metaphor for the rest of the country: Thank you for saving the day. Now go sit down.


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Old 01-06-2010, 07:22 PM   #147
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Did y'all see this one? Makes the TSA look like the Mossad. At least our team isn't hiding explosives in our luggage for us.

Slovakia explosives gaffe 'highlights security failings' - CNN.com
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:51 PM   #148
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Here's another good one. Nothing is ever simple.

New scanners break child porn laws | Politics | The Guardian

It also makes me wonder when scans of Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt will end up on the internet. I suspect the payout for those would be a significant bonus to a TSA (or foreign counterpart) salary.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:10 PM   #149
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A just read a terrific essay The Lesson: Passengers Are Not Helpless
Thanks, that was an interesting read. One observation--when an incident like this happens, the security folks get very cautious and treat everyone on the plane as a possible confederate of the guy who was subdued--because having more than one assailant is the "normal" way that hijackers or terrorists operate. Of course, it;s a little different when the operation is an inflight bombing, but I'm sure there was a lot of confusion.

I remember one case many years ago in another country. An aircraft was hijacked, and the situation was later resolved on the ground. At least one of the assailants was killed. One of the other bad guys left the plane along with all the passengers, attempting to blend in. The security folks herded everyone into a big room at the airport. There was suddenly a big commotion as the recently freed passengers/hostages recognized the bad guy and set upon him. Everyone was piling on and wanted a piece of that SOB, and by the time the cops got to him he looked like six cans of cat food poured out on the floor. Which reinforces your point--the people aren't helpless.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:59 PM   #150
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I remember one case many years ago in another country. An aircraft was hijacked, and the situation was later resolved on the ground. At least one of the assailants was killed. One of the other bad guys left the plane along with all the passengers, attempting to blend in. The security folks herded everyone into a big room at the airport. There was suddenly a big commotion as the recently freed passengers/hostages recognized the bad guy and set upon him. Everyone was piling on and wanted a piece of that SOB, and by the time the cops got to him he looked like six cans of cat food poured out on the floor. Which reinforces your point--the people aren't helpless.
I vaguely remember this incident thanks for refreshing our memories.. Gosh wouldn't it be just awful if something like this had happened to the underwear bomber or future terrorist. Imagine would a tragedy it would be if video of the incident happened to find its way on to the internet and perhaps even with some Arabic subtitle along with some close ups of the burned private parts.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:04 AM   #151
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Is it clearcut that the amount of explosive in the underwear would have brought down the plane?
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:04 AM   #152
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It is almost a guarantee that the next airline terrorist will not pay cash for his ticket, buy a one way ticket, and will have luggage! Any more things we are looking for that we would like to put on the news?
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:43 AM   #153
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Is it clearcut that the amount of explosive in the underwear would have brought down the plane?
Al, I have heard reports that say it would not have bought the plane down, would have started a fire etc. However, I guess it really depends on how much they are trying to sensationalise the incident as to wht they are actually going to tell us.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:44 AM   #154
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Also I think 9/11 changed everything. No-one would ever believe a hijacker who told passengers if they co-operate they will be ok. I think hijackers are dealing with people who have been seriously traumatised over the past 8+ years with the events of the world and people are willing to do what they have to do to survive, and if that means bashing the crap out of a terrorist so be it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:32 PM   #155
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Is it clearcut that the amount of explosive in the underwear would have brought down the plane?
I've been reading about PETN, and I don't think there was much chance of him bringing down the plane. He had 80 grams in a fairly open area, and 100 grams can possibly destroy a car (smaller containment area). One "expert?" was saying he thought the guy might even have survived the blast (if it had succeeded), although he'd have been badly mutilated. I guess I'll have to wait for the "made for TV" movie to come out before I'll know the truth. I heard they're going to call it "Sheiks on a Plane".
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #156
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Is it clearcut that the amount of explosive in the underwear would have brought down the plane?
I don't think it is clear at all what damage could have been caused.

Did you see the demo video of a 12oz bomb that the UK gummit put out when they foiled the plot to use liquid bombs?

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Old 01-07-2010, 02:54 PM   #157
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I don't think it is clear at all what damage could have been caused.

Did you see the demo video of a 12oz bomb that the UK gummit put out when they foiled the plot to use liquid bombs?
Whew!! Pretty intense video.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:00 PM   #158
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Is it clearcut that the amount of explosive in the underwear would have brought down the plane?
I don't think it is possible to say. Major factors would include the effectiveness/efficiency of the initiator (apparently the major weakness in the present plot.), tamping used, the location of the blast, etc.

I also don't think the issue is terribly significant. The individual obviously intended to down the aircraft, and it could have done that, which is all that is important when we consider the gravity of the offense. If "properly" utilized, the device could certainly have killed or injured many people in the aircraft at the very least.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:33 PM   #159
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I am flying Tuesday, and reading this thread is just making my day.
Just kidding...carry on.
I have no doubt in my mind that if I were faced with a terrorist messing around with MY flight, you betcha I'd get the "tuff girl" out in a heartbeat. Or I'd be the distractor factor so a stronger passenger could put the ol' headlock in place.
Any of us would.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:47 PM   #160
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What ever happened to all those stinger missiles that went missing after the Soviet Afghan war? I recall that the CIA was running around trying to buy them back, but I haven't heard much in the past few years.
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