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irony(18 posts)

Dec 30, 2003 7:53 AM

why the focus on foreign airlines - the last airlines that were hijacked in the US were, er, US based airlines on domestic flights without the benefit of US air marshals - I guess it's easier to point the finger at somebody else...
Past performance,TJeanloz
Dec 30, 2003 8:00 AM
Why is that irony? Once you've put air marshals on the US flights, doesn't it make sense that the next low-hanging fruit are international flights that don't have marshals?

Also, the last attempted Al Qaida airplane disaster was on a Paris/Miami flight - granted, it was on American Airlines. It seems like common sense to put air marshals on these flights.
even more ironyMJ
Dec 30, 2003 8:06 AM
by "the next low hanging fruit" I can assume you mean blaming other countries for being unsafe - do all US flights have air marshals?

the even more irony part is that while you can't bring nail clippers on board any flights - you can bring a match and lighter - you think that's safe? you think there was some lobbying from the tobacco industry to escape that ban?

and yes it was on an AA flight without a US air marshal - but somehow it's those pesky foreigners who are screwing things up... go figure
It was an AA flight that originated in PARISTJeanloz
Dec 30, 2003 8:15 AM
In the US, you can't get near an airplane with a nail file. In Paris, apparently, not so secure (actually, I fly through Paris all the time, and their security is a major PITA).

I'm not entirely sure how the air marshal program works - I know there are "high risk" [usually long-haul, transcontinental] flights that always have an air marshal. But many don't.

I don't think it's a case of the foreigners screwing up. It's a case of: we've addressed this security concern on these 10 domestic airlines, but it remains a gap on international flights. We want to address this vulnerability, so we will close the gap on international flights. I don't think this has anything to do with "blaming" other countries - I think it has to do with ensuring that planes flying into and out of the US are cleared. Remember, international airlines fly in and out of the US all day, every day - shouldn't they have the same security as US airlines?
Ditto your statements on Paris airport security, TJDale Brigham
Dec 30, 2003 9:05 AM
When I flew out of Charles de Gaulle airport last summer, my impression about the security screening for passengers was that it was more rigorous than I had experienced in U.S. airports. The CDG security folks did a little Q&A with each departing passenger (well, at least me and those around me) that seemed akin to that I have heard the Israeli security police do. Seems that they were at least as interested in the passengers as their luggage and nail clippers.

Of course, this does not by itself speak to the overall level of security for flights departing CDG. I just thought it was an interesting contrast.

who cares who is to blameColnagoFE
Dec 30, 2003 8:18 AM
If it makes air travel safer and doesn't have any major downsides then why the opposition? sounds more like a giant pi$$ing match to me between the US and the International community.
Hey, MJ, maybe we should close our borders. Oh,...94Nole
Dec 30, 2003 10:45 AM
but you would be opposed to that too, huh? Most of you folks on the left (not I said most, but you are definitely included MJ), never cease to amaze me with your __________ (I'll let you fill in the blank).

MJ, what would you propose we do? Spot pointing your #$&^*%$ fingers and offer some solutions. And I guess that is going way out a limb assuming you have one or two.
heres a good reason MJbill105
Dec 31, 2003 1:24 PM
Killer was hired as Air France guard

Paul Webster in Paris
Wednesday December 31, 2003
The Guardian

The company put in charge of security for Air France flights employed a convicted murderer and a number of others with serious criminal records, it emerged yesterday.
The background of the guards was disclosed in a Paris court during a hearing to wind up the company, Pretory, which had been operating security on the French airline for more than two years but went into bankruptcy after tax fraud allegations.

The revelation of its lax recruiting methods coincided with the disclosure that armed French police have been flying with Air France to the US since December 23.

The government ordered the use of the gendarmerie after the US said that flights without armed escorts would be banned from overflying or landing, because of the fear of terrorism.

Last week Air France cancelled six transatlantic crossings at short notice after Washington said terrorists might be on board.

The airline refused to make any comment on a possible link with the use of a dodgy private company.

Four days after the terror attacks in the US on September 11 2001 Air France was one of the first networks to announce that passengers would be accompanied by "specially trained agents".

But the tribunal which ordered the company's liquidation heard that, in a rush to recruit guards, it had taken on disco bouncers, dog handlers, nightwatchmen, and other staff with little or no experience of arms or safety procedures.

At one time 200 guards were employed on flights.

An investigation was eventually started last April, when the police looked into the background of 140 agents, the most qualified of whom were former soldiers.

As a result of a search of criminal records more than 30 agents were grounded as a potential security risk.

The police also looked into the record of Pretory's sub-contractors.

This led to unconfirmed reports that some guards had been sent for arms training courses in Middle Eastern countries suspected of harbouring terrorists.

A few weeks before yesterday's liquidation hearing Air France announced that it was ending the contract with Pretory from today.

But by then the company had run into legal trouble because of its non-payment of social security charges and alleged tax frauds amounting to about €4.5m (£3m).

American anxiety about the quality of Air France's protection service was at the centre of discussions in Washington this week.

French diplomats gave assurances that the Pretory recruits had been replaced by police from the SAS-style intervention group, GIGN.

According to police sources two to six gendarmes accompany every flight to and from the US, depending on the number of passengers.

One guard is assigned to the cockpit. The men's main weapons are electric stun guns and other non-lethal arms.

"These men have received special training," a member of the force said.

"In fact, we have been testing this sort of airline security for years."
heres another..bill105
Dec 31, 2003 1:34 PM
how bout that sukuritey?

Man's Body Found in Plane's Wheel Well
Body of Man Found in Wheel Well of Commercial Jet That Landed in New York After Trip From London
Do we ever learn?53T
Dec 30, 2003 8:08 AM
When the Saudi boys flew the planes into the world trade center, it was the first time that had ever been done. The key to fighting these attacks is not to stop the last attack, but the next one. Got it?
Dec 30, 2003 8:19 AM
This is not in the slightest "irony," unless we can count on the next attack to be exactly like the last ones. It's almost silly (or a cheap political pot shot) to even make the claim.

I'd hazard a guess that the next attack will not bebboc
Dec 30, 2003 8:59 AM
from a hijacked plane. It's going to be something unexpected, on a soft target like the water supply for example. You can't hijack a plane with boxcutters anymore (even if you got them onboard), because every passenger will fight to the death.
re: ironyDuane Gran
Dec 30, 2003 8:51 AM
I assume they are operating on reasonable intelligence information, unless anyone knows something here to contradict Tom Ridge. It is too early to say, but several people who were pulled from the France planes last week are in questioning. My gut says that we narrowly avoided a tragedy last week, but time will tell.
or all the chatter we're hearingrufus
Dec 30, 2003 6:50 PM
is a giant feint to get us concentrating on foreign aurlines, while the terrorists attack us from some other direction.
The nature of asymmetric warfare suggestssn69
Dec 30, 2003 7:59 PM
that they are planning attacks from many different directions and fronts. It doesn't take a genious, evil or otherwise, to develop a substantial list of hard and soft targets that could produce their desired results. Remember, an attack doesn't have to be as catastrophic as the Twin Towers any more. It merely has to occur.

I tend to believe that there was ample intelligence suggesting something would happen. Maybe we averted it, maybe we delayed it, maybe we did neither. Again, that's the nature of their offensive.

What it does, however, (or at least what I think it should do) is provide us with a robust appreciation for the rank and file agents and analysts with the FBI, CIA, NSA, and various other allied intelligence/law enforcement agencies. I have a hunch they will continue to labor on our behalf with little or no fanfare for many years to come.

Talk about a thankless job..........Len J
Dec 31, 2003 5:29 AM
this might be the toughest.

If they stop 1000 attacks & miss one, only the one will be remembered.

If they stop them all, no one will know.

Dedicated people are inspiring.

Even sofiltersweep
Dec 31, 2003 2:05 AM
I am flying out of Amsterdam to return to the US in a few days, and I will not mind the security one bit.

Frankly, I have wondered if this recent scare has been concocted by the US governement to literally scare up more support for the war on terror. The timing is just too suspicious.
Timing for what?purplepaul
Dec 31, 2003 4:11 PM
I keep hearing this assertion that the Bush administration is timing everything it does for one reason or another. Since the war on terror will continue for the foreseeable future, why is this such a key moment?

Find Bin Laden one week before the general election and I'll admit to the possibility of manipulation. Having a heightened alert around the holidays, like we've had every year for the past several, strikes me as nothing with nothing.

What am I missing?