The TSA Administrator John S. Pistole has completely lost his mind. In the latest bit of news that if it weren’t real it would be only slightly funny, Mr. Pistole proves in just a new minutes that memories are short, and 9-11 is something he probably didn’t pay attention to.
The TSA “Statement On Changes to the Prohibited Items List” reads like something out of a nightmare crafted to scare the bejeesus out of the frequent flier. Read:
“Through TSA’s layered approach to security, and to align more closely with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, effective April 25, 2013 TSA will allow knives that do not lock, and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than 1/2 inch in width, novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs as part of their carry-on baggage. This is part of an overall Risk-Based Security approach, which allows Transportation Security Officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives.”
This is a perfect invitation to another 9-11-style attack. While there’s no definitive story of how suicide hijackers took down the three planes that were the focus of the 9-11 attacks, one thing is certain: knifes, specifically ‘box cutters’ played a key role in at least one of the hijack attempts.
According to this CNN account from September 23rd, 2001:
The hijackers who seized the airliners on September 11 had used box cutters to attack some of the crew and passengers, according to government officials and accounts from passengers in-flight who phoned relatives before their planes crashed…A knowledgeable source said two small knives were found on a Delta flight that was supposed to depart Boston, and a box cutter was found on an Atlanta-to-Brussels Delta flight. These planes didn’t take off since all flights were grounded after the hijackings. The tools were found when the planes were searched.
So how in the World, in the name of God, can the TSA Administrator John S. Pistole actually back the presentation of a policy that allows passengers to bring on the same instruments that were widely said to have helped hijackers take down planes, or at least try to, on September 11, 2001.
There’s no way such a policy can be justified. Focusing on the blocking of bringing anything on a plane that could be an easy weapon is the TSA’s job. The idea of “focusing their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives” can be done, but not at the expense of allowing items we already know played roll in the committing of the first 9-11 crime. What, now we want a replay?
Flying today is more risky than on September 11th, even with the security measures, and that’s because of the overall rude passenger behavior. The product of a society with a generation of people who specialize in inconsiderate actions, coupled with tighter-than-ever seating configurations, have conspired to make the airplane the new place for people with mental issues to act them out. Seat in front of the passenger too close? Slug the patron? Passengers waiting their turn to move up and get out of the plane? Forget it; many more just bullhead and climb over others whenever they can.
We’re supposed to trust others not to pull knifes in this environment? Wake me up when the movie’s over. This is nuts!
No matter how you slice it, the idea’s just plain stupid. Get rid of it.