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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 2, 2005 2:35 PM. The previous post in this blog was Sounds good to me. The next post in this blog is Rescuing Ted. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, December 2, 2005

Question

After spending four years impressing on all the world how much damage someone can do with a small blade on a commercial jet aircraft, why would we suddenly go back to allowing people to bring them on board? Did they put Brownie in charge of that one, too?

Glad I'm not a flight attendant. To paraphrase Jake Gittes, "I enjoy my throat. I enjoy breathing through it."

Comments (13)

Frankly, if the choice were between bringing my Leatherman tool onto the plane and not stripping myself of my belt and shoes at the security gate, lemme keep my shoes and belt on....

Government of the dumb, by the dumb and for the dumb...

Read the complete story. Leatherman's are still out, but little 1 inch blades can pass thru. And this was so that could spend more time looking for bombs and other more serious stuff.

Slamming the barn door shut, and then nailing it closed for good measure, AFTER the horse has already left the barn, is not making things more secure. Five guys with box knives on a plane...been there, done that. They won't bother with that again.

But will they sneak a dirty nuke bomb into the US via the thousands of unchecked of ship containers? Or a suitcase dirty nuke bomb into a stadium of 70-80K people, killing 30,000 (10X the 9-11 take)? Maybe.

And what protections have we taken to prevent what they have not yet tried before? No much.

With the blades, I'm less worried about Al Qaeda than I am about homegrown kooks like the anthrax guy (another embarassing "homeland security" case).

Bruce Schneier, a fairly brilliant security analyst, had an op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald this week (no, I don't read the Sydney Morning Herald, it wass linked in a blog) on this subject. On the subject of knives, he points out that there are many, many potential weapons available on an airplane, and that allowing knives on board doesn't really make much difference. He says a lot of other interesting stuff, though, too. Most memorable quote for me from the article is this:

"Exactly two things have made airline travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and passengers who now know that they may have to fight back. Everything else all that extra screening, those massive passenger profiling systems is security theatre."

Link: http://www.schneier.com/essay-095.html (or, if you prefer to load your pages from halfway around the world, http://www.smh.com.au/news/soapbox/airplane-security-and-metal-knives/2005/11/30/1133026503111.html)

--Chris (regular Jack Bog Reader)

Coming soon.....Small scissors that go BOOM!

I worked at the scene of the WTC from 9/11 until 9/14 and it confounds me that some idiot thought it was okay to do this!

Jim Golden, read the above. There's a good argument that it really doesn't make sense to have TSA employees digging around for toenail clippers. It has nothing to do with the emotional aftermath of 9/11.

Jim Golden and BoJack,

Little knives no longer pose a risk to the jet, because we passengers now understand that if the plane is highjacked, we're not going to Cuba or Beirut or wherever highjackers used to hijack planes to..now, we know we're going to die. Since we're already dead, we might as well all grow some cajones and jump the terrorists...'cause, hey, it can't get much worse, right? The worst they can do now is kill a couple passengers; the plane will remain safe. Pilots are armed, cockpit doors are reinforced, and passengers are better informed.

I'm relieved that I will no longer be badgered about the blunt scissors that I carry with me...maybe I'll even start carrying the pointy ones again.

The tiny loosening of the TSA's rules symbolizes hope. Hope that the TSA will figure a better way of doing security. Checking the same people over and over and over is insulting and wasteful and ineffective. When they spend time checking me I know they are not out finding real bad guys. Meanwhile I avoid flying commercial whenever possible because I don't trust the Feds.

Another note on this smuggling dangerous things onto airplanes: I spent about a year working as a corrections officer way back. Despite thorough frisking of inmates they still sometimes found a way to get a razor blade or other contraband into the jail. On one occasion inmates punched the core out of a very large padlock. In another they had started removing large steel rivets seemingly without tools. Human beings are remarkably resourceful. Given the time and inclination they can do almost anything with almost nothing. Current airline security checks are more insulting than effective.

Just gave up my mini-leatherman that goes on a key chain and a container of pepper spray (didn't realize the items were still in my purse) on my Thanksgiving trip. Also, a friend's lighter that somehow ended up in my purse. You can't bring lighters on board, but you can still bring matches. How about that?

Why would someone be traveling with a bomb detonator?? Seems a little weird to me.

Don S:

On your comments about the prisoners smuggling things into the prison/jail, someone should have been fired for not doing their job! Maybe?

Allen L.

Excuse me, but if you weren't at the scene during the times I was, you know nothing of emotional aftermath!




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