Logical Disconnect

July 30, 2003

While Al-Qaeda 'plans summer attacks'

Airlines in the United States have been warned that the al-Qaeda terror network could carry out hijackings or suicide bombings by the end of the summer.

Air marshals pulled from key flights in move to cut costs
Despite renewed warnings about possible airline hijackings, the Transportation Security Administration has alerted federal air marshals that as of Friday they will no longer be covering cross-country or international flights, MSNBC.com has learned. The decision to drop coverage on flights that many experts consider to be at the highest risk of attack apparently stems from a policy decision to rework schedules so that air marshals don’t have to incur the expense of staying overnight in hotels."

Next DHS initiative: Self-conducted security check. Air travelers will x-ray their own bags and use the honor system to go through the magnetometer to save on the salaries for security screeners.

Edit: TSA flip-flops on air marshal schedules. I guess they realized their policy made no sense. Despite the flip-flop, this is still yet another example of the Bush Administration pledging to do something and then failing to adequately fund that program.

Posted by Andrew Raff at July 30, 2003 12:48 PM
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well, did you ever consider the possibility that sky marshals have become obsolete. In the post-september 11th age, no airline passengers will sit idly while a group of men attempts to take over an airplane. Hijacking only works because the passengers feel the hijackers want to survive themselves. Knowing that the plane will be flown into the ground, passengers would jump out of their seats in droves and overpower any terrorists. Even if terrorists somehow managed to subdue the entire plane, new cockpit doors installed on all the planes are strong enough to resist attempts to open them. Also keep in mind that growing numbers of pilots are taking classes allowing them to carry handguns in the cockpit. All of these factors make the sky marshal program a relic of the 70's, intended to crack down on hijackings of planes that end up as hostage situations on the ground after the plane flys somewhere in South America.

Posted by: cameron on July 31, 2003 03:05 AM