Thursday, August 10, 2006

Terrorist Plot Foiled

(one last post before I leave)

I would like to take a moment now to thank the radical Islamic terrorists in England who got themselves arrested last night in the midst of a massive airplane bombing plot.

I am glad these murderous bastards got caught. But the last thing I needed before a quick weekend round trip flight was a reason for airport security to be over the top batshit crazy.

I was just watching Fox news and they were showing pictures of the long lines at security at Denver International Airport. They were warning passengers to expect extra delays at security. Oh Boy! Guess where I'm flying into and out of - Denver.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm very glad the terrorist were captured before they could carry out their nefarious plan. Our intellegence and law inforcement agenies have been doing a wonderful job of keeping us safe since 9-11. It is airline security that I am complaining about. Tell me this, how many terrorist plots have been thwarted by the inspectors at the airports in the last 5 years. None that I have heard of. They have all been stopped before they got to the airport. Mr Boim - a former agent for the Israeli security service said it best several years ago

The difference between the Israeli and the American systems, is that the Israelis are looking for the terror suspect, while the Americans are looking for weapons.

As someone who traveled a lot before 9-11 and who has traveled since 9-11 I have to say that I agree with him. I also agree with several pundits through the years that says we don't have airport security we have a system for annoying passengers.

I think the one thing that will keep us safe in the air is the attitude of the passengers. Hopefully no one will sit quietly in their seats and allow a plane to be taken over again. Granted these guys were planning on just destroying airplanes. But it has to make me wonder, why would the terrorists go to so much trouble to try and attack airplanes with all the increased security there. There are so many more easier soft targets to hit.

I sure picked a wonderful weekend to travel.

The news is saying that many airlines now are thinking of banning all carry on luggage. Which is a total joke. The last flight I took I was singled out for an extra security scan because

"You looked suspicious because you didn't have a carry on with you."

The flight before that I was singled out because the way I kept watching all the other passengers in the waiting area made me look suspicious.

So airline security and the federal government keep telling us to be vigilent and aware of our surroundings but if you do that they think it makes you look suspicious. They tell you to try and reduce the number of your carryons but then they hassle you because not having a carryon makes you look suspicious.

So now we have a bunch of terrorists who were planning on blowing up several airplanes with liquid explosives and so the rest of us will no longer be allowed to carry liquids on board the airplanes.

Now I don't usually carry liquids on board the airplane. I leave my shampoo and other liquids in my checked baggage. But this leaves me with a catch-22 kind of problem. The airlines tell us that they want us to check as much of our baggage as possible. But they do such an absolutely lousy job of taking care of the luggage that we check that no one trusts them with our checked baggage.

So do I take a book and my ipod for carryons and trust the airlines to take care of the rest of my hard to replace possesions or do I carry on a briefcase with the things that I don't want lost and just deal with the security folks.

I guess I'll be leaving an extra hour earlier than I planned.

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