May 20, 2008, - 12:48 pm

Attention, Terrorists: Homeland Security Encourages You Become a Pilot

By Debbie Schlussel
Hey, terrorist-wannabes with no criminal record:
If you want to kill passengers and blow up planes in America, the TSA wants to make it easier for you. Just make sure you become a pilot . . . or steal his/her ID.
I’ve long criticized the absolute lack of screening of airport employees. It negates the entire purpose airport screening of passengers. You and I take our shoes off, walking on athlete’s foot-infected floors, and dump our orange juice and lip gloss, while Mohammed and Shahida, who work at the Duty Free Shop, can enter the airport without any screening or wanding at all. No checkpoints for them because they work at the airport. The same goes for when they take flights from the airport, which is why Orlando airport employees, last year, got machine guns and drugs on a flight to Puerto Rico.

pilotbadge.jpg

Easily Faked Badge of Death: Even Bin Laden’s Former Pilot Had an ID

Now, the deceptively-named Transportation Security Administration wants to do the same for pilots, allowing them to bring arms onto flights without any screening of who they really are or what else they are brining on board. I’m all for pilots having guns on flights, but this is a big mistake. And it puts a giant X on the backs of pilots.
If I were a terrorist, my target for next kill would be a pilot. I’d get his ID and could get my weapons on a flight, no questions asked:

The nation’s 75,000 airline pilots could avoid being screened for weapons before they board airplanes if a test starting shortly succeeds.
But critics including flight attendants fear that an armed terrorist posing as a pilot could get on an airplane if pilots don’t have to walk through metal detectors and have their bags scanned by X-ray machines.
At three test airports, pilots will skip passenger screening and go through separate checkpoints where a screener will check only their airline ID. The test, run by the Transportation Security Administration, will begin in early summer and could be copied around the country at a later date, TSA assistant administrator John Sammon said.
Pilots’ unions have been lobbying to skip airport screening, which they call unnecessary and “demoralizing.” The Air Line Pilots Association notes that pilots face extensive background tests, and that pilots wanting to do harm with an airplane would hardly need a weapon because they control airplanes.
Airport screening “has just worn on them,” said Pete Janhunen, spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, the largest pilots’ union. “You trust them to fly a multimillion dollar airplane, and yet a TSA inspector with little training, little experience has the ability to strip-search them for gels.”
Congress passed a broad anti-terror law last summer requiring the TSA to give pilots and flight attendants “expedited access through screening checkpoints.”
The Association of Flight Attendants says it doesn’t mind checkpoint screening – and that it must be done for everyone. “It shouldn’t be demoralizing for anyone to spend the extra few minutes (getting screened),” union spokeswoman Corey Caldwell said.
Sammon of the TSA said the upcoming test will guard against terrorists using a stolen or forged pilot ID, and could speed checkpoints for passengers.
In the three test airports, which have not been chosen, pilots would walk through “exit lanes” where passengers arriving on flights leave a concourse into an unsecured terminal. A TSA screener would check pilots’ airline-issued photo ID cards against a pilot database with photos. The screener would compare the ID photo to the database photo to verify a pilot’s identity.

Hmmm . . . Didn’t they see the movie, “Face/Off“? Apparently not.
And how closely do you really think TSA employees with McDonald’s salaries are going to look at faces on databases versus IDs and versus the actual face of the person walking through the checkpoint?
Here’s a hint: Not close enough.

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2 Responses

“Drugs and guns to PUERTO RICO!”
Well, certainly I’m AGAINST carrying any of these ANY airplanes.

allat on May 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm

I would say that the chances of TSA foiling a major terrorist plot are as great as my chances of becoming Emperor of Rome. 🙂

Worry01 on May 20, 2008 at 11:44 pm

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