Monday, December 28, 2009

Underpants Never Strike Twice

If the foiled terrorist on flight 253 had tried to light his underpants on fire during the middle part of the trip, I wonder if they'd now be making us stay in our seats with our hands in our laps for that hour? In eight-and-a-half years of watching our crack security professionals' attempts to keep from happening the thing that just happened this one wins the prize. Some guy fiddles in his lap with some odds and ends he brought on board and nearly detonates explosives sewn into his underpants. If this were truly a viable way to bring down an airplane you'd think that people who are paid to sit around and think about these things would have thought that might be a possibility and put these restrictions in place before somebody actually tried it. It's not like it was a brilliant or unlikely scenario. Here's a not-so-brilliant and likely guess at how that conversation went at the TSA:
"Somebody could hide this powder in their underpants and detonate it on their approach into a major US airport."
"Yea, we know. Let's wait until it happens and then then make sure it doesn't happen again. At least not on the approach"
"What if someone tries it at the beginning of a flight?"
"We'll deal with that when it happens. It's not our job to prevent these specific things. It's our job to prevent these specific things from happening twice in a row. Relax. Have donut."

So now we'll all sit with our hands folded neatly over our throbbing bladders like a bunch of school kids for the last hour of a flight for no good reason except to demonstrate with what precision the people in charge of our safety can recognize what it was they missed the first time. Speaking strictly for myself this does not make me feel safer. This makes me feel like the people we're counting on to watch our backs have no idea what they're doing, or where this thing is heading next.
Travel well. And safe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the airlines will require us to wear adult size disaposible diapers when we travel..... Just think, another hidden charge!!!

12:55 PM  
Blogger David said...

At some point, they will just redesign the planes with sleep chambers which we will all climb into and be knocked out with some kind of gas. Then smelling salts will drop on our heads to wake us up at the end of the trip.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

We were discussing this very topic at work tonite.

Me: Sure, now we're all gonna have to take our pants off at the security checkpoint.

My customer: Please drop your pants in the bin.

It's a funny visual, no?

1:47 AM  
Blogger lefteyedom said...

Is it time for all nude air travel? Naturalist Airways?

The problem is it would be like topless beaches in Europe... Everyone is topless Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Mimie....

GW Roland

4:29 AM  
Anonymous sue of blue ridge mtns said...

Amen, Tom.
I know of a totally amateur writer who came up with an idea for a terrorism-plot novel with planes flying into buildings -- way before 2001. What are those people doing at the TSA, NSA, etc.?

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

What they need to do is simply rename the agency to the Dept. of Knee-Jerk Reactions. Problem solved.

Oh, and good luck going through security when they read this post. A reporter at the paper I work wrote articles critical of the TSA - we got extra "special" treatment from the screeners if they found out we worked for the paper.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I concur. They are always fighting the last terrorist threat. For instance the whole liquid as a bomb fiasco was actually a known problem in the early 90s.

12:25 PM  

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