Monday, September 12, 2011


One of the news documentaries last week profiled two men who worked for United and American airlines, and who were responsible for allowing some of the 9/11 hijackers to board planes that later crashed. I do not blame them, but I do blame those firms for their lax security procedures prior to 2001.

I remember repeated stories on the evening news as the news media tested airport boarding procedures...and found them lax. Weapons got thru easily. Each time the airlines (and the FAA) had excuses and promised they would do better in the future. They seldom did and 9/11 was one catastrophic result.

"Those who will not learn from the lessons of history are condemned to relive it."

After 9/11, boarding security was taken away from the airlines and given to a new, public agency, the TSA.

Have we forgotten the first 9/11 attempt? In the early 90s, a truck bomb was placed in the basement of a major NYC building, near the World Trade Center. 6 people died, but the building didn't come part due to the ineptitude of the bombers. (Lucky us.) First responders found they couldn't talk to each other inside high rise buildings and a major local recommendation was made to fix this frequency problem.

Almost a decade later, when 2001 happened, NYC fire and police still couldn't talk to each other. The federal 9/11 commission's report, as one of its most important recommendations, urged a solution to these incompatible frequencies.

Today, NYC police and fire still can NOT talk to each other. This problem is now (surprise!) Congress's..where there are two conflicting approaches. One, let private firms have the (very valuable) radio frequencies and work out sharing; Two, set up a public agency, give it the frequencies and hold it responsible for co-ordination.

The airlines did a lousy job of airport security and the TSA had to be created. Why should we think private business would do a better job of coordinating these frequencies, which after all, belong to the public?

"Those who will not learn from the lessons of history are condemned to relive it."

Remember WMD? We went to war because Bush wanted to believed our intelligence that Iraq had these. The UN kept telling us we were wrong, but...we plowed ahead. Thousands of good, young Americans died; even as the US finally admitted: no WMDs.

And we went to war in Afghanistan because we believed the Taliban was linked to 9/11 and the World Trade Center disaster. We have good reasons to dislike the Taliban, but there is no evidence of their involvement in 9/11. Wrong, again. More good young Americans are dying for this mistake still.

"Those who will not learn from the lessons of history are condemned to relive it."

I'm just sayin'...

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