Friday, May 13, 2011

Armed pilots vs hijackers

Last weekend, a Yemeni man shrieking "Allahu akbar!" at the top of his lungs more than 30 times rushed the cockpit door twice intending to take down American Airlines Flight 1561 and kill everyone on board.

Despite a massive transportation and homeland security apparatus which defies the 4th Amendment, Rageh Ahmed Mohammed al-Murisi was able to board and attack a US airliner! He had no keys, no luggage, $47 cash, two curious posted checks totaling $13,000, and a trove of expired and current state IDs from New York and California. He is young, male, brought no family with him, had no job or other discernible income, and hails from the terror-coddling nation of Yemen whose citizens warrant increased scrutiny by DHS.

Meanwhile, 90-year-old American grandmothers get virtual strip searches and Miss USA gets gropped!

Secretary Janet "The System Worked" Napolitano's "security" failed again. (Nobody knows why she hasn't yet been fired in disgrace.) Only the heroes of Flight 1561 who refused to sit silent learned the proper 9/11 lesson and brought al-Murisi down. The only effective homeland security begins and ends with a culture of self-defense.

Part of that self-defense is armed pilots: Federal Flight Deck Officers (FFDOs). There have been many calls for enhancing the FFDO program. So far, most of these calls appear to have been ignored. I am convinced that the most urgent FFDO program enhancement is international carry of the FFDO's firearm. Congress and the Whitehouse must establish immediate worldwide carry for FFDOs completely unencumbered by bureaucratic and political red tape either by US or foreign governments. There is no room for compromise! Until that happens, all flights in US airspace and all flights flown by US carriers and all flights carrying even one US citizen must have inflight protection by US Air Marshalls.

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