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Sun, Jul 25 2004

Straining Gnats And Swallowing Camels

It's been a long time since I took a formal course in geography, and I realize that we've had some border disputes on the planet, plus we've had regime changes and the occasional political overthrow of a whole country. But the last time I checked, Shreveport, Louisiana had not been relocated to Texas.

Why did the pilot have to call Flight Services in order to prove his point? Why didn't the people questioning him verify his flight plan? Don't they give the police and Secret Service phones or radios? Don't the people they hire to monitor these things know where Crawford is?

Meanwhile, the pilot they really needed to question went on his merry way.

Dear Mr. President: Did they tell you about this? In spite of all the catty remarks we make about your work sometimes, this kind of incident is not funny. We are spending billions of dollars on National Security. Our Secret Service, state police and local law enforcement officers are supposed to help keep you safe when you travel to your home state. A lot of people will have great fun with this story, and they will use it to their own advantage. Personally, I think it makes the point that we can spend a boatload of money and have a mile-long list of security measures solidly in place, and things can still go very wrong.

Because this was a situation where no one got hurt (in the physical sense), the story will probably just go away over time. But what if this had been some sort of domestic or foreign terrorist action to test the protective airspace around our country's leader? Before we laugh it up and make fun of the people involved, I hope we remind ourselves that other people tested various air security measures just a few years ago, and that those of us living since September 11, 2001, will never forget how that turned out.

posted at: 09:15 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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