After Christmas day, I don’t think anyone thinks we’re safe on airplanes. So what’s the problem? As a trial lawyer, we investigate a case to piece together the facts. We interview potential witnesses, persons of interest, family members, co-workers and others, if necessary. We analyze data to determine its accuracy. We review documents to shed light on the case. We do not wait to get to the court house door to start our investigation. It’s too late by then. The same is true for airport security and terrorism. If we wait for terrorists to reach the airport gates, it’s too late by then to protect us. The recent Christmas day underwear bomber proves this point. The shoe bomber, Richard Reid, on December 22, 2001 was another case on point. He too was also allowed to board the plane. It was only luck again that prevented the plane’s demise.
Full body scanners are being contemplated now to ensure better screening devices. Of course, there’s a cost factor involved. We value human life more than anything. We bailed out billions to banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, GM and Chrysler. Shouldn’t we put more money now on security and intelligence and saving human life too? I don’t think we can weigh the costs of additional security measures against saving lives. Life trumps everything.
Regardless of the airport security method used, it may be too late by then to circumvent a terrorist attack. All mechanical screening methods rely on the infallibility of machines. And we all know machines do fail. Doing all we can to prevent any terrorists from getting to the airport is crucial. There’s plenty of blame to go around when it comes to this point.
The CIA, National Security Agency (NSA) and State Department did not cross all dots nor piece together all the pieces of the puzzle. The investigation and finger pointing are going on now. Information was known about alleged Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and possible terrorist ties before he boarded. Even his father went to great lengths to state concerns about his son and terrorist ties.
Perhaps, if the CIA, NSA and State Department had some of the billions given away to aid banks and bail out Wall Street, they could have prevented the alleged Christmas day bomber from even getting to the airport.
Let’s get it right now. Luck may not be on our side a third time. We cannot have the third time be the charm for the terrorists.