CAN HAPPEN AGAIN
By: William A. Shields
In 1997 I predicted, in a printed newsletter aimed at air traffic controllers, that a major aviation disaster would occur in the New York City area, most likely at LaGuardia airport, but perhaps at Newark or Kennedy airports. Stick a dart in the map at a point central to these three airports and you have located Ground Zero, the former World Trade Center, New York City.
the style and type of event that occurred on 9-11 was one that few if
any could have foreseen. Save for one vigilant FBI agent, who warned
that Muslims might be planning to attack the WTC with hijacked airplanes,
no one saw it coming. If it were in my power, I would promote that lone
star to Attorney General, and fire every other FBI employee from the
director on down to the lowliest bean counter and shoe clerk.
Now the agency flacks that read this indictment will probably say, if they say anything at all, that I donít know what I donít know. They will tell us that they do not publicize their employeeís personnel records, in accordance with law including the Privacy Act, etc. Therefore, no one knows, least of all that Shields fellow, who or how many were disciplined and why.
(This is what I like best about writing an opinion column. I get to make blanket indictments, ask questions of un-named government desk jockeys or politicians and put the answers in their mouths. And there is nothing they can do about it. Itís like kicking liberals in the balls Ė itís good work if you can get it. Now back to the subject.)
But government agencies are not tight lipped out of concern for the privacy of their employees. Their policy of silence affords them a modicum of plausible deniability. (A phrase I first heard connected to the Warren Report) The agencies responsible for any newsworthy failure of the public trust, like Waco, or Ruby Ridge, can simply claim that they canít speak about internal personnel actions, which means they can take NO action at all, and maintain complete, iron clad, bulletproof non-accountability. Then they can talk about how budget deprived they are, demanding more money for unsatisfactory performance, literally taking the taxpayerís money and beating him over the head with it.
But now you might say that things are different since 9-11. Thereís more security at the airports, more and better screeners. Searches are more thorough and more items such as nail files are prohibited. Iím here to tell you itís all window dressing. They donít care if they catch any prohibited items, and they donít really care to thwart any potential hijacker(s). What they care about is that the public sees them doing something, and that the public believes that the system is safe. Itís all show and no go.
Two Delta Airlines flight attendants recently told me that nothing of any substance has changed in the safety and security categories, and that as far as they could tell, another 9-11 could occur tomorrow. Security doors at airport terminals are routinely compromised, and the alarms go unanswered. Let me repeat that in case it didnít sink in the first time. Audible alarms are sounding in airport terminal buildings and they are being ignored!
One significant change is that there may be guns in a few cockpits now. This is a giant leap in the right direction. But whatís good for the cockpit is good for the cabin. Let the people keep and bear arms when they travel aboard aircraft. Attempted hijackings and suicide would then be synonymous terms.
I donít fly and I urge others to stop flying or at least limit their flights to those that are absolutely necessary. I know that after 9-11, pundits like Bill OíReilly were urging Americans to fly, and when the stock market was tanking, he was telling us to buy stocks. If we follow Mr. OíReillyís curious brand of logic, it then becomes prudent for us to jump in the water after a shark rips off someoneís arm. After all, weíre Americans! We donít let sharks intimidate us.
I donít refrain from flying out of intimidation. I do so because I know too much. I know about the incompetent housewives masquerading as air traffic controllers, and I know about the small cadre of overworked, under-appreciated competent types who are forced to work three positions at once Ėtheir own and those of the affirmative action types on their left and right. That is, those affirmative action types that canít be moved into a management position where they canít bend any aluminum, but they can force their favorite agenda (multiculturalism and a war on merit) on everyone else.
There is a well-known line from Eugene OíNeillís "A Moon For The Misbegotten": "There is no present or future Ė only the past, happening over and over again- now."
So it is with our federal "safety" agencies, especially the FAA. So donít ask if it will happen again. Itís happening again right now
William A. Shields is a USA Daily columnist. He has also been a contributor to the American Reformation Project as well as Ether Zone. Willie is a "Once and Always" U.S. Marine with 19 years combined experience as a military and civilian air traffic controller. The former chairman of the Delaware Buchanan/Reform Party, and a past president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, EWR, he has held positions in the rail, aviation and marine transportation industries. Mr. Shields owns and operates a small business in Wilmington, Delaware. He is a self taught expert on USMC history and Doo-Wop music of the fifties and early sixties.
William A, Shields can be reached at: email@example.com
Published in the
May 22, 2003 issue of Etherzone.com.