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Airborne Deterrence

There’s bit a bit of editorializing about the risk posed of airplane attacks and a few probability statistics thrown into the mix. Predictably, the federal government amped up its ‘security’ at airports and politicians have made empty statements about the importance of such measures.

(from flickr user emptyhighway)

Ultimately, if another attack along the lines of September 11th never happens, it won’t be because of the visible presence of ‘security’ at airports, it will be because of the deterrent effect that comes from the expectation of such an attack. Here’s a quote from an Associated Press article yesterday:
Passengers aren't only responding to obvious acts of terror. In June, two off-duty officers handcuffed a traveler who took off his clothes and kicked and punched a flight attendant on a US Airways flight to Los Angeles from Charlotte, North Carolina. In April 2008, passengers duct-taped a drunken man to his seat after he attacked a United Airlines flight attendant on a trip to Los Angeles from Hong Kong. "Aggressive intervention has become the new societal norm," said Bill Voss, an expert at the Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia.
That’s important. The reason 3 out of 4 planes crashed into the United States in 2001 was because passengers, crew, pilots, etc. didn’t know how to handle the situation. Now, everyone does, and a rational enemy will recognize that fact. As the character Basher says in the movie Ocean’s 13, “You don't run the same gag twice, you do the next gag.”

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