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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Security Smackdown

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In the predictable FlyerTalk tradition, the luck, heroism, and fortitude of the crew and passengers of Air Mauritania were quickly discussed. There was a lot of "you go!" and some funny comments - the stuff I enjoy about FlyerTalk.

And just as predictably people started smacking the TSA. Look, you gotta read these ding-dongs to believe it, don't ask me. Apparently the connection is obvious if your whole world revolves around how stupid Kip Hawley is, how it would be easy to secure the airports with a different and less intrusive set of security measures, etc, etc. Basically it's a reprise of the usenet phenom - everyone's an expert in their mom's basement.

So, I saw something today that I wished I'd been wise enough to write. I'm copying it wholesale into this blog because I can't stand the idea of it getting lost. (I had to reformat the post because of blogger's limitations.)

I've also sent it to a half dozen Instapundit type folks in the hopes that this will be a DuToit'ian essay running around the web.

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Originally Posted by justageek
Good thing we're wasting tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars on the FAM program here in the US, when it has been obvious ever since 9/11 that passengers/FAs would thwart any future terrorist attack that a FAM could thwart... This case is a great example.
Replied Law Dawg
Really? It is? I think its kinda different.

How so, you ask? Well, let me tell you-

On this one you have a yahoo waving two pistols around that obviously has less than a clue as to what is going on. They are alone and looking for a free ride. They are stupid and lackadaisical.

al Qaeda, on the other hand, operates in teams. They train, incessantly, on achieving their tactical and strategic goals. They have a plan and they execute it ruthlessly. They are smart and not the least lackadaisical.

Next time you fly imagine a hijacking happens. Most likely it'll happen up front, so if you're in the back you're out of the fight before you can even get in it. It will be all over but the shouting by the time you 1) even know what's happening and 2) can get up front to leap into your remarkable action.

But, let's assume you're close enough to the action to do said leaping - are you going to? By yourself? Or do you somehow envision that everyone will jump up at the same time? You better hope they do, because if they don't you'll be conspicuous, to say the least. And conspicuous in this kind of event generally means "target." Ask the poor Israeli guy that jumped up on 9/11 by himself. He got hisself killed within seconds. It took United 93 25 minutes and a vote to get rolling. They had to plan, get pumped up, talk each other into action, etc.

If I was a bad guy I'd never let anyone talk, plan, plot or conspire. I'd kill several people from the get-go to get everyone down. Anyone looks funny, execute them. Anyone talks, executed. Anyone moves, executed. Whisper? Executed. And done so in a brutal, bloody manner. People have no experience with that. When it does happen they tend to shut down.

That kind of directed violence has yet to happen again since 9/11. A bunch of EDPs and hijackers not using violence is not an accurate methodology to determine how normal people will respond in the middle of a violent hijacking. Much like people jumped on EDPs on planes prior to 9/11 (they even beat one to death) but once faced with 9/11 they got their heads down. Because they were scared, and rightfully so.

Intellectually everyone says they'll fight back, but intellect goes right out the window under adrenal stress, which is why the military and LE spends millions of dollars and thousands of hours training people to react instinctively.

To say it'll never happen again because people know what will happen is to ignore the lessons of history. You can watch videos of Jewish prisoners walking into the gas chambers, knowing what was happening, but not really believing it. Over and over again.

You don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training.

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That is somewhere between super-wow and I-am-amazed.

   

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